How to pick a photographer that wont screw up your photos

dont have your photos ruined by a bad choice

The venue is booked, the registrar is sorted and now you have the dreaded task of having to find someone who will capture it. where do you begin?

where do i start?

It’s a scary task, there are no reputable chains out there and photography is a unique individual artistic choice. everyone is different and finding a photographer who won’t ruin your most precious memories is a difficult choice. 

At the end of this guide, we will give you our free template to send to any wedding photographer to rule out the rubbish for you, all for free.

 

 

 

where do i start my search?

Recommendations, friends of friends are always a great start but if you are reading this then it’s likely you don’t have this option. You are here reading this for a reason.

But don’t worry, this article is designed to give you the facts to do your own homework.

Watch out for stock images

There are plenty, and i mean plenty of photographers that use stock images on the website.

What is a stock image – They have essentially just googled “wedding pictures” and steal them off google. Yes! I kid you not… it happens!

A simple google reverse image search of a few images on the website will tell you if these images are stolen.

This is an immediate red flag!! No photographer should ever have the need to do this.

avoid asking on facebook

There are no doubt people out there on your Facebook who know someone’s uncle’s friends sisters brother who does wedding photography. But are they truly going to give you a recommendation based on personal experience or are they just naming people they know?

Photography is unique to every photographer and the question you should be asking is who works best for what you and what fits your ideal wedding style.

Don’t be asking “does anyone know someone who does wedding photography”. Your only casting a net for those who struggle to find bookings to spam your inbox telling you congratulations on your engagement.

You need to find your perfect fit, a personality that matches your guests along with a style that suits your taste. 

You are already making headway , I mean where are you now? You’re on a wedding photographers website? check out my work and see if it fits your style. But for now let’s keep learning! 

 

so what do i need to check?

Cost is going to be your number one driver – photography ranges from £400-£4000 for weddings but why does it vary so much? How on earth can someone charge so much for a day’s work you are probably thinking right?

more than just a days work

Let’s nip this in the bud right now – Photography isn’t a day’s work – a typical wedding takes around 30-40 hours to complete. From venue visits to planning meetings and to editing.

It’s probably the only supplier who will continue to do work on your wedding after the wedding its-self (besides videography) – whilst the DJ packs up and goes home, the photo booth is dismantled and the singing waiters are having breakfast. The photographer is only just starting to get to work on your memories, for them the job is only just getting started.

For a more in-depth understanding of photography – click here to view our article on why wedding photography is so expensive.

 

so how come some do it for £500?

Quite simply corners are being cut somewhere, whether its backup equipment or time on editing or they are outsourcing the editing perhaps to an unknown company. 

Good wedding photography starts at £800 

Why do some charge £3k+ then?

It’s a buyer’s market – experience, style and demand play a part in it. How much you want that photographer determines how much you will pay. Some have very unique styles that only they do, whilst others have 20 years of experience and 500+ reviews and won’t let you down. 

 

 

so tell me... how do i know who is good?

Quite honestly – for someone with no experience in the technical aspects of photography you are going to struggle to see the flaws in someone’s work until now thanks to this guide. 

how to asses their work?

This is the inside track to becoming your own expert! Read carefully as this will give you the guidance to fully judge people for yourself.

 

1 – Do the photos look good? Are they in focus, blurred, are they grainy, zoom right in – is everything sharp?

2 – 
Colouring – how are the colours? do they look as you want them to? Do they look really off? perhaps that’s the photographer’s style – maybe it is your cup of tea! But check it’s what you want before you go any further.

For me – I always go full vibrance and full colour so photos pop to show their true colours.

But the style is “each to their own” some photographers go very dark and moody and some remove colour altogether. The style you want needs to be true to how you want your photos to be.

3. What out for black and white mania – Unless you want it of course.

Making an image black and white is traditionally a photographer’s get-out jail card for when the picture has been taken badly. Now don’t get me wrong… Black and white sometimes look incredible! But when you start to see heavy use of it (particularly at night) then this is when you should start to question the abilities.

I like to save black and white images for pure emotion images, to make the emotion the focus of the image and nothing else.

Like the image below – the room was very white and bright, and I felt the father’s emotion was lost in everything else.

We look at that same image in colour – does it have the same effect? You decide for yourself. In colour, the first thing your eyes are drawn to is the bride’s skin tone, and then to her flowers in the corner. it just does not have that same powerful look.

But each to their own! For moments like this, I always give couples both a colour & black and white and let them choose.

4 – Backup equipment – Your photographer has to come prepared for the worst – a kit bag for a photographer exceeds £5-10k and this is usually because they have lots of backup equipment. this is covered in the free email template in regards to what to ask that we give you for free at the end.

5 – Moments

If you think I caught the above moment by chance you are wrong. 

I asked the father to face the window, brought the bride out and have him turn around for maximum effect. As a photographer, you can’t always just wait for moments to happen! you have to chase them and orchestrate them. because moments like this are crucial and extracting the maximum amount of emotion changes the whole dynamic of the photo.

