Top 5 Tips When Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

First of all, congratulations on your engagement! 
Whether you’ve been engaged for 5 years or 5 minutes, the fact that you’re reading this means that you are (at the very least in the early stages of) looking at wedding photographers. 

You’ve probably noticed, it’s something of a minefield out there! Hundreds of photographers, all different kinds of styles and all different kinds of prices. How on earth are you supposed to find the perfect one for you?

That’s something I can help you with...

I know you’re probably thinking ‘but you’re just going to tell me that you are the perfect photographer for me, aren’t you?’

Well, no, I’m not actually. Statistically speaking, I’m unlikely to be the perfect photographer for you and (please don’t take this the wrong way, but) if we aren’t a good match, I actually don’t want to shoot your wedding. It won’t be fun for either of us and the whole point of this is to help ensure that you get the right photographer for you.

Here are, without doubt, the top 5 things you can do to make sure you get the perfect photographer for your prefect day.

  • The first thing you need to make sure you do is to not get scammed! It’s difficult to believe but there are hundreds and hundreds of scammers out there looking to use wedding photography as a means to con money out of couples. It’s disgusting, but it happens regularly. I won’t go into huge detail on this email, but I did write a blog post about this very subject and what you can do to avoid it happening to you - and you can read that here.
  • The next thing to do is to think about what you actually want from your wedding pictures. I know that sounds obvious but I ask that question all the time and not too many people have thought about it. It’s one thing to know that you want great wedding pictures but another entirely to know what you want from them. For example, do you want to look like you’re in a magazine or do you prefer natural and relaxed pictures? Do you want more focus on posed group-shots or do you just want a few posed and more candid shots? Do you want super-romantic-gazing-into-each-other’s-eyes pictures or is that not your style at all? Do you want lots of dancing shots from the reception or do they make you cringe? It’s important to think about these things because different photographers specialise in different styles. For example, while I specialise in a natural and no heavy poses style, others will specialise in couple posing. Therefore if you decide that you want your pictures to look like a wedding in OK magazine, I’m not your guy, but there’ll be someone else that is very much your photographer.
  • Once you have decided what you want, look for those kinds of images in photographers portfolios. If you want your pictures to be light and airy for example, there is little point in contacting a photographer that has a website full of mostly black and white heavy contrast images. They aren’t for you and you aren’t for them and should you end up hiring them, you aren’t going to be happy with what they deliver.
  • Once you’ve found a photographer that you’re pretty sure you like, try to imagine yourself in their pictures. If you get those happy feelings in your tummy when you imagine you and the love of your life in those pictures, you should be contacting that photographer.
  • If you’ve found the perfect photographer for you and then you see their prices and they are above your budget, that doesn’t mean it’s over. Lot’s of photographer’s offer payment plans and other solutions. I can only speak for myself, but I offer very flexible payment plans, gift codes so that friends and family can contribute towards your photography, and different packages to suit different budgets. If you are in love with a photographer’s work but they are out of budget, still contact them to see if they can offer options. What’s more important than the memories of the happiest day of your life? It’s worth an email to see if your perfect photographer can help you.

  • If you’d like to talk to me about these points or anything else, you can contact me here.

    Wedding Photography - Top 5 Tips To Avoid Getting Scammed.

    We need to talk a little bit about how people scam unsuspecting
    couples out of their hard-earned money when it comes to wedding photography -  and
    the top five things you can do to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you.

    You could be forgiven for not knowing that wedding
    photography scams exist – before I worked in the industry, I had no idea how
    common it was. 

    It is really common though – take a look at these screengrabs. These
    are all from one wedding group on Facebook. There are loads of these kind of
    groups, and similar complaints appear on all of them.

    Pretty crazy, right?

    Everything from taking your deposit and then disappearing, to taking full
    payment and not even turning up on the day.

    Here’s the good news, though.

    There is plenty that you can do to help ensure that it doesn’t happen to you.    

    Here are my top 5 tips to avoid the scammers and make sure you get photographs to treasure:

    1) Ask to see proof of Public Liability Insurance.

    This is a really good thing to ask, because no professional
    wedding photographer would dream of doing their job without PL Insurance. Also,
    a lot of venues insist on it, so it’s just something an actual photographer
    will have and will be able to send you very easily should you ask.
    A scammer, however, is really unlikely to bother going to the trouble of
    getting PL Insurance as very few couples ever ask for it.

    2) Ask to see some full wedding galleries.

