Today’s thoughtful and informative guest post comes to us from Joe Josland of JJosland Photography, based in Dartford, England! Enjoy:
Organizing a wedding, even a simple one, can be hugely complex. Right from the joyous moment when the proposal is accepted, the questions start. ‘What kind of venue should we book?’ ‘How many guests will we invite?’ ‘Do we really need six courses?’ In my experience, however, one question stands out from the rest: ‘How should we choose our photographer?’ To help you make this decision, here’s a list of key considerations to ensure you’ve chosen the right person for your special day.
Read the full post after the cut!
While it might not seem like an obvious quality to consider, trust in your photographer is absolutely essential. It might seem intuitive to think ‘Well they’re a professional, they must know what they’re doing.’ and of course, this really should be the case. But you need to feel absolutely secure with the service they’ll be providing well in advance. You can take some simple steps to make sure that this all-important trust is established early on. Meeting them face-to-face first can go a long way, and set the tone for a positive relationship from the off. Check out examples of their previous work. See if their portfolio instantly appeals, or raises questions. How much experience do they have? Are there glowing testimonials from previous customers? An unbiased appraisal is often the most effective.
Photographers work in a variety of styles, but most work best in a specific niche. For example, I specialize in ‘reportage’ photography: photos that look organic, natural, and are taken as they happen. This really suits some people. Every image tells a story. But not everyone wants that. Some couples prefer the more traditional, carefully orchestrated style of photo.
You should think about what style of image would work best for you. Would you favor a more traditional, well-organised set of photos, or do you want pictures of people as they eat, drink and dance? Once you’ve decided, do some research. Make sure your chosen photographer is proficient in your style of choice. Do this, and you won’t feel like you’re compromising.
Like any business relationship, it’s hugely important to have a positive working relationship with your photographer. I would argue though, that a good personal relationship can be just as valuable in getting the most for you money. Trust your gut. Did you get on with them? Some of my clients have become my friends, nd considering the intimate and personal nature of wedding photography, that’s not surprising. We share one of the best days of your life with you.
Sometimes this even begins with an engagement shoot. A shorter, pre-wedding shoot will give you a taste of the less formal style many wedding photographers thrive on and can be the perfect low-risk introduction to a photographer’s personality and style. Finding a photographer who can work really well with you is really important. Finding one you get on with on a personal level is even better, and can result in some of the best wedding albums.
They’re a big part of the day
Even when you’ve found the perfect candidate, it’s important to remember that your photographer is going to be an integral part of your wedding day. They’re likely to be there from start to finish and are going to be taking a lot of photos, of a lot of people. Will your guests mind a photographer wandering in their midst, or will they find this irritating? Is your wedding going to be formal and traditional, or casual and fun? These are things to think about when choosing your photographer – they’re going to need to fit in, and to mirror the ambiance of the day. Unassuming, warm and friendly, easy to get along with. These are some good qualities to look for. Ultimately, finding a photographer that fits in well, without any awkwardness is going to make everyone feel better, and result in better images.
It works both ways
Even though your wedding day is all about you, you should bear in mind that the relationship between a photographer and client is a two-way street. Of course, you should ask for, and get, what you want. But at the same time, consider if you’re being fair, or too demanding. It’s important to be reasonable. Staging an elaborate, 30-person, intricately synchronized photo might be a lovely idea, but it’s not practical. If your requests are unreasonable, then not only will they probably not be granted, but you’re liable to irritate your photographer. (Never a good idea.)
Of course, you deserve the very best, but try to consider the photographer’s perspective too. Working in tandem with your photographer is conducive to ending up with their best work: a set of photos that are totally genuine, and forever meaningful. These are just a few things to consider, but definitely are some of the most important. Taking the time to really think about how your photographer will need to work and fit into your wedding, is totally worth it.
Cakes get eaten. Drinks get guzzled. And at the end of the night, the venue will be cleared. But your photos will last forever. They’ll help you remember the best moments of your wedding day, and experience bits you might have missed. They’ll make you laugh, and cry, for years to come. Your photographer is responsible for that. Take your time, and make sure you’ve made the best choice.
Kent wedding photographer Joe Josland is the founder of JJosland Photography, undertaking documentary style shoots in Kent and across the UK. His unique natural style aims to replicate the story of a wedding day or engagement event through pictures, capturing the moments of joy that matter most. To learn more about JJosland Photography, please visit his WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile.