• Chris Thompson - CRT Weddings

Booking Your Wedding Photographer

When booking your photographer its important to understand the various styles out there. After all, if you’re planning an alternative wedding, you don’t want a traditional photographer! Match the style with your wedding, simple! Here’s a quick run through of the various styles you should keep in mind!

Traditional Style:

Do you want to be directed and have lots of posed shots throughout the entire day? Well, a more traditional style may be for you! This used to be popular way back when photographers only shot 36 and 72 pictures due to using traditional film cameras. Although modern digital cameras get around this (as they’re not limited by film), this style sill opts for nice backdrops and posed shots.

Reportage or Candid Style:

This is the most popular style (it’s also the style I do) and it does what it says on the tin. It captures the day as it happens and aims to get shots “in the moment”, rather that it being overly posed or scripted.

Contemporary Style:

The third and final style is contemporary style. This is a newish style which aims to create an artistic image. Its overly dramatic, artistic, and well set up. But it doesn’t capture the moments as much as the Reportage style!

Most Photographers will have a blend of the above styles but specialise in one. For example I myself offer a mainly candid approach, however I offer some traditional family photos after the ceremony, I also offer a couples shoot on the day that could be considered more Contemporary.

Most importantly, whatever style you choose, make sure it matches what you want for your day! Now to my 5-step guide on booking!

5 Step Guide

Step 1: Budget!

The average photographer charges between £1500 – £2000, or around 10 – 15% of your budget (a rough guide). It seems expensive but beyond the rings, they’re the only thing you keep from the day! So, see it as an investment in a lifetime of memories. The cake gets eaten, the flowers will wilt, but the memories will be captured forever in the images. Whatever your budget may be, there is a photographer for you! Newer photographers may be cheaper, coming in at £500 as they build their portfolio whilst the best of the best can charge upwards of £10,000 bringing with them experience and premium kit. Overall, there is a vast difference in how much photographers charge depending on how experienced they are, how many hours they will spend with you on the day, the hours needed to edit your photos and what products they include. So, be flexible in your approach and pick the one that meets your budget!

Step 2: Find your Style!

There are many styles of photography but pick the one that suits you and your partner the most! Are you both creative and artistic? Maybe a contemporary style may be more suited as they create a theme and artistic vision of your day! But do not chose a photographer that does match your qualities and style! Asking a photographer to shoot in a style that does not match their portfolio will not make them happy and you will be left with a product that doesn’t satisfy you. Create a shortlist, that has various styles and budgets and whittle them down until you have the right one that speaks to you and your partner!

Step 3: View their Portfolio and Arrange a Meeting!

Once you have found a photographer you like, view their portfolio, and ask to view an example of a full wedding gallery. Once you are happy with their work, book in a meeting with your favourite photographer. (If you can’t decide on a favourite then book in to meet your top 2 maybe 3 at the most!) You can book either a video call or a face-to-face meeting if they’re local. Get to know them, ask questions, and get a feel for the person as you will be spending a lot of time with them on the day! Understand their packages, what they offer and what’s not included!

Step 4: Narrow down your Shortlist and consider their products!

Once you have your shortlist and met your favourite photographer, it’s time to consider their packages. Photographers differ wildly in the packages they offer, their styles, their cost and most importantly, their product. Find out what you will be getting and how you will be getting it. Will the images be added to a USB? Or shared using an online gallery? Ask for samples and examples! A good photographer will take their time to understand your needs and tailor make their packages to meet your demands and expectations! Also consider their approachability. Can you contact them easily? Are they accommodating? Are they helpful and supportive? These are some of the questions you should also consider when making this decision! Take your time to work out who offers what, what their price is compared to your budget, and most importantly, who did you relate to the best. Who do you feel will be the most engaged at your wedding as they will be with you all day!

Step 5: Book, Book, Book!

Book in advance! Photographer’s calendars can fill up very quickly, so when you’ve found the one photographer that ticks all your boxes, get them booked! Don’t leave it too late otherwise you will miss the person you want! Peak wedding season runs from May to September with the May, and August Bank Holiday weekends getting booked up quite quickly. Friday weddings are also becoming the norm, so don’t wait if your big day falls on those dates. You will need to sign a contract and pay a booking fee to pin your photographer down to your dates. Ensure this is done ASAP as photographers work on a first come first serve basis!

Bonus Tip!

If the package you pick doesn’t include a couple’s shoot, then I would highly recommend adding one! It’s a great way to spend some time with your photographer and get some exploratory shots. You can read all about couples shoot in my blog here!

When booking a photographer there are many choices to be made and many wonderful, creative photographers to choose from! However, the most important advice I can give to you is to choose a photographer whose work you LOVE. Work with them, build a relationship with them and place your trust in them to capture your day! Then when your big day comes around (and it comes around very quickly), you can relax knowing that they will capture the moments that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

Blog Writer - Jon-Jo Armstrong

Photographer - Chris Thompson

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