Apart from taking photographs for fun, I make no claim to be a photographer – certainly not for weddings. However, as a celebrant, I work with professional photographers, and so offer a few suggestions. Some of these may help you choose wisely, and also help the wedding photography go successfully.
Choosing a photographer
- Have a look at the photographer’s previous work. That’s pretty obvious! You might well look for photos showing relaxed couples/guests, pictures which tell a story or which are beautifully framed.
- You should meet the photographer and assess how professional they seem to be. They should have a checklist of preferred photos and be able to answer your questions. They need to convince you that they are well-organised and capable.
- You want to strike up a rapport with the photographer. If you don’t really like one, there’s no need to choose them. There are plenty of other fish in the sea.
- Don’t necessarily go by cost. Of course, you will have a budget, but the photographs are such a vital part of the event that you should give the job to the best person.
- If you are choosing another photographer (or videographer) too, it is courteous (and possibly, diplomatic!) to inform them of this fact before the ceremony. They will need to co-operate, not compete!
- You are paying the photographer, so you can request certain pictures. However, be prepared to listen to their advice – they should know best!
Tips for the actual photographs
- Allow time for the photographs. That may require up to an hour before the ceremony, and at least half an hour following the ceremony. The organisation (who will be in each photo? where will they stand/sit?) is down to the photographer, but you can help beforehand by deciding the groupings you actually want. A good Best Man will be able to organise and expedite this.
- It may be worth having somewhere indoors available for photographs, in case the weather refuses to play the game.
- If the session is likely to last long and you have invited children, it may be worth having something on tap to entertain them. A magician is always popular (with adults too!), although another item to incorporate in the budget.
Don’t underestimate the importance of wedding photography for a valuable physical record of the day (and, though people’s i-phone cameras may take some lovely shots, it’s best to depend on professionals). Hopefully, this advice will help you choose well and get the very best out of the day.
With acknowledgement to www.neliprahova.com for the picture.
Michael Gordon is a celebrant based in London.