Finding the perfect wedding photographer - what to ask them and what to ask yourself

Ah wedding photographers...we're a funny breed! From the bossy and domineering ones who take centre stage, to the meek and mild mouses whose squeaks can't be heard when directing groups shots; it seems like everyone knows someone who knows someone who wasn't happy with their chosen photographer.  

There are plenty of choices when it comes to wedding photography in Chelmsford and across Essex, so how can you be sure that you book not only a reputable and reliable photographer but one that is the right fit for you? First off, there a few questions you can ask yourself when first meeting or talking to your prospective snapper; 

Did they talk more than listen? 

An instant and natural rapport is one thing - if you instantly hit it off with a photographer and couldn't stop chatting about your wedding theme, honeymoon preparations and last night's Game of Thrones episode then fantastic - you may have met your photographic match.  However, if you were bombarded with swatches of photo album colour samples, endless accounts of where and who they have photographed and were not asked one thing about your proposal or wedding plans, it might be that your money means more than your memories where they are concerned.  It also indicates a strong possibility that your big day ends up being a lot more about them than it does about you. 

 Me me me! A good photographer will ask about you and not brag about themselves.  

Me me me! A good photographer will ask about you and not brag about themselves.  

Do we feel comfortable in front of them?

Not only is your photographer with you on one of the most special days of your life, they are also going to be helping you to look your best in front of the camera. If you are self-conscious about any aspect of the way you look, do you feel that you can tell this photographer your concerns without fear of judgement or ridicule? If not - however stunning their images are - you may not enjoy the experience of being photographed by them. 

 Your perfect photographer will make you feel so comfortable you'll forget they are even there. 

Your perfect photographer will make you feel so comfortable you'll forget they are even there. 

 

Can we identify with the couples in their promotional images? 

When viewing a photographer's work, look closely at the couples featured - can you see yourselves in similar poses and with similar expressions? Do the couples featured vary in age and body type or does there seem to be a common trait amongst all couples? Whilst having a strong consistent style to their work is a sign of a good photographer, they should be able to recreate this style and produce high quality images featuring couples of all age groups, genders and body types. 

 Wedding photography is about telling your love story not documenting your age, size, shape or sexuality. 

Wedding photography is about telling your love story not documenting your age, size, shape or sexuality. 

So...you've found a photographer who has genuinely taken an interest in you, makes you feel comfortable and seems to have shot couples just like you time and time again - awesome! Now...before you hand over that deposit make sure you've asked them a couple of key questions...

What happens if you are ill on the day?

A good photographer should have a contingency plan regarding a back-up photographer. I am fortunate to be part of a network of photographers who are happy and willing to step in for one another at short notice should the worst happen. An answer along the lines of "Don't worry - I never get ill!" should be enough to make you pop that credit card back into the safety of your wallet faster than you can say "I Don't"! 

 Weddings are hard work - if your photographer isn't feeling up to it they should have a contingency plan in place for a replacement shooter. 

Weddings are hard work - if your photographer isn't feeling up to it they should have a contingency plan in place for a replacement shooter. 

 

What happens if your camera breaks?

All photographers should be bringing a back-up camera with them on the most important day of your life. At all weddings I not only carry a back-up camera but also at least 3 spare batteries, 4 memory cards and my battery charger. It's not good for my back but it's great for your peace of mind! 

 Broken equipment shouldn't cause alarm - just a momentary pause in shooting whilst a replacement is picked up and switched on. 

Broken equipment shouldn't cause alarm - just a momentary pause in shooting whilst a replacement is picked up and switched on. 

How soon after the wedding will we get our images?

There is no right or wrong answer to this - some photographers pride themselves on turning photos round in a matter of days whilst others can take more than a month. When asking this question, what you need to look out for is 1) the photographer does not give a vague wishy-washy answer (which would indicate a lack of organisation and consistency) and 2) that whatever answer they give you - from a week to three months - you are willing to wait that long for your images to be ready. 

 Photographers vary in how long they take to get your images back to you - make sure they give a firm timeframe and that you are happy with the timeframe they give. 

Photographers vary in how long they take to get your images back to you - make sure they give a firm timeframe and that you are happy with the timeframe they give. 

There are of course lots of other questions that you might want to ask your photographer before you book them, but these 6 questions will provide you with a strong sense of whether you have found your perfect shooter, or not.

I hope that this post has gone a little way towards helping you choose from the countless amount of wedding photographers available. If you have any questions for me (about your wedding photography in Chelmsford and not Game of Thrones!) then please leave a comment or get in touch - my contact details are below. 

Ross 

www.rosswillsherphotography.co.uk

info@rosswillsherphotography.co.uk 

facebook.com/rosswillsherphotography

@RWillsherPhoto

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