Let’s face it, its not every day you get married.

It’s not like you’re always hiring photographers for every part of your life and have a mountain of experience in sourcing, interviewing and working with them. The reality is that for many couples, their wedding is their first experience in using a photographer’s services. So, where do you start if you have no idea what a wedding photographer does before, during and after a wedding? Here’s a few questions to ask yourself before you start your search.

1. What’s the most important part of our wedding day?

If you don’t have the budget for a full day photography coverage then knowing what’s important to you helps you work out which part of the day you must have a photographer present for.

2. What do we most want to remember?

Writing a list of things you want to remember about your wedding day will help you both work out how much coverage you’re going to need for the day, along with making sure that the photographer you hire is capable of capturing these things. If details are important to you, you want to be sure that the photographer has the time for detail shots as well as the talent to pull them off to your tastes. This is the same for low light reception photos, portrait sessions and ceremony photos. Does your photographer have the experience, equipment and talent to capture stunning photos in the situations you’re asking of them? Make sure they can show you images to prove it.

3. What style of photography do we like to see and what suits both our personalities and tastes?

This question for some can be the easiest to answer and for others the hardest. Do we like traditional, photojournalistic, creative, posed? What does all this mean anyway!? In reality, every wedding photographer needs to do a bit of all of these in order to cover the day properly. It’s impossible to pose every shot of the day and its impossible not to pose others. For example, if you want a group photo with family, it will have to be posed in some way shape or form and to cover a ceremony, you can’t be stopping half way through to pose for the photographer now can you? If you’re not sure how to answer this question, you’ll need to have a look around at some of the photographers online and take note of the styles you do and don’t like the look of. There is no wrong answer here, remember, its all about your personal tastes.

4. What should our budget be?

This one is important. Setting the right budget can be tricky but it’s more about how important the photography is to you as well as how much you can afford. Keep in mind however that after your wedding has been and gone, what will you have left to remind yourselves of it? Photographers have a wide range of options to choose from and although comparing them all can be hard and sometimes confusing, you just need to think about what you do and don’t want in terms of coverage and products and let that help form your decision. What will you do with your photos once you have them? Hang them on your wall? Display them on your computer? Pass down your album to your future grandchildren? Don’t be afraid to ask a photographer for their recommendations. Sometimes they can open you up to ideas that you hadn’t thought of.

Once you have these 4 questions answered you’ll find it much easier to know what you’re after in a photographer and you’ll also find it simple to narrow down the list to a small handful worth having a consultation with. Stay tuned for Part 2 where I will talk about things to prepare for and consider when you meet with your list of photographers.

Photography by Lara Luz Photography

Ms Gingham says: Some pretty handy tips here by Lara. Life is made a little easier thanks to some expert advice.

About Lara Luz: “I like to photograph stuff. It’s my raison d’être. I prefer it though, if what I’m taking photos of is something alive. Even better, if it’s people – people and their stories. That’s when I am in my element.”