How to choose your wedding photographer

With so many options available, it can be tricky to work out how to choose a wedding photographer. Below are some top tips from the experts to help you out.

1: Set your budget

Your first step is to discuss how much you can legitimately spend and always keep that in mind as you continue your search. Lots of photographers have starting prices on their website, as well as wedding photography packages that give you great value for money. Alternatively, you could ask a few in your area for a quick quote to see what the going rate is.

2: Decide your vision

Now for the fun part of starting your search. Your preferred end result really is one of the most important things to consider. If you're not sure of your tastes, start looking through various wedding photographers' portfolios and make a note of what jumps out to you. Do you want candid, classic, a mix of colour and black-and-white, creative or contemporary? 

Start creating a shortlist of the wedding photographers you like and research a little more about them. Weddings are unique in the scale and speed of the action so you’ll want to pick a photographer with a few years of wedding photography experience under their belt.

3: Get Recommendations and Read Reviews

A reputable photographer will have lots of testimonials and reviews from clients they’re happy to share with you and can put you in touch with previous clients. Once you have a shortlist, get in touch with the photographer and ask if they have any reviews or testimonials, or if they can put you in touch with a previous couple they've photographed.

4: Ask to see their portfolio and full galleries

Seeing your wedding photographer's portfolio is essential to choosing the right one. Your photographer's website will showcase a highlight reel, but what you need to see is a full wedding album - three or four photos don’t tell you the whole story. Hitched wedding photographers often have dozens, sometimes even hundreds of wedding pictures that really represent their style and finish,

This is important as the photographs should tell the story of the day, all flow and all be equally as beautiful. You want each photo to be consistent in quality and look. You may realise that you don’t like the way the photographer shoots in low-light or their style when it comes to group photos doesn’t fit yours.

5: Arrange a meeting or zoom

Your photographer is going to be spending a whole day with you, so you need to make sure that you gel with them. Meet them face-to-face, ask questions, go through their portfolio and see how you feel around them. Do they put you at ease? Do you feel they understand what you want? The more relaxed you are around your wedding photographer, the more natural and at ease your photos will look.

6: Do they know your venue


This is by no means a deal-breaker, but it always helps if your photographer has shot at your wedding venue before. It means they’ll have experience of the best locations and know the lighting conditions. Most photographers have blogs/galleries featuring their real weddings.

If local, some wedding photographers will also offer to visit your venue early in the morning or the day before to scope out the best places and lighting to shoot.

7: Narrow down you shortlist


You’ll probably meet with several wedding photographers before choosing the one. As well as feeling comfortable, the right photographer will likely come down to price and package options. Consider what is included in the contract (number of hours of coverage on the day, a second shooter, prints or albums, extras like an engagement shoot), how long the proofs will take to get back and retouching options.

Once you've considered all these factors, you'll be ready to make your decision. Don't forget to trust your gut!

8: Book an engagement shoot


Again, this isn't an essential, but you’ll be so much more comfortable on the day if you’ve had some experience of being directed and posing beforehand. An engagement shoot is a great way to get to know your wedding photographer and see if your personalities mesh - this is important as your photographer will be shadowing you for a whole day.

The right photographer should be respectful and have the social know-how to blend into your wedding, yet still be bold enough to seek out the shots they need. They should ask you lots of questions and, most importantly, be excited about your day. 

Engagement shoots are a great way of gathering even more beautiful photos of you and your partner's relationship, as well as getting you both hyped for your wedding day. You'll also get to try out all your fun and creative engagement photo ideas