Ensure you can see moments like this in their work as this will dictate they have the courage, planning and mindset to go out and chase them.

Photography is 75% camera work and 25% about being a director on the day.

You can’t have someone timid who takes a “full laidback approach” and truly does just sit on the side-line all day and waits for these moments to happen.

You don’t want these moments to be missed as they will stay with you forever.

6 – Are the skies blue?

May sound like I am being crazy here! Without getting into the technical details being able to capture a blue sky along a fully lit couple needs additional equipment and a flash needs to be set up.

Let’s look at this couple, both photos were taken 2-3 minutes apart – one was without flash as it was a “caught in the moment” shot and at this point i’d have rather captured the moment than worried about the sky.

And the other image – well for that I had more time and got the flash in motion.

The difference in the sky is obvious.

The power of a blue sky comes from the technique and knowing how to use your equipment fast.

If the sky was blue on your day then it should be blue in your photos.

This is what separates the good from the brilliant and only half of the photographers will do this on a wedding day.

And now you know the inside secret!

7 – Posing

Knowing to pose a couple to give a natural look to the picture is an art form in itself! When you look around photos just look closely at the pose it’s self.

Does it look awkward, do the couple look natural and relaxed?

Let’s look at this simple image below, the bride is holding her flowers for something to do…. they are looking at each other and I asked the groom to put his hands in his pocket. Looks effortless and natural, doesn’t it?

This isn’t an accident.

It involves 2 things

1 – Being able to have a couple who feel fully relaxed around you.

2 – Picking out and giving a few pointers to the couple.

Now let’s look at another one…

Do you notice any problems?

At first glance, it looks ok – but then when you look a little closer his hands look a little unnatural and once you see it – you can’t unsee it I bet!

I’m not afraid to admit my mistakes!

But the expressions on their faces outweigh the error. it’s still a nice photo.

8 – Party time shots

Night time and disco shots, the lights descend and the DJ has lights going off everywhere. It’s a challenging environment, to say the least, if not a photographer’s worst nightmare.

Check the night shots (if they even show any) to find out how they handle party time shots. (if of course, you are bothered about this)

A good camera and some skill and technique are what give the best night shots! Look out for photographers who just obliterate the room with a flash losing that party effect.

Be mindful – Some photographers go after the first dance – if you want some shots of the evening side some may charge you more for this whilst others will include an hour or two as standard.

Something for you to check.

ask to view an album

Don’t just go off on the shots on the website, of course they are only going to display the best. Dig a little deeper you are entitled to view a full album.

A photographer owns the full copyright to any photos he/she takes so there is nothing to stop you showing any of their previous work.

Ask to see a full album as part of your request (We have this covered in the template below)

So now you have the inside secrets!

You now know what to look for! you are a step ahead of the rest and no one can fool you.

But how do you word all this?

Our free template gives you everything you need to ask a photographer in one email, it asks all the questions AND GIVES YOU THE ANSWERS TO EXPECT BACK! It’s FOOL PROOF.

It will seed out the inexperienced ones and leave you with a selection of photographers you can trust.

And best of all. ITS FREE for you to use! as many times as you want

Copy and paste the below and amend as you see fit

Hello! We love your work and just wanted to find out some more information about how you operate.

 – How long do the photos take to get back?
 – Are the digital images extra or included?
 – Do you stay after the first dance?
 – Do you have multiple cameras?
– Do your cameras have backup memory card slots?
 – Are you ok with shots when it gets dark?
– Do we get to have any planning meetings?
 – Have you photographed at our venue before? or will you be visiting the venue beforehand?
– What gallery do you use to deliver the images?

We look forward to hearing from you

the answers

And if you dont hear back, take it as a blessing as they probably knew they couldn’t provide good answers.

– How long do the photos take to get back?
4-8 weeks is a good amount of time, this is entirely dependent on you though – you may be happy to wait longer

Anything above 4 months is a little extreme 


 – Are the digital images extra or included?
Most photographers deliver images digitally and give you them all these days but some charge you extra for the digital copy of the photos. 

 – Do you stay after the first dance?
You decide if this is important to you.

 – Do you have multiple cameras?
100% – a no-go without it – if a camera fails you can say goodbye to all your photos.

– Do your cameras come with backup memory card slots?
Low-budget people may not have cameras like this (providing they have at least 2 cameras though that’s the important factor! Memory cards do fail at some point) but I would expect a Yes from anyone charging above £1000.

 – Are you ok with shots when it gets dark?
You decide if this is important to you. personal preference. 

– Do we get to have any planning meetings?
Essential – Better still make sure you have a chat with them before paying any deposit. It’s important you actually like them.

 – Have you photographed at our venue before? or will you be visiting the venue beforehand?
A photographer won’t of photographed at every venue, but providing they will visit the venue beforehand to get an idea of things it just shows they are willing to make sure everything goes ok on the day. If the venue is far away from them they may just turn up earlier on day to scope out the venue.


– What gallery do you use to deliver the images?
Dropbox and weTransfer just show signs of inexperience – it doesn’t look great to be blunt it just shows a lack of keeping up with the times.