    Believe it or not, it’s really easy and near enough free, for
    a scammer to build a really beautiful website using images they’ve stolen from
    the internet. Lots of great photographer’s post lots of gorgeous photos publicly.
     Very few of us post an entire gallery
    from a single wedding publicly, but we all have them saved on the cloud
    privately. A genuine photographer should be able to send you a link to a gallery
    full of images that are all from the same wedding. A scammer most probably won’t
    be able to do this.

    3) Meet your photographer.

    Most photographers really like to meet their couples before any money changes hands. Why? Simply put, we want to make sure we get along with you. In most cases your photographer will be with you all day long on your wedding day. Imagine
    how awkward that would be if you just didn’t get along with each other. For that
    reason, most of us like to meet the couple before a booking is officially made.
    It’s not always possible of course, distance and schedule clashes can make it
    very tricky. Even then, a video chat or at least a phone call is always an
    option and works nearly as well as a meeting.

    A real photographer would be very happy to meet / video
    chat with you. A scammer would likely prefer to have you send your money as
    soon as possible and would be way less keen to actually meet with you.

    4) Ask to talk to a previous bride of theirs.

    Reviews are great and of course you should check
    them before you hire someone to photograph your wedding. Most of the time they
    are trustworthy reviews from real brides. Not always though. Fake accounts can
    be created and fake reviews can be posted. That’s why, if you’re not sure about
    someone, I would encourage you to ask them if you can talk to a bride whose
    wedding they’ve already photographed. I personally have a couple of brides that
    are happy for someone thinking of booking me to drop them an email or a quick
    phone call.

    Perhaps not every photographer has a couple of brides at the ready like I do, and because
    of data protection it might take them a little while (they’ll need to get consent
    from the other person before they can pass their details on to you), but they
    should all be able to put you in touch with someone they have worked for

    5) If it seems to good to be true…

    Well, you know the next bit.
    One thing the majority of these scammed bride-to-be’s all had in common, is
    that they went for an ‘amazing deal’.
    Lots of really great photographers offer deals and discounts and all of that
    good stuff, so you don’t need to avoid every offer you see. You just need to be
    wary of the ones that seem too good. 

    There’s a lot that goes into photographing a wedding, it’s hard work and
    requires a lot skill. The work doesn’t stop after the day itself either. There
    are still hundreds of images to be edited, tweaked and delivered. A professional
    photographer’s price, regardless of any deal they happen to be running, will
    reflect the hard work and talent required.
    Many scammers like to panic people into sending money ASAP for fear of missing out on a crazy cheap deal.
    For example, if you see something like ‘a full day’s photography coverage for
    £250!’, ask yourself ‘why is it so cheap?’ There’s a reason. Does their work
    look amazing? If it does, then really ask yourself how it can be so cheap. Never
    find yourself in a position where you’re saying ‘I knew it was too
    good to be true’.

    Everyone wants beautiful photographs to remember their
    wedding day, and if you follow even some of these 5 steps, you should be able
    to safely avoid the scammers and find a great photographer to capture your
    special day perfectly.

    Genuine wedding photographers hate the scams just as much as you
    do. It gives the industry a bad name and makes people wary of everyone. 

    For that reason, no genuine wedding photographer will mind in the slightest if you
    take up a little of their time by asking them for the above information.

    If you are still worried about being scammed – and even if,
    for whatever reason, you have no interest in booking me as your photographer –
    please feel free to drop me an email here. 

    I would much rather spend some of my time exchanging a few emails and offering
    my advice to someone that doesn’t even want to book me, than see another post
    pop up in a Facebook group from a heartbroken bride with no wedding photos.

    Please feel free to share this post far and wide. The more people that are
    aware of these steps, the fewer people will get scammed and that can only be a
    good thing

    A Dublin City Hall Wedding - Lorna and Phil

    This wedding was a special one for me, for many reasons. It was my first non-UK wedding. It was my first Halloween wedding. Most importantly though, it was my brother’s wedding. Not many people get to photograph their little brother’s wedding, right? 
    It was an absolute joy to do, of course. The wedding was amazing - full of little touches and surprises - and both Lorna and Phil had the time of their lives with their family and friends.

    Here are a some shots from their big day.

    That’s all for now folks but I will post a few more over on the Instagram and Facebook pages, so feel free to follow along over there.

    Big thanks to all at Dublin City Hall and Clayton Ballsbridge for all of your help.

    Also to the Fagan family for all of your help and hospitality. Looking forward to seeing you all again soon.

    Huge congratulations to Lorna and Phil. Lots of love to you both x

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