One of the first questions you need to ask any wedding photographer is are they qualified? And also, to which standard are they qualified and by which organisation. Anyone who can prove their qualifications, should be fine, organisations such as the MPA (The Master of Photographers Association) are what you need to look for.
Does the photographer have insurance? You’ll want to know that you’re chosen wedding photographer is fully serious about their chosen occupation, they will need public liability, professional indemnity and if they hire a photographer’s assistant – either on a part time or full time basis, they will need employers liability too.
This may seem like a non-important issue to you when you’re planning your wedding, but if you’re paying a great deal of money for a wedding photographer, you’ll want to ensure they are a professional outfit.
Does the photographer have a back-up plan? The question you’ll really want to ask is, what happens if the photographer can’t make it, and let’s face it, even on your most important day of your life sometimes things can go wrong, and you’ll want to ensure that the photographer will have a back-up photographer should the worst happen. If they don’t then what is their plan b? If they don’t have one or can’t offer any assurances, do you really want to gamble with the pictures of the big day?
Is the person you’ve actually met and discussed your wedding photos with actually going to be the photographer on your wedding day? Sometimes people are happy to discuss your options, take a deposit and then inform you it could be one of three people who turn up to photograph your wedding. If you’re happy with that, then there is no reason not to book them, after all it does offer you some sort of assurance that someone will turn up, but if you don’t know who, then they may not be the person you really want.
How much are they charging? You have to be aware that a photographer may well quote a set price to turn up and snap away all day, but then there may be an additional cost for prints, photo albums, an additional photographer perhaps? Check the price you’re quoted and ensure you’re fully aware of what your are, and are not getting for your money. In real terms, you get what you pay for, so consider budgeting between £500 and £1000 for a high quality wedding photographer.
Finally, check their references. Don’t be shy, ask for a phone number of a previous bride or groom, they won’t mind talking to you about their wedding day, and if they were happy with the photographer then they’ll certainly be happy to recommend them to another bridal party. Ask to see plenty of photographs from previous weddings. They should have an excellent portfolio of photos from a number of weddings ready to show you. Double check with them if you have any special requirements, all wedding photographers have one or two special shots they really like to take, but if you have some special ideas too, make sure you tell them and ensure they will remember to take those photos on your special day.
So once you’ve booked your wedding date, and organised the wedding venue, take plenty of time to meet wedding photographers and discuss with them what you really want to capture on your big day. These people are artistic and no two ever have the same ideas on how to capture a wedding day, so don’t rush, ask them these questions and select your favourite photographer then relax and enjoy your wedding day knowing that the memories are being captured forever by a professional.