Choosing a wedding photographer
Wedding photography

5 things you must do before choosing a wedding photographer…

Meet them

Many couples are choosing a wedding photographer without even meeting them. You’ll spend more time with your wedding photographer than anyone else on your big day and the last thing you want is a personality clash or to have booked someone who doesn’t listen to your needs. You only get one shot at capturing your day, so this is one investment that needs to be carefully thought out. They’ll be with you from getting ready until the party in the evening – maybe longer.  You need to make sure you get on well with them and feel relaxed, as well as liking their photography style. You want to be able to ask for anything on the day, and equally, when you’ve had enough, you can ask them to go and photograph your guests instead!

Brides laugh during wedding ceremony

If a face to face meeting is not practical when choosing a wedding photographer, then a video chat is just as good. You’ll get an instant feeling about how you would feel about sharing your day with them. Do they make you feel like you’ll be in safe hands? We have a relaxed, easy going approach and always put our clients needs and individuality at the heart of what we do. Want to more about us? You’ll find everything you need to know about Powder and Pearls wedding photography and videography here.

Wedding games with the bride and groom

Book an engagement shoot

This is probably the best way to meet your wedding photographer or a great way to try before you buy! Not only can you talk about your plans for the day and see if you get on well, but you can see exactly how they work and what style they use. Enjoying working with your photographers is just as important as the lovely the images they create. No-one wants a grumpy, demanding or controlling photographer on their big day or someone who doesn’t make the most of every opportunity.

Wedding engagement shoot Bristol

An engagement shoot is a great way to see how you get on together and build up that all important relationship. As a result, you’ll both feel more comfortable on the big day. You can also see first hand how they deliver their work, customer service and the standard of their images. We really enjoy engagement shoots because we love to meet any couples we’ll be working with prior to the big day. We can find out just how shy or confident you are, whether you like to be posed or have more natural shots, and what kind of images you like most. We’re more than happy for you to bring along the kids, pets or both! Why not use the shoot as an opportunity to have some lovely family photos too?

Choosing a wedding photographer by having an engagement shoot
Couple enjoying a wedding engagement shoot

Plan the day together

No two wedding days are the same and there’s no single approach to wedding photography so beware of any photographers who have a set style or photo-list. A photographer that is flexible is a key ingredient to choosing someone who will take the stress out of your day – not add to it.  We don’t set time limits and appreciate that parts of the day can run late and plans might change – not a problem for us! Take the time to sit down with your photographer and discuss your plans, hopes and dreams for the day.  A great photographer should be able to advise you on how much time family photos will take, where there’s a great spot for confetti throwing, the best places at your venue for your romantic couples photos and the best time of day to get that perfect light.

Beautiful evening wedding light for photography

They should be open to your suggestions, but bold enough to tell you if something just won’t be possible and offer other ideas. For example, does your photographer have a wet weather plan? We always carry large white umbrellas with us. Only the very worst British weather would stop us from getting you outside and we are flexible with our day so we can postpone certain photos until later if the weather is too bad. 

Perfect spot at Tortworth court for wedding photography

Ask about backups

With modern equipment, it’s very rare that a photographer will lose any of your precious photos, but, when choosing a wedding photographer, it’s certainly worth checking that they have a plan to mitigate any problems. Apart from having extra equipment – cameras and lighting etc, we always use two memory cards in each camera so one will act as a backup. We download and backup the photos part way through the day and keep the backup separate. When we return home in the evening, two copies of all the photos are made, with one set being kept off site. 

Choosing a wedding photographer for your ceremony

As there are two of us with multiple cameras capturing the action, you’ll have double protection that we have taken all precautions against losing any of your images. We host the final wedding galleries on a separate secure server for at least 2 years. Another essential point to check is that they are fully insured and will provide you with a full contract.  Not all vendors offer this but it is something we’d strongly recommend obtaining once any amount of money is handed over.

Choosing a wedding photographer

Ask family and friends for recommendations

We don’t mean asking a family friend or Uncle with a new camera to capture your wedding, we mean ask them which professional photographers they have worked with or could recommend. The majority of our bookings come through word of mouth recommendations, we’ve lost count of the amount of bridesmaids that have subsequently booked us because we made them feel so comfortable on their best friends wedding day.

Bridesmaids shocked by beautiful wedding dress

Whilst asking your friend with the fancy camera to photograph your wedding may seem like a great way to save some money from your budget it doesn’t always work out well. They’ll miss out on the enjoyment of your day because they’ll be caught up organising your guests. And whilst a fancy camera doesn’t make a great photographer, there is a certain level of equipment a wedding photographer needs to be able to capture every part of your day.

Few amateur photographers have the right lenses or lighting to meet the needs of an entire wedding day. There are also certain rules that Registras expect photographers to adhere to through the ceremony not to mention knowing the plan of the day and how to make the most of the photography opportunities. Think of a friend or family member taking pictures as an addition to your professional photographer, this takes the pressure off of them and you.

wedding couple love sparkler photo

We’d love to talk with you more about your plans for the big day. Why not get in touch and chat to us about requirements? We wish you all the best choosing a wedding photographer. Tracey and Jodie xx