Before choosing a wedding photographer, two women in pink shirts hold cameras.

5 Things You Must Do Before Choosing A Wedding Photographer…

Meet them

Choosing your wedding photographer is probably the second most import decision of your day (after your venue of course!). Long after your memories of your magical day have faded, the only physical things left will be the photographs. It’s these images that will help you to re-live your day over and over again, bringing back those wonderful memories and warm fuzzy feelings. It’s not a choice you should make lightly, but with some many options out there, how an earth do you chose the one that’s right for you?

Firstly, it’s essential to meet them in person or have a video chat before making a decision. Get a feel of their personality, how they answer your questions, how knowledgeable they are on your chosen venue and if they can provide any useful ideas. After all, you’ll spend more time with your photographer than anyone else on your big day. You’ll want to ensure there’s a great connection and that they genuinely listen to your needs. They’ll need to be friendly have a relaxed approach, which means they will adapt to your day, and not the other way around.

We genuinely love what we do, and spend the whole day smiling alongside you. We like to feel a part of the wedding party and engage with your guests, so they feel at ease too. Ensure your photographer is as excited about your day as you are.

powder and pearls wedding photographers and videograhers based in Bristol offering photography and videography packages in the south west and Wales. Jodie and Tracey Yate photographers

This investment requires careful consideration because you only have one chance to capture those precious moments. From the moment you’re getting ready, until the lively party in the evening, your photographer will be there every step of the way. It’s crucial that you feel comfortable and at ease with them, in addition to loving their photography style and final edits. You should be able to ask for anything you want on the day and, equally important, be able to request some alone time if needed.

A video chat is a fantastic alternative if meeting in person isn’t feasible. It will give you an instant sense of how having them by your side on your special day would feel. Do they make you feel confident that you’ll be in safe hands? Do they seem like they are passionate about what they do? Will you feel special on the day, like nothing is too much trouble?

Book an engagement shoot

Consider booking an engagement shoot in the run up to your big day, as it’s an excellent opportunity to meet your photographer or try them out before making a commitment. Usually, you can add an engagement or pre-wedding shoot onto you package for a discounted rate. During the shoot, you can discuss your wedding plans and venue, see if you get along well, and observe their working style and photography approach. It’s just as important to enjoy working with your photographers as it is to love the beautiful images they create. No one wants a stressed, demanding, or controlling photographer on their big day. With an engagement shoot, you can build a crucial relationship and feel more comfortable when the wedding day arrives.

We can offer stand alone engagement shoots, or add them into your wedding photography package for a discounted rate. They are such a fun way to get to know each other a little better and you’ll also receive a gorgeous gallery of images of you both a few weeks after. Some of our couples have used these pre-wedding shoot images as part of their wedding day decor. You can frame a selection of prints and dot them around the venue, use one in a large frame and get your guests to sign around the outside, or even choose one for your wedding invitations.

Plan the day together

When planning your wedding day, keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to wedding photography. Every wedding is unique, and you should be cautious of photographers with a rigid style or a pre-defined photo list. Flexibility is critical in choosing someone to alleviate stress rather than add to it. Ensure they don’t set strict time limits and they understand that schedules can change or run late. Sit down with your photographer and discuss your plans, hopes, and dreams for the day. You should be able to view a range of full wedding photo galleries, not just see a few of their favourites photos. If you are getting married in the winter for example, ensure they are used to using a variety of flash methods and creative lighting. Photographing a winter/low light wedding can be challenging for inexperienced photographers.

A great photographer should be able to guide the duration of family photos, suggest great spots for confetti throwing, identify the best locations at your venue for romantic couple shots, and advise on the ideal time of day to capture perfect lighting. They should be receptive to your ideas while also offering alternative suggestions if certain things aren’t feasible. For example, a reliable photographer should have a wet-weather plan if the weather isn’t ideal.

This is the UK and the one thing we can’t plan is the weather. Instead of worry ing but it and checking the forecast every 5 minutes, it’s easier to just go with what happens. When you book us, we always have a plan “B” and “C”! We carry a range of pretty umbrellas and are prepared to make the most of any situation. It’s your day and your weather, so embrace it! Only the most severe British weather conditions should prevent you from getting you outside. Rain? What rain?!

Ask about backups

With modern equipment, a photographer rarely loses any of your precious photos (we haven’t yet after 10 years) of photographing weddings). Still, when choosing a wedding photographer, it’s worth checking that they have a plan to mitigate any problems. Apart from having extra equipment – cameras and lighting, we always use two memory cards in each camera so one will act as a backup. We shoot with multiple cameras too to minimise any risk of equipment failure.

We also download and backup the photos throughout the day, keeping the backup separate. When we return home in the evening, two copies of all the images are made, with one set being held off-site. It may sound a little OCD, but we take our responsibility seriously as the keeper of your wedding day memories.

Another essential point to check is that they are fully insured and will provide you with a full contract. Our contracts and forms are all digital, so it’s quick and easy see your agreement and instalment dates.

Ask family and friends for recommendations

Ask family and friends for recommendations or look on google reviews at any photographers you are interested in. 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.

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 under pressure not to miss anything. 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.

Your wedding photography is one thing we wouldn’t recommend cutting costs on. You are worth the investment, and in years to come you’ll be so glad you did.

Contact us to make that first step and let’s arrange a meeting. We can talk you though everything and see if our photography and videography packages would be a good fit.

Whatever you decide, we wish you all the best choosing in a wedding photographer to capture your wonderful wedding day.

Tracey and Jodie xx

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