Friday, 21 January 2011

My Wedding - My Photographer

This is where I tell you all about planning my own wedding. After all, if I'm publishing all these Real Weddings, it's only fair I share my trials and tribulations. Read the rest of my wedding diary.

My Photographer - Chloé from Caught the Light
A few days ago, I suddenly realised that in all my rambles about my wedding, I'd failed to mention an incredibly important person - my wedding photographer. After we picked the venue {more on that in March}, I knew that I needed to choose a photographer asap, because the good ones get booked at least a year in advance. As a wedding blogger, it was also going to be incredibly difficult to pick between all the amazing wedding photographers I feature on this site, and believe me - they're all hugely talented. So the real clincher came in the form of a coincidence. I'd already featured Caught the Light's work on Before the Big Day, and one day one of my mother's friends spotted one of the bridesmaids, and we realised we knew the family. It then emerged that Chloé from Caught the Light had photographed the weddings of all three sisters, which is a serious stamp of approval. A quick email and a coffee later, and I'd officially booked Chloe for a trip to Provence!

That makes it sound easy, but I understand that picking a wedding photographer is a serious business. At first I was so shocked by how much they could cost, that I seriously considered not hiring an official one. One of my bridesmaids, Jemma Harding {mini-ad: Do check out her new website!}, is a huge talented photographer, and she had offered to give me my pictures as a wedding present. But having been to lots of weddings, and seen how hard the photographers have to work, I knew that she wouldn't really be able to enjoy the whole affair if she was constantly clicking. So once I realised I knew I needed one, my search began.

Wedding blogs are definitely the right way to go about choosing a photographer, but make sure you look at their whole portfolio before you book, because you want to make sure every picture is fabulous, not just the ones they pick for the blogs. Don't miss the Before the Big Day Black Book for my recommendations! Ask around for any recommendations from your friends, but remember that your taste might be different to theirs. I had no sense of my preferred style of wedding photography until I started this blog - you'll probably need to do a fair bit of research to find what you want. Do try to meet your photographer before your wedding. If you don't like them personally, then you're not going to be able to relax around them, and relaxed = good pictures. If you want them to hussle large groups of guests, then make sure they have a strong enough character to boss them around, but if you want subtle, reportage-stye wedding photographs, then you'll want them to be a bit more laid back.

If all this terminology of 'style' freaks you out a bit, then keep it simple and follow these rules;
1. Check out the Before the Big Day Black Book for my recommended photographers.
2. Do you like the look of their work? You don't need to know why.
3. Can you afford them?
4. Do you like them?
5. Are they available for your wedding?

Lastly, even if you're a credit crunch bride {who isn't!}, my advice is don't scrimp on the photographer. Your wedding is an important day, and it'll pass so fast, you'll want the pictures to bring back the memories. If you're really struggling with the cost, consider getting married on a week-day, and only hiring a photographer for a few hours - they often do reasonable rates, it's just all about avoiding Saturdays.
{All pictures published with thanks to Caught the Light}

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  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for letting brides know that their photographs are one of the most important items for their wedding and they shouldn't scrimp on the cost. Many brides I talk to want to pay $500 and get fabulous images and a dvd and 8-10 hrs of shooting. Cheap does not = good images. Thanks for posting. Karen

  2. No problem! If you're reading this and you're a wedding photographer - please do feel free to add more advice.

    xGeorgia, Editor of Before the Big Day

  3. Its important to try and get a photographer that you feel comfortable with. One that understands the kind of images you want and can do that without having to interrupt your special day all the time to ask questions. Make the effort to meet with your photographer ahead of any final contract.

    Also, if you want to have photographs of your evening, make sure you specify. Some photographers don't stay that long or it may be extra, so best to check and be clear.


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