Miranda Virgo Photography

Bride's Guide to Choosing a good wedding photographer

No matter who you choose to photograph your wedding, I thought I'd offer some advice that I think is important when finding your wedding photographer:, if you have more questions, please feel free to Contact Me

Fees - Be Clear about what is included in the photography packages you choose

There are basically two types of package. Those that are all in, with a DVD or CD of the photos included in the price or those that charge a fee for the day and then a price for a package of prints.

When comparing prices don't underestimate how many photos your friends and family will want. Work on the basis of at least 100-200 prints when comparing packages. Check also that the Ts & Cs actually grant you rights to copy, modify, distribute etc. if you are going for an inclusive package. Make sure your guests know that they will get copies so they can relax and enjoy the day too.

Keep your copyright licence, not just your marriage licence

You may need to show you have a licence to reproduce, when you ask an outlet to print your pictures, since some are worried about copyright infringement. Make sure you get your licence in writing and be sure it does not expire. Some photographers use inappropriate Ts and Cs that have been taken from fashion, editorial photographers. These terms are not normally appropriate for Consumers and include licence or royalty fees.

Be Careful About Misleading Marketing

A package that includes "a CD with all your proofs on" or a "private web gallery for you to view" will likely not mean you can copy and print directly from the source. Proofs are normally provided to enable you to choose the prints you want, not print directly. Some people pay anything up to £1000 for a photographer without understanding that the prints are extra.

For the avoidance of doubt my packages are fully inclusive.

Rights - Liability, refunds & guarantees

Check how your deposit will be treated, any fees you might have to pay in the event of a change to the date or a cancellation. See what precautions the photographer has in place for unexpected events. He or she should at the very least have liability insurance and a backup plan in the event of illness etc and two good quality cameras to prevent no single point of failure spoiling your day.

What style of wedding photograph do I want?

Be cautious about highly creative shots that look amazing. The chances are they might have been staged with proper studio lighting and professional models. There is nothing wrong with a photographer showing off his or her talents, but make sure you see their real world shots too. Nowadays most couples want reportage or journalistic styles with a mix of formal shots. The key benefit of reportage is that you get photographs of the action that you wont see on the day. After all you can't be everywhere at once.

How experienced is the Photographer?

If their portfolio only shows one bride and groom, ask how many weddings they have done and ask to see some other examples. Also check their local knowledge of venues, churches, registry offices etc. Local knowledge really helps them get the best shots. Don’t be afraid to ask them to do a couple of test shots of you or meet you at the venue. It may even be worth booking an egagement or pre-shoot to see how you look posing for the camera. its definitely worth considering if you are normally shy around cameras or have a view of certain "must have" wedding photographs that you want.

Groups, Franchises & Kit

With an increasing number of Wedding photography franchises around its important to check if the person you are meeting will be the person there on your wedding day. I've also heard stories of franchises setting their new recruits up with entry level budget kit and one lens. While its the photographer that makes the photo, you should expect your photographer to be equipped with a range of lenses, external flash and at least a primary and backup camera.

Personality - Do I like them?

Lastly and most important – Do you like them, did they make you feel relaxed, did they listen to your needs? A Wedding photographer needs to be able to get the best out of you and work within the guidelines you set. If you’re not comfortable with them at the meet-up its probably a good omen to find someone else. After all nobody wants a mad paparazzi running around spoiling your day or throwing a tantrum.

Lastly...

  • Don’t pay 100% up front, if they go bust you wont get much of your money back. 25% up front is reasonable with the balance before, or when you get the photos.
  • Don’t sign a contract without reading it – You need to be 100% sure that you are signing up for the right package. Few photographers will offer a refund of a paid deposit in the event that you cancel later.
  • Get a receipt for your payments and deposit, if your photographer lets you down you might need these.
  • Don't go on trust without checking references – it doesn’t hurt to ask around, if they are any good they will have plenty to offer.