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© 2019 Piers Cunliffe

Piers Cunliffe Wedding Photography

5 key points to consider when choosing

your wedding photographer.

Read on to learn what I considered when choosing

my wedding photographer.

1. Know your style.

 

There are many photographic styles out there these days and finding a style that you love and fits with what you want will take a fair bit of researching on your part. 

 

From washed out highlights, creating the heavenly glow, to crushed blacks creating the ever popular film look, there are many photographers who will be able to produce these looks, but…..make sure the photographer can consistently create the look that you are after. I would be wary of a photographer who creates multiple looks across weddings they have captured as it can be an indication of an inconsistent workflow.

 

Knowing the kind of style you are looking for in a photographer is paramount.  Most photographers have a preferred workflow with which they are comfortable and edit in a very particular way. Find a photographer who sticks with a particular style, as their style will probably reveal their character and personality. 

Bride and Groom walk through bubbles as confetti holding hands on sunny day.

I would say my style of editing is natural with the colours boosted slightly to make the photographs really feel alive....

Bride and groom get showered with confetti while holding hand and smiling.

...and my black & white edits are contrasty ensuring that the whole range of white through to black are visible in the photos. 

2. 100% trust and comfort.

 

Even before a camera comes into the equation for wedding photography, there are many other factors involved when choosing your photographer. I believe that both character and personality should play a huge part in your choice. Nowadays, the most common way of finding a photographer is by searching the web and viewing online portfolios. When I was choosing my wedding photographer (a wedding photographer choosing another wedding photographer - now that was potential for complications), I knew that our initial conversation would make or break the decision. If all they are chatting about is the ‘hard sell’, then that can indicate all they want is your money and may even try to up-sell other elements later in the day. They should be genuinely interested in what you want and be able to advise you accordingly. They should be able to answer your questions confidently and truthfully. You will want to have a photographer who you will be absolutely 100% comfortable with. After all, they will be capturing a very personal part of your life for you.

Intimate moment between bride and her father hugging and happy
Intimate moment where bride is helping her father with his button hole flowers. Father is smiling at camera

Trust and comfort is such a crucial element when choosing your wedding photographer. I would never have been able to capture such intimate moments if I wasn't given the honour of being allowed into such a personal part of their lives.

3. Is it really their work?

 

Believe it or not, there are photographers out there who use stock images (or even worse, steal other professionals’ wedding photos) to supplement their own portfolio to convince the couple that they are the wedding photographer for their special day. Always ask to see several complete weddings from start to finish. Another great way to check if you are dubious about a photographer’s credibility is to do a Google Image Reverse Search. If the results pull up multiple wedding photographers listed with the same image, then that image is most likely stock and never featured at a wedding they have captured. 

 

If the photographer hesitates to share with you additional weddings they have photographed, then this is a real red flag and I suggest you steer clear of them. 

Wedding bouquet of flowers held by bride. Roses
Photo of wedding dress hanging from beams in the mirror
Pretty pair of wedding shoes reflected in mirror

Generic shots are commonly used to help supplement a photographers portfolio. But rest assured the images above I captured at recent weddings in the UK. L-R Flowers - Gabby & Neil, Wedding dress - Katie & Darren, Wedding shoes - Katie & Darren.

4. Price is Right!

 

Pricing is a significant factor when choosing your photographer, but in the wedding photography world the age old adage “You get what you pay for” really rings true. It is bit like buying a house; you spend 15 minutes viewing a property, then spend a significant amount of money on and a lifetime committing to it. So be sure to consider carefully this expense as an essential part of your wedding day. If you can stretch your budget a little more for your wedding photography, then you will reap the benefits of having high quality lifetime memories. Memories fade, photographs don’t.

 

Another phrase I work by is “If you buy cheap you buy twice!” But your wedding day is unique and you can’t really buy it again.

5. Yes, you only have one chance so please use a professional!

 

Do you want to risk what will be your only physical memories of your special day? You have made huge investments in other parts of your special day, catering, venue, wedding dress…I can name many more, and photography falls into this category too. Choosing a professional photographer will help reduce your stress before and on the day as your chosen photographer will be taking that burden on for you. They will have captured plenty of weddings and will know how your day will flow and will be able to anticipate all the key elements to capture. They will think about all the little things that may seem entirely frivolous to you, but they will have it imprinted in their workflow and will be able to deliver.

4 photo sequence of bride holding perfume on her wedding day

Professional wedding photographers can think on their feet as they have a wealth of experience shooting in a variety of scenarios and can anticipate certain moments such as the one above. This was a series of 6 shots taken quickly, because a bridesmaid had said that she looked like she was in a perfume advert, which then made the bride burst out laughing! Upon hearing the bridesmaid say the above, I raised my camera rapidly and instinctively adjusted my settings to capture these shots. A quick review of the photos on the back of the camera and I knew that I would be able to create this 4 panel sequence at the editing stage. 

Check out the FAQ section to learn more about how I shoot and what I provide. Thanks for reading and I wish you all the best with choosing your wedding photographer.