5 Top Tips For Choosing A Wedding Photographer And Videographer
Your wedding photos will be a tangible memento of your big day that will last a lifetime, so choosing a photographer who will take those amazing, emotional, and poignant shots is very important.
Likewise, a video of your wedding day is an investment. It’s a way of making sure your big day is captured in glorious technicolour so that you can see the moments you weren’t present for, the moments you want to cherish forever, and the bits that make everyone laugh out loud and get emotional.
Whether you opt for just a photographer or are considering a wedding video as well, it’s helpful to have an idea of the things you need to consider.
To help you make the right choice, here are our top five tips for picking your perfect wedding photographer and videographer:
1. Decide Your Budget
The cost of photography varies greatly, so you’re sure to find something suitable for your budget. If great wedding photos are important to you, don’t scrimp on your photographer.
One area you could save money on is a wedding album – quality ones are costly, and if you’re more of a digital lover you might be happy with some selective prints as opposed to a whole album.
Alternatively, you could always opt for an album later on once your bank balance has had a chance to recover. The money saved from not having a photo album, could be contributed to ensuring you have a great photographer instead.
Wedding videography, on the other hand, usually isn’t cheap, but the price can go up significantly depending on the credentials of the videography, how many videographers are required on the day (a surprising number of couples opt for 2 instead of 1), and how much post-processing and editing of the video is required, especially depending on the style of film you have gone for.
If you are investing in a wedding film, remember that you want it to be something you can cherish forever, so it’s important that it is high quality.
2. Identify your style
When considering the style of photography you would like remember that photographers who are great at taking natural in-the-moment shots may not be so good at the traditional group photos, so decide what’s more important to you – impactful and candid memories of the day, or more traditional photos from the more obvious significant moments.
Basic videographers will provide a “point-and-shoot” service that will essentially document your day, but do little else. This is the most cost-effective option, but also usually produces a type of film that can look cheesy and un-choreographed. Do your research and interview/meet with a selection of videographers before deciding who to go with. Some will do a more quirky/unique film style, some will be more classic, and today some even do fun Marryokes!
3. See Samples
Different wedding photographers have different styles – ask to see a sample portfolio of their work so you can get a feel for the kind of shots they take. You should find their work appealing – do you want your wedding photos to look like that? Would you be proud to show them off? Would you frame one and hang it on your wall? Where possible, ask to see a photos from at least one entire wedding (most photographers should be happy to do this) to make sure the sample shots in their portfolio are typical of their overall quality, and not just a selection of “best bits”.
When choosing your videographer, ask to see edited and complete versions of more than one wedding video so you know you aren’t just getting the highlight reel. Cuts should be smooth, editing should be seamless, and the overall video should tell a story of the couples’ wedding, with their personality shining through. Make sure and check that the audio quality is good too, lots of people forget that part!
4. Get Testimonials
Ask the photographer or videographer if they are happy to provide you with contact details of some couples they have done wedding photos or videos for – that way you can ask some probing questions you might not otherwise know the answers to – did they get in the way at the wedding? Were they able to handle stressful situations? Were they able to get all 150 guests in to a group shot? Did they capture the atmosphere well on film? These must-have qualities are easy to overlook, but it’s important you know how experienced and professional your potential photographer/videographer is, and it’s best to hear it from someone who knows.
5. Know Your Rights
Most contracts will stipulate that the photographer or videographer owns the rights to all photos and videos taken, even ones of you. This means they can use them to promote his or her services, for example on their website and social media, and you may only be able to share watermarked images or videos online. For photographs, it can also mean if you want to print the photos yourself or order an album at a later date from another source, you may have to buy the rights to the images. The rights can be negotiated early-on, but make sure you ask about them, or you could be in for an unpleasant surprise.
By Rachel Doherty