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How to choose a wedding photographer

Deciding on a photographer you can trust to capture the magic of your wedding day is a major part of the wedding planning process. Your pictures will be your memories when the big day is done, so take time to find the one.

The Photographer
Ask if the photographer is professionally qualified and if they will be the one covering the wedding. If you choose a photography company, make sure you meet the person who will be working with you on the day.

Style
Ask your photographer what they specialise in and how they would describe their style. A corporate photographer may not be comfortable with informal reportage. Draw up a photography list to check that they are happy taking the type of pictures you’re looking for.

Portfolio
A good photographer should have a portfolio of recent work to show you. Check that their wedding albums cover a range of weddings from beginning to end and feature shots in different locations and lighting conditions. Study the pictures closely – are the portraits flattering and the faces and outfits in focus?

Budget and contracts
If budget is a constraint, remember that usually you get what you pay for. Be clear from the outset what the package will include and cost. Are there any hidden extras? Can you expect an album, prints, disc or a USB? Ask how many images you will receive. You can always try negotiating with a photographer you really like if the price is beyond your budget. Always sign a contract with your photographer to avoid any nasty surprises further down the line. Inquire if the contract will cover photography beginning with getting ready and ending with the last dance. Make sure all is transparent from the start.

Venue and timings
Most couples book a venue first and then decide on their photographer – you may need to allow upwards of a year to secure the photographer you like. Your photographer should be familiar with the venue in order to get a feel for the place, plan the best shooting spots and make weather contingency plans. Good preparation is key to ensuring the big day runs smoothly.

Click before they click
Ask your photographer if they offer a pre-wedding shoot – it’s a great way to get to know them before the wedding as you’ll be spending a lot of time together. If the thought of hanging out with the photographer from the beginning to the end of your wedding day fills you with horror, then reconsider…

Make sure you meet a few photographers and compare their work so you can be sure you find one that suits you.

By Fiona Philip

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