Choosing your wedding photographer – some useful advice from the Zankyou Real Bride

As our wedding draws closer things are slowly starting to fall apart! This week has been a bit of a nightmare. We found out on Saturday that my wedding ring is the wring type of gold, it is harder than my engagement ring and so worn together for years and years would wear away the gold of my engagement ring. Not the end of the world but it needs to be sent back all the same.

Then, we also discovered that our photographer is not going to be able to make our wedding after all, as he has other commitments the day after ours.

David and Lauren's Engagement Shoot ©Rupa Photography

So we are back on the search for a photographer and I thought now would be a great time to share my top tips for photographer hunting with you all:

* Always check photographer credentials: This could be in the form of awards that they have won/been nominated for, organisation memberships such as the WPPI or even a really good recommendation from friends. You tend to get the most honest reviews from past clients so ask around for people you know to give you the heads up on their own photographers.

* Think about the style of photographs you want: Some couples like a lot of posed formal photos and some like something a bit wacky with lots of props. It depends on what the feel of your wedding is as to what style of photos you will choose. We are hoping for something in the middle, with lots of “reportage” style snaps so that our guests aren’t interfered with too much.  Always ask to see your photographer’s portfolio and if you know the style you want, ask for some examples from their work. Also think about colour. It is very popular at the moment to have vintage/sepia photos but if like me you have spent a lot of money on brightly coloured bridesmaid dresses, it might be nice to have a few coloured shots to show them off.

* Rapport:  These photos will be your only memory of the day and you need to be able to be clear about what you want. Your photographer should listen to your brief and be able to throw in a few choice suggestions, not take over the day with an “I know best “ attitude. There should be at least one consultation and many photographers now offer and engagement or lifestyles shoot to get to know you a bit better. This is also a great way for the two of you to get used to being in front of the camera. We had a lifestyle shoot with Rupa Photgraphy, take a look at our pictures here.

* Location Knowledge: Has your photographer worked at your venue before? If so ask to see some pictures of previous weddings. If not ask if he/she will be visiting the venue before your big day. Time is precious and the last thing you want to be doing on the day is wandering around your venue looking for a good location. A good photographer will already know a few places that would make for great pictures.

* An extra pair of hands: does your photographer have an assistant? This is a great way of making your money go further as you effectively have 2 photographers. You could ask the assistant to mill around with your guests and take some great “moment” shots while you and your husband are off having your formal photos. Similarly you could ask that one photographer spends time with the bridal party getting ready, while the assistant captures your guests arriving.