What to look out for in a wedding photographer

What to look for in a wedding photographer

Just because you’re not a professional photographer, that doesn’t stop you from knowing what to look for. Here are some key points that will help reassure you when deciding on which photographer to book:

  • Look through the display albums — check that the images in an album are all from the same wedding — this is a good indicator of consistent quality.
  • Check the print quality — most brides wear a pale ivory or white dress. Look for detail in the lace or embroidery — close ups and portraits of the bride should show detail. Check that the flowers are the same colour throughout the album.
  • Post production — this should be to a professional standard and consistent throughout all of the images. Excessive use can lead to inconsistencies in colour, detail, lighting, sharpness , etc.
  • Ask how the images are produced — are they done in-house; how long will the colours stay true, and not fade; does the photographer use a professional lab; are they proficient in printing; do they understand quality control? 
You need to be confident that you’re getting the service you’ve paid for, so asking these questions will not only reassure you, but they’ll ensure you receive the quality and customer service you deserve.

How much should I spend?

This is one of the most common questions couples ask when thinking about booking a wedding photographer. The simple answer is — it’s your choice! It is your decision what value you place on you’re wedding photography. A photographer’s fees may vary, so it is important to be 100% sure about your budget when you are ready to book.

Speak to the photographer about what they are able to provide for your budget. Think about what you would prefer. A large number of unedited digital files or a selection of images presented in a professionally designed album. Perhaps you would like a combination of both? If a wedding ‘package’ doesn’t suit you, ask the photographer if they can provide what you want.

Remember when choosing your photographer, wedding photos will last forever, even beyond your lifetime and may well be the only reminder you and your family have in years to come. The most common regret we hear from brides is that they didn’t use a professional photographer and that, after the wedding, they realised just how important the images are.

Timescales

It can take time for a professional photographer to produce the final images. In practical terms, there may need to be post production work, followed by printing, album design, layout and ordering of the album (some can take 1-2 months to be made depending on location and delivery).

Some products are a lot easier — digital less could be processed relatively quickly, whereas a bespoke wedding album containing lots of images, may take anywhere between 1 and 2 months to produce. Speak to your photographer about how they operate, their experience of timescales and most importantly, how and when you get to see your images.

Testimonials

Pretty much every wedding photographer we know will have testimonials from recent clients. Ask if they have any to hand. Some photographers may make it possible for you to get in contact with their past clients directly for references. Take them up on the offer!

Contracts

Whilst it may seem a bit formal in some instances, we strongly recommend that all professional photographers provide a written contract detailing the services they have agreed to provide.

The contract should include all the details of the event (venue, date etc) as well as the services to be provided.

All fees should be clearly stated on the contract. Booking fees or deposits should be confirmed, along with when the balance should be paid. Normally a photographer will request full payment approximately 30 days before you’re wedding. Full terms and conditions should be provided by your photographer and should include a cancellation policy.

Always take time to read and understand the terms and conditions before signing. If you have any queries, ask the photographer to explain them to you and always keep copies of your signed contract and any communication you have with your photographer.

Experience

You can learn everything you think you may need to know about being a wedding photographer by reading a book or taking a course, but knowledge of the potential pitfalls will only come with experience.

Ask your photographer if they have worked at you’re wedding venue before; how many years they have been photographing weddings and how many weddings they have shot. They should be able to cope with whatever happens on the day, like bad weather, late guests, tired children. All this comes with experience.

Resolving Issues

Unfortunately, despite the best preparations, sometimes things do go wrong. The important thing is how to remedy a situation quickly, and to the satisfaction of everyone involved. The following points are the steps we recommend you take when working to resolve an issue with your photographer:

  • Speak to the photographer — where possible, try to meet face to face. Most issues can usually be resolved at this stage.
  • Write down your issues — if you’re still unhappy, explain what you’d like to see as an end result and make sure you give the photographer the opportunity to respond to you within a reasonable timescale.
  • BIPP can only be involved if the photographer who took your photographs is a qualified BIPP photographer. If this is the case, please read through the Complaints Procedure which can be found on the BIPP website.
  • Other complaints — if the photographer is not a BIPP photographer, you can contact your local Trading Standards or Citizens Advice Bureau who will advise you on the best way forward. The most important consideration is always to strive for a solution which is fair to both parties as quickly and as amicably as possible.