The job of any wedding photographer is simple: to realize your visions and reward you with a fabulous wedding album that will remind you of every special moment and every unexpected surprise from your big day. Here, we offer some valuable advice for couples interested in hiring a professional photographer for their wedding.
How many photos, where and who with?
You may have a general idea of the kind of photos you want to include in your album, but consider how many guests there will be at the event and how much time your photographer(s) will have to shoot. If you have any special requests (such as a minimum number of photos of particular individuals in specific settings), let your photographer know as soon as possible. You may want a certain number of photos of the bride and her parents, the groom and his parents, a combination of both, or specific photos of other guests such as siblings, friends, grandparents or other relatives.
Remember – the weather will sometimes dictate your wedding photos
You may have an idyllic vision of a warm, sunny summer’s day and radiant, romantic photos of your wedding dress reflecting against the golden evening sunshine. However, this may not always be possible, so try not to be too demanding when it comes to your wedding photos; expect your photographer to improvise where necessary. For example, if the weather forecast for the big day is sunshine before and during the ceremony, but cloudy during the reception, you may want to have most of your photos taken while it’s still sunny, even if this means having to delay the reception.
When to book your wedding
Consider the time of year and the likelihood of a deluge or some other extreme weather event (although judging from recent years in the UK, such as the washout summer of 2012 and the extended heat wave of 2013, it is impossible to know exactly what will happen on your big day!). As a rule, demand for weddings during the months of May to September is higher, which usually results in higher prices across the board.
If your wedding will be outdoors, it might be worth considering reserving a marquee or purchasing a special wedding insurance package that covers exceptional weather events. In England, May is statistically the driest month (with an average of 58.4 millimetres of rain), while December is the wettest (with an average of 87.2 millimetres).
Confirm all the details
Your photographer needs to know how many guests will be at the event, the location and size of the venues, and the timing of the ceremony and the reception. For example, if your ceremony begins at midday and you request your photographer to arrive at 11am, he or she will usually endeavour to arrive at least half an hour earlier to avert the risk of delays from traffic and adverse weather conditions. If you need to make any sudden changes, let your photographer know as soon as possible and ensure you are contactable at all times.
Discuss your ideas at the venue
Before the wedding, it might be a good idea to meet up with your photographer at your chosen venue. There, you can explain some of your ideas, while your photographer should also be able to demonstrate his or her own ideas such as which direction the sun will be facing during the reception and ceremony, where to photography group photos and the most suitable location for mounting a tripod. This way, you will already have the photos stored in your mind before they have even been stored in the camera.