Five Steps To Find Your Perfect Wedding Photographer

Today’s wonderful guest blogger is the fabulous Nikki van der Molen - natural, creative and relaxed wedding photographer based in Surrey. She’s bringing you five steps to finding your perfect wedding photographer and they are wise words indeed so take note! Over to Nikki…

1 Research different styles of wedding photography.

Instead of googling based on location, try using different keywords to find specific styles of photographer. 

Are you looking for relaxed and candid photography with not too much posing? Search for a “documentary wedding photographer”.

Or perhaps you want the opposite, you love a bit of posing and you want portraits that look truly artistic. Google “Fine Art wedding photographer”.

There are LOADS of other search terms you can try, so I’ve listed a few below for you to explore:

“Alternative wedding photographer” (alternative can apply to the non-traditional way they shoot, or the alternative style of their ideal clients), “fun wedding photographer”, “creative wedding photographer”, “natural wedding photographer”, “modern wedding photographer”, “relaxed wedding photography”, “informal wedding photography” , “romantic wedding photography”, and “traditional wedding photography”.

By searching for a style rather than a location, you are more likely to narrow down the type of photographer you are looking for more quickly.

2 Decide what editing style you like. 

Once you have found a selection of photographers who shoot in the style that you like, you can narrow it down further by looking at their editing style and deciding which you like best.

A few examples:

Light and airy vs. dark and moody – Do you like photos that are really light and bright, or do you prefer the darker, more atmospheric look?

Black and white vs. colour – Most photographers will give you a mix of black and white photos and coloured photos, but you might love black and white photos and want loads, or perhaps you want none at all.

Warm vs. Cool – Is the colour temperature in the photo more orange or blue. This can totally change the look and the mood of the photo and some photographers edit warmer or cooler as part of their style.

3 Look at pricing.

So this is a big one, and often couples will jump straight to this step, but my advice would be to do your research first so you know what you like and what you’re looking for.  That way you can narrow down your options before you start looking at the cost.

Obviously you will have a budget, and whatever it is you will be able to find a photographer willing to shoot your wedding at that price. However, as you would expect, when photographers get more experienced they are more likely to charge higher prices. Experienced wedding photographers will stay cool and calm if something goes wrong or gets delayed. They will know how to deal with difficult lighting situations (and have the equipment to deal with it). They will take rigorous precautions to back up your photos in numerous places. 

You are also paying for a level of professionalism; e.g. you should be able to expect that your photographer has paid for insurance, offsite computer backups, professional level equipment, back up equipment and regular kit servicing. If you are unsure it’s perfectly acceptable to ask a photographer questions about these things. As with anything, you need to be careful if someone’s prices seem too good to be true.

4 Ask to see a couple of full wedding galleries.

It’s super easy for a photographer to put up a portfolio of awesome wedding photos, you’re showing off the best of the best! Not all of the photos you receive from your wedding are going to look like what you have seen in a portfolio. It’s important to see a couple of full galleries so you will know the quality and style of photography that you can expect from throughout a whole wedding.

You will also see the type of photos you can expect to receive. You may realise that one photographer tends to provide loads and loads of detail shots (of shoes, dress, jewellery, perfume, rings, etc.), and another provides hardly any details and just focuses on the people. It gives you a real insight so that you are not making assumptions about what will or will not be included.

5) Meet them or video chat with them. Decide if you like them.

Your wedding photographer will be around all day on one of the most special and important days of your life.  If you get on with them well and really feel like they ‘get’ you; that will make your day so much more enjoyable. Make sure that you can either meet up with them or have a video chat with them before making your decision. 

You can also check their website “About me” page. They might have some quirky facts about themselves on there that you can totally relate to. Maybe you’re both massive Harry Potter nerds, perhaps you are both obsessed with Irn Bru, or you’re both curry weaklings who can only ever order a Korma. If you get a good feeling about them from their About page that’s a step in the right direction!

6 A sneaky final tip – trust your instincts!

Ultimately, I think when it comes to picking a wedding photographer you can trust your instincts. If you like them as a person, and if you get a little jolt of happy excitement when you see their gorgeous photos pop up on Instagram, you can be pretty sure you’ve picked the right person. You can relax, enjoy your wedding day and trust that your photos will be as amazing as you hoped they would be.

Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us Nikki. If you haven’t picked your photographer yet, hopefully you’ve found this super helpful!