How to Appriase A Wedding Photographer
Okay, so you've probably looked through quite a few wedding photography websites and seen so much beautiful work from some great photographers. It all looks great to you, but how do you appraise their work in the most meaningful way for you and your fiancé, so that you don't end up going round in circles, undecided about which photographers you should get in touch with.
Hopefully this blog will help.
Here is a trusted 3 step method for identifying your ideal shortlist of photographers. Are you ready to start narrowing your options quick-style?
Step 1: Look at a photographer’s online gallery the right way
Trust your instinct.
Before you click through to their gallery, clear your mind try not to overthink anything. As you look through their photos tune in to how they make you feel rather then the way they look. If you feel good then this is a great sign, if you don’t, move on.
If you are resonating with the majority of a photographer's gallery and they feel right for you and your fiancé, then you have found a potential photographer.
Step 2: Appraise one or two full weddings
This one’s about storytelling
It’s only natural that a photographer will showcase their best work in their online gallery, but you need to get a proper idea of what they actually deliver to their clients. Most experienced wedding photographers will show some full examples of weddings although sometimes you might have to request this.
This time you’ll be looking at several hundred photos of the same wedding. Naturally there will be some repetition of subject matter and some shots will be specific to that client, but ask yourself a few questions.
- Does the whole set of photographs tell the story of the wedding day in a similar way to what you feel you need from your wedding photos?
- Would you like your photographer to be capturing natural interactions that ‘just happen’ or do you want them to set up stunning ’set-piece’ shots?
- Would you be okay with the photographer taking charge of people and setting up 'manufactured' shots, perhaps telling all the bridesmaids to do “Jazz hands” in unison, or would you prefer that the moments were left to happen organically and tell the story that way? Do you want a mix of these things?
- Does the overall balance of shots feel right for you and your fiancé so that in 10 years time you’re going to be able to enjoy reliving the day through the photographs, with no regrets photography-wise?
If you ask yourself these types of questions then you’re going to know instinctively who’s delivering the type of results you need to achieve from your wedding photography. These photographers go on the shortlist.
Step 3: Find out if you actually like them
The most important bit!
Ok so you’ve now done the ground work and narrowed down your options quite a bit. But now you need to actually find out if you like the photographer. Not their work; them, as a person. If you’re ‘on this’ then that’s great, but in my experience some people haven't really thought about how important this is.
When I hear about people regretting their choice of wedding photographer this is usually the crucial missing link, and it’s actually pretty simple to do.
Again, my advice is trust your instinct. But remember that the website is only really a part of their representation. Ideally you really need to be chatting to them, or even better meeting in person to really know if they are right for you. You will know if you ‘gel’ with them and even if you LOVE their work, if you don’t feel you like them as a person then move on, because you’d be asking that person to be with you for your whole wedding day and if you are annoyed by them or have doubts, the photos will suffer. No photographer is right for everyone and a personality mis-match is the last thing you want on your wedding day.
So that's the 3 step method to appraise a wedding photographer. It's a little bit of work, but if you use it you're going to have your shortlist narrowed down much quicker.
Okay; here's where I put myself on the block...clear your mind and appraise my work using the method above. Click the button at the bottom to view my gallery and if you don't quickly resonate with the photos, move on. If you do - move to step 2. If you still feel like we might be a good match, why not click 'Enquire'?
What you can expect from me if you like my work and choose to get in touch:
I always encourage potential clients to meet with me in-person and as you hopefully know by now, I offer a free, no-obligation engagement photoshoot as part of the meeting. OK, so it’s a little more work for me, but both you and I REALLY get to know if we’re right for each other, because the proof is in the photographs and in your experience of doing the photoshoot. The way I see it is that it’s an extra thing I can do to give you confidence in what you need from your photographer, and if we ‘gel’ and make some pictures that you love then we're a great match.