Choosing A Wedding Photographer: 5 Great Tips

A bride and groom in Daviot Woods in Inverness overlaid with the text 'choosing a wedding photographer: 5 great tips'

Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when planning your wedding. This person is going to be around you all day on the most important day of your life, and you’re going to look back on their images for decades to come. If you make the wrong choice, you’re going to regret your decision for a very long time indeed. So, here are 5 great tips for avoiding disaster and choosing the right photographer for your special day!

1. Choose a wedding photographer who makes you feel comfortable

Choosing a wedding photographer isn’t a case of simply admiring someone’s work and booking them for your big day. Bear in mind that this person will be hovering around you from the hair and make-up session in the morning right through to the dancing kicking off at night. You need to actually like the human behind the camera!

Is your photographer going to make you feel comfortable throughout the day? The morning bridal preparations can be quite intimate, especially when you’re getting into the dress. Will your photographer slot into this environment, be discreet and make you feel at ease? Consider your couple’s portrait session and your group photos. If your photographer makes you and your guests feel awkward, then this is going to come across in the photos; something you’ll definitely want to avoid.

A woman helping a bride with her necklace in a bedroom at the Kincraig Castle Hotel near Invergordon

Choose a wedding photographer who makes you feel ‘in safe hands’ and can get even the most camera-shy couple to smile in a genuine way (and not like Chandler in his engagement photos in ‘Friends’!).

2. Book a trusted and experienced professional wedding photographer

Don’t underestimate the value of booking a trusted and experienced professional. I recently heard from a wildlife photographer who had been booked to photograph a wedding. This made me die inside! You wouldn’t hire an Italian chef to cook an Indian meal, right? Please don’t ask your Uncle Bob to photograph your wedding just because he owns a big camera and loves photographing dolphins.

I can’t overstate the commitment needed to become a professional wedding photographer, and the true value of years of experience. This expertise feeds into every aspect of the day, from creating beautiful compositions; to lighting people correctly and making them look their best; and handling unexpected challenges such as the Scottish weather, poorly lit or cramped venues, and crazy scenarios like another wedding taking place in the same hotel at the exact same time and the brides tripping over each other (I’m not joking… this actually happened).

How do you know a photographer is a trusted, experienced professional? Read reviews and ask your married friends for advice. Don’t go looking for recommendations on Facebook – you’ll be inundated with responses from the pro photographers and the Uncle Bobs of this world.

A bride holding her wedding dress and descending the stairs while watched by her father in the foyer of Mar Lodge

3. Don’t undervalue customer service

I firmly believe that a first-class service and beautiful images are equally important. After all, even the most stunning images would be tainted by a negative experience. When you look back on your wedding photographs, you’re not only going to remember the events of the day; you’re also going to remember how you felt.

You don’t want abrupt, impersonal emails sent from a robot; you don’t want to worry whether your photographer will actually show up on the day; and you certainly don’t want to be kept waiting for your images for an interminable length of time.

Choose a photographer who has energy and enthusiasm for your wedding; someone who will make you feel valued; a professional who will step up and deliver for you no matter what.

A bride in a white dress and a groom in a kilt and green jacket standing beside trees and flowers in Daviot Woods

4. Look at wedding photographers’ images with a critical eye

I didn’t want to state the obvious in this blog post and say, “make sure you love your photographer’s images!” That’s a no-brainer. I want to encourage you to develop a critical eye in your search for a wedding photographer and question why you love someone’s work (or why you don’t).

Remember Uncle Bob? Can you spot the difference between his images and those captured by an experienced professional? Here are a few pointers…

  • Are you able to see details in people’s faces, particularly in their eyes?
  • Are people lit with soft, flattering light, or can you see harsh shadows on their faces?
  • Do people look genuinely comfortable and relaxed in the images, or can you see lots of strained expressions, hunched shoulders and clenched hands?
  • Can you spot wardrobe malfunctions in the group photos? Look at the guys in kilts. Are their jackets riding up? Have their buttonholes flopped over? Are their ties wonky? Has someone’s sock fallen down?
  • Are the backgrounds clutter-free or can you see distractions like parked cars, fire extinguishers and random people?
  • Do the photos look straight or are there lots of weird angles, particularly indoors? Does the hotel look squint? If so, this means the camera wasn’t level.
  • Do you like the colour, brightness, tone and overall feel of the images? Is the wedding dress white?!

If you’re not bothered by this stuff, then book Uncle Bob and save yourself a few quid. However, if these things are going to niggle you every time you catch sight of your wedding photos on the mantelpiece, then book the trusted, experienced, professional wedding photographer.

A bride and groom holding hands and walking on a path in the woods at Ness Islands in Inverness

5. See your wedding photography as an investment

After your wedding day, you’ll be left with memories, rings on your fingers, and photographs. You’ll probably never wear the dress again, the cake will be eaten before the last dance, and the flowers will wilt within a week. Your photos, however, will be with you forever.

You’re choosing a wedding photographer, not booking your annual boiler service! You’re preserving your precious wedding memories to cherish for the rest of your lives and to pass down to future generations of your family. Sure, you need to be mindful of your budget, but this really isn’t where you want to skimp and save. Look beyond the price point and see the lifetime investment you’re making in your wedding photography.

A bride and groom sitting and holding hands during their wedding ceremony on the lawn at Pitcalzean House

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