Choosing the right wedding photographer | Wedding Tips

Choosing the right wedding photographer
Author: Bloemfontein Wedding Guide    Date Published: 21 March 2015

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Choosing your wedding photographer should be done soon after choosing your venue. It is also one of the major factors you have to take into account. Remember your wedding photos are among the few things you have left after your wedding - so rather spend a little bit extra on a good photographer.

When you are looking for a wedding photographer, don’t simply go with the first wedding photographer you find. You want the end product to reflect what you envision for your wedding memories. Set up meetings with a few potential photographers and find out the details of their work, their experience and the packages that they offer. Here are some pointers to follow and questions to ask to ensure that you find the best photographer for you needs…


These are the typical posed pictures that we see of weddings. Even if you don’t like posed photographs you may want to at least have a few to ensure that everybody is included in the photographs and that your parents have some shots that they can send to family and friends and hang up.

This is where the photographer aims to create a story of your wedding day through the photographs. These pictures are natural and capture the moment. Remember however that you are relying on the photographer’s instinct and experience and the results can be quite stunning if he/she knows what they are doing.

These are photographs taken in artistic settings with interesting light. They are the type of pictures that you would find in glossy magazines and those that win awards. However, the downside is that they can become dated and look old-fashioned quite quickly. They are not necessarily for “eternity”. You will probably want to have a mixture of all three of these styles so that your final album is balanced, interesting and beautiful and captures your Wedding Day.

Do Research - before you choose your ideal wedding photographer

  • Collect some examples of wedding photography that you like so that your photographer can get a good idea of what you want.
  • Check that you will be meeting the photographer who will be photographing your wedding. You need to make sure that both of you understand the full details and requirements.
  • If you are using a photography studio, make sure you know what will happen if your chosen photographer no longer works for the studio on your wedding day.
  • Make sure that the photographer is available for your wedding date and time - before you even meet him or her.

On your first meeting with your potential Wedding Photographer

  • Determine whether they have the necessary experience.
  • Decide if you like their work and can provide what you desire.
  • Obtain details such as cost, options, availability etc.
  • Get a feel for what they are like as a person.

BACKGROUND CHECKING Not that you are the CSI but you are going to pay for their service - so its just your right to know whether they are professional or not. 

Good Questions to ask:

  • Are you a full-time photographer? If not, what do you do for the remainder of the week? (Part-time photographers aren’t a problem, but you don’t want someone who could be pulled in too many directions, distracted by work overload or let you down at the last moment.)
  • What are your photographic education, background and experience?
  • Have you ever been published in a photography journal, had a show, etc.?
  • Do you have a website?
  • How long have you been a wedding photographer, and how many weddings have you photographed?
  • Ask for references (preferably over the last year).
  • Have you handled events of my type and size before?

If you are finished with background checking - ask about their work and view at least one full wedding album - most photographers only put their best works on their website or portfolios

Other questions you can ask your wedding photographer

  • What is your primary photographic style?
  • How do you decide on what photos to take? Can we provide input in this regard? 
  • Do you shoot digital or film? (You may have a preference once you’ve compared them)
  • What makes your photographs better or different from other photographers?
  • Am I viewing your recent work?

Ensure you see lots of photographs from the photographer in lots of different situations so that you know exactly what they can deliver. If your photographer can only perform well in one particular type of situation and circumstances happen to be different at your wedding you may end up with poor photos. Once you have been through the photographer’s work, it’s time to find out details about the way they work.

Ask your photographer how they approach your wedding day

  • How many other events will you be photographing on my wedding day or weekend? 
  • How intrusive will lighting, tripods, other equipment or assistants be? 
  • Can other people take photos while you are taking photos? It is reasonable for the photographer to ask for no other shots during the formal photograph session as it can be distracting for subjects and can also interfere with flash settings.
  • Have you worked at my venue previously? If so, how did it turn out? If not, will you visit the venue beforehand? 
  • What attire will you (and your assistant) be wearing?
  • What time do you arrive to setup your equipment?
  • What are your hours of service?
  • Do you bring backup equipment with you?
  • What happens if you are ill?
  • Do you have liability insurance?
  • How many people will cover the event? (Ask to meet with all of them)
  • What type of assistance and how much assistance do you provide in creating a wedding album?

Last but not the least - MONEY

  • Do you provide a written contract and guarantee? 
  • What are your policies regarding proofs?
  • Do we select the final prints from the proofs?
  • What are your policies regarding negatives?
  • Can we buy them?
  • What are your policies regarding delivery times?
  • Is a deposit required? If so, how much?
  • When is the deposit due?
  • Do you accept partial payments?


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