Seven Key Points to Consider When Choosing a Destination Wedding Photographer.
I personally believe a wedding photographer is one of the most important suppliers you will choose for your wedding. After all your wedding photographs (and wedding film) will be the only tangible things to remind you of your wedding day.
Undoubtedly, the easiest way to choose a wedding photographer is through personal recommendations. However, if you are getting married abroad, unless you have friends or relatives who have married in the same location, this isn’t possible.
Wedding forums can provide an excellent source of information, advice and recommendations, but remember that every person’s expectations and experience is different and because forum submissions are fairly anonymous, they can be biased or unreliable.
Often your choice of photographer may be heavily influenced by budget requirements and constraints. My advice is that if at all possible; make this one area where you are not willing to compromise.
Recently, the destination wedding photography business has exploded, with some photographers offering their services for the cost of travel and accommodation only, as a way to build their destination wedding portfolio. While this can be a plus for your budget, there are a number of other considerations to take into account before you jump in and sign on the dotted line.
At the end of the day it’s a matter of personal choice, however keep in mind that whether you choose to fly in your photographer or not, the most important thing is to select a photographer whose photographs have the power to fill you with emotions, to make you laugh, cry and gasp with surprise long after your wedding day has passed!
You will, no doubt, have invested so much of yourself in your wedding day, both financially and emotionally. You will have dedicated time to choosing the right location, the perfect dress, inviting the people you care for most and organising the many special personal touches that will make the day truly unique and truly yours. Your wedding photography should convey this story!
I highly recommend taking a little time to read the following guide. It outlines the key considerations and wedding photographer questions you need to ask before you booking your photographer. It’s designed to ensure that whoever you eventually choose to capture your photography should be the perfect photographer for you, so that on your wedding day, you can relax and have fun, certain of the beautiful photographs that will be yours to treasure forever!
Choosing a Wedding Photographer – Key Points
- Photography Website
- Wedding Galleries
- Photography Style
- Photography Services
- Client Testimonials
- Getting to Know Your Photographer
- Booking & Contracts
When choosing a photographer abroad, the easiest and most popular way is via the internet. A good photographer will have invested in their web ‘presence’ so will be easy to find via search engines, photography associations and wedding websites. Your chosen photographer should have an impressive website. Photographers work with pictures and visual representations and with latest technology, their image is important so their own website should be an example of their good taste, creative flair and technical ability.
Destination wedding photographers must use their websites in place of a studio, to sell themselves and their services to potential clients. A good photographer’s website will be a virtual studio, where you will be able to view a wide variety of their work and sample the services and products they offer.
When viewing a wedding photographer’s website, there are a number of very important questions you can consider, to help you select the photographer or photographers that are most suited to you and your wedding…
Does the photographer provide examples of a large and varied selection of their work?
By seeing many different examples of a photographer’s work, and by seeing whole weddings rather than just one or two beautiful images, you will have a better idea of the consistent quality and creativity of their work and understand whether they are able to turn any situation into beautiful photography, rather than simply taking advantage of perfect conditions.
Does each wedding tell its own unique story?
Has the photographer captured fleeting moments?
Can you feel emotions captured in their work?
Do the photographs, and the moments and emotions they represent, look natural and feel real?
You will, no doubt, have your preferred photography style, for example traditional, reportage, contemporary or artistic. Does the photographer’s style ‘fit’ you and your wedding day?
Does the photographer’s natural creativity and flair shine though their work?
Does the photographer also offer aspects of photography that particularly appeal to you, such as black & white photographs, or digital retouching?
Does the photographer provide clear, detailed information about the services they offer and do they freely volunteer full and final costs for these services?
Do you understand how many final photographs are included in each photography service on offer, and how many hours your photographer will be with you?
Is an album included in the photographer’s service?
Will you have digital copies of your final wedding images?
Are you able to have copies of all of the images shot during your wedding service?
Will the images you receive be in a suitably high resolution for printing purposes?
Will you be allowed to print or use your images after your wedding without having to ask your photographer’s permission, or will any reprints have to be ordered from your photographer?
Can a photographer provide client testimonials and/or put you directly in contact with previous clients?
Does the photographer publish client testimonials on their website? And, are you able to view pictures from the weddings for which the photographer provides testimonials?
Getting to Know Your Photographer
It isn’t always possible to meet with wedding photographers before booking, especially if you decide to get married abroad.
Also, if you are marrying during the wedding high season, more popular photographers are unlikely to be available to meet with you in the days before your wedding. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t build up a relationship with your photographer!
Email, Skype and the good old-fashioned telephone allow you the opportunity to get to know your photography team and to help them get to know you.
A great photographer will love hearing from couples who tell them lots about themselves and their wedding day, as it will help them to understand you, your style and your wishes.
Getting to know you – electronically, and in person – is a very important part of the process for many photographers. The more relaxed and comfortable you feel in the company of your photographers and in front of their cameras, the better and more natural your wedding photographs will be!
Your perfect photographer will, undoubtedly, have extensive experience in photographing weddings so should be easily able to advise you on ideal photography spots near to/at your chosen location.
They should also be able to offer advice on timings, light, weather and countless other aspects, and they should be happy to share this information with you.
A photographer should be willing to answer any questions you have. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed or uncomfortable asking any questions you have. Your ideal photographer will be someone who wants you to be fully informed and to have full peace of mind!
Booking & Contracts
Does the photographer explain the full process from confirming your booking to receiving your final photographs, with details of the costs and timings involved?
How do you confirm your booking with your chosen photographer? Is a deposit required?
Does the photographer provide a contract for you to complete and sign? Does this contract contain precise details of the services you have chosen, the full costs involved and the entire process and applicable timings?
Does the contract also detail the terms and conditions of service and what will happen if for example, your photographer falls ill on your wedding day or if you need to cancel your booking?
Does the contract allow your photographer to cancel your booking and under what circumstances? What is the photographer’s refund policy?
We hope these considerations and wedding photographer questions will help you to shortlist and select your wedding photographer.
As you visit websites, view albums, chat to photographers and peruse beautiful wedding photographs, remember to have fun and enjoy the experience!
The above Wedding Photographer Questions and Photographs were very kindly supplied by Alfonso Longobardi Photography Studio