Pictime & Pixie set are the leading gallery providers, here is an example of one just to show how they look

https://client.fabiophotography.co.uk/-charlotteadam1/gallery

Pricing Plans

This week only - save up to £300 on gold and platinum package

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Special offer

£150 discount on all packages - Offer ends thursday

enquire today and secure your discount -

booking must be fully confirmed before end of july

what's included

All packages come with these great features!

✯ Pre-planning meetings before the wedding
To find out what’s really important to you.

✯ Professional Photographer (me!)
Experienced, professional and most importantly fun

✯ Your personal online gallery
To showcase and download your high res watermark free images and share with guests

✯ 2-4 week turnaround
No waiting around for months for your photos.

✯ Every image edited
All images will be professionally edited to my signature style

✯ 350/400+ Images
Silver package typically return around 350 images whilst Gold/Platinum packages will return 500 however this is a minimum. I simply send as many as i can.

✯Wedding support prior to your big day
From ideas, planning, suppliers and more i am with you every step of the way and access to guides ive written to get the most out your photos
✯ Inclusive travel within 2 Hours of Leeds
Any accomodation and travel fees are inclusive of the price (Small charges apply outside of 2 hours)
✯ Coverage till after the first dance

I wont be vanishing after the first dance but instead will be capturing some of the evening antics, i typically a little after the first dance but if there are extras such as sparklers and any night shots you want i stay till the job is done

Availability notice

2024 – Fully Booked – You can check anyway – off peak i may be able to help but summer is full 

2025 – Almost full (Summer has a couple of dates left – Spring/Autumn has good availability)

2026 – Good availability at present

Please feel free to enquire anyway and i will let you know either way

Digital packages

Digital only packages  – Where your images are returned to you in digital format via your online gallery

Silver

The important bits 
Half day coverage – Digitals

✯ All of the above

✯ 8 Hours – (Ceremony till first dance coverage or bridal prep till speeches)

✯ 350+ Images

 

£1100


Gold

Bridal prep till late
All day coverage – Digitals

✯ All of the above

✯ Bridal prep

✯ 500+ Images

✯ Coverage till 1-2 hours after first dance

Currently on offer this week- save £250

 

£1300
£1550
 

album packages

Digital & Album packages – receive your images in a digital format plus a printed wedding album

Platinum

Platinum package
All day coverage + Digitals & and album

✯ All of the above
✯Coverage from Bridal prep till 1-2 hours after first dance
✯ 500+ Images
Digital delivery of your photos
10″ X 10″ 20 page wedding album
(Upgrade to boxed album + usb for £75)

  •  

Currently on offer this week- save £300

 

£1550

£1950

 

Platinum+ Extra

£1995

All of it 
Plus 3 albums & print

  • All of the above
  • Full day coverage from prep till party
  • Digital delivery of your photos
  • 1 x 30cm + 30cm 20 page wedding album + Boxed + USB
  • 2 x 20cm x 20cm copies (Perfect for parents)
    1 X Canvas Print(Various sizes up to 90×60 available)
    • Special offer till  31/01/2024 

      Complimentary upgrade

      Free wedding shoot Plus Extra photographer worth £500

      Booking must be confirmed prior to end of February

Extras

Extra photographer

£275

  • Added coverage of your day
  • Perfect for larger wedding or at large venues
  • Recommenced with weddings of 90+ Guests
  • Add’s around 300 photos to your collection

    Do i need 2 photographers? Click here

Album Packages
 

From £275

  • Selection of albums available in various sizes
  •  Choose from 25×25/30×30/20×30
  • Add additional pages from £10 per page

    See more information here

Wedding Preshoot

 £250

Get some practice in before the wedding and enjoy a preshoot  + 50 images to  download

Video Packages

From £955

I have teamed up with a fellow videographer to deliver a discounted rate on video packages when combined with a photo package

Having 2 companies each specializing in their own field will deliver the best results for your special memories

 

On Key

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So you already have your wedding planned and everything is on target But you are still undecided about the video… Videographers are just as expensive as photographers and with good reason, they need even more equipment, tripods, microphones and assistance

How to pick your wedding photographer

How do I pick my photographer If it’s your first wedding and the first time doing this it may be worth reading on to help you identify how to pick your photographer at this stage. You may be hunting around

Let's check your date

My 2024 is full and my 2025 is filling up fast

£300 off this selected packages
Enquire before February the 14th to be receive discount Booking must be fully confirmed before Feb 28th 2024

Check your date below

Now here is a treat for you! £100 off your booking….But why?

 

I have hidden this amongst text for a reason.

Couples who go the effort of wanting to know as much about me as possible are the sort of couples i love the most!

The one’s who want to know as much as possible about there photographer for there big day as they know it’s a big decision for them!

So here is a special treat for you – Enjoy £100 off your booking just write “I read your stuff” when you inquire and i will apply the discount to your booking if you decide to go ahead.

It’s just a sweetener to say thanks! as you are the type of couples i love to work with! :)


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