We live in an age where we have so many choices, choosing a wedding photographer can be a difficult task.
The main differences between each photographer are style, personality and pricing.
There are lots of different styles of wedding photography. If you want minimal posed photographs, look for reportage or natural wedding photography. Some photographers don’t do any posed pictures or group shots and are purely documentary. An amazing photographer from the States Tyler Wirkin does just this. I did some online training with and he doesn’t get involved in anything, even if things are going wrong. He just photographs it.
If you like the look of very posed photographs, look at editorial or traditional photographers. Editorial wedding photography is akin to a magazine shoot and involves carefully posed and often lit photographs.
Styles like desaturated greens and brown tones, dark and moody are often more about how a photographer edits their photographs. The general practice is to photograph using a RAW format, or digital negative. Each photographer then applies their editing style to the RAW photographs along with other tweaks before exporting the files to a jpeg format that is the finished product.
Wedding photographers are usually one man bands, an individual running their own business and the person you book is who shoots your wedding. Other’s run their business differently and have other photographers shooting on their behalf. If you are planning on having a wedding photographer who is going to be there all day, it helps if you get along with them. You also need to trust that they understand your wants and needs from your wedding day photographs. It’s a huge responsibility to photograph a once-in-a-lifetime event and deliver the goods.
Usually, you get what you pay for. The cheaper end of the market is mostly inexperienced wedding photographers looking to build their portfolios. Don’t be surprised if you see some high-end luxury venues in their portfolios. Most wedding photographers will attend training days to build portfolios. One of my photographer friends attended a wedding fayre where 4 other photographers had the same model in the pictures they were displaying! It can be a gamble to go for a cheap wedding photographer who may not be able to recreate the images they have in their portfolio. You could get a bargain. You could end up with very few quality images and key moments missing.
Pricing doesn’t always run linear with the amount of experience a photographer has, or the quality of their work. Photography like anything visual is subjective, what one person loves, another will not!
2022 marks my 12th year of photographing weddings for a living, so I feel like I know plenty about wedding photography now. The more experience I have, the more I realise how naive I was when I started out. I had limited kit, no backup equipment and no tricks up my sleeve to enable me to capture some beauty in less than favourable conditions. I was fortunate in the first two years with the weather. If I hadn’t been, there would have been a real chance of messing up someone’s wedding photographs. I photograph on average 25 weddings a year and keep my skills up to date through ongoing training with some of the world’s best photographers as well as second shooting for other photographers.
Sharp, clear pictures with bright skin tones and eyes, good contrast and natural skin tones. Timeless colours that are not going to look dated in a year’s time when the next trends come along. I want to see eyes and real happy moments, with a connection between the couple rather than being disjointed. I studied photography back in the day when digital wasn’t an option, at most you had 36 exposures to get right on the film to have all the detail for when you hand processed your prints in the lab.
Each wedding is different. Some are light and airy, some are bold and bright, some are dark with pockets of light. Some people are elegant, some are quirky, some are crazy, and some are shy. This is why it’s so important to meet a prospective wedding photographer to see if they are the right fit for you.