Tips for choosing a photographer

With so many wedding photographers around these days, it can be quite daunting choosing your wedding photographer. Also, with wedding day budgets getting bigger and bigger, sometimes it's the photography budget that gets cut. Nearly everyone knows someone who is "keen on photography" and would do it for a fraction of the price of a professional. But consider the points brought up below.

~ First and foremost, you need someone you feel comfortable with, as your photographer will be present for most of your special day.

~ Go and meet the photographer to look at their work and albums. This will give you an idea of how they photograph a wedding from start to finish. Make sure it's their work you're seeing and make sure they would be the one photographing your wedding.

~ It might be a good idea to follow their blog or like their facebook page to see their recent work. You never know how old the images are in the website gallery.

~ Are they covered by insurance? And ask what their policy is if they are ill on your wedding day.

~ Make sure you know exactly what's included in the package price. Many photographers are now charging for their time on the day and then adding on the price of an album on top. Do the sums to see what the end price is.

~ Is there opportunity to buy reprints after the wedding and how much are they?

~ If you'd rather have a CD of images than reprints, is this possible and how much is it? Do you get a licence to print them?

~ Do they have a contract for you to sign? If they do, read it and make sure you're happy with everything covered before you sign it.

These are my answers to the questions above.

~ All of the work you'll see in my albums, on my website, blog and facebook pages is mine.

~ As a member of the Master Photographer's Association, I have to have Profesional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance.

~ If I was ill on your wedding day I would do my utmost to provide a replacement photographer. Again, being a member of the MPA means I can draw on a network of other professional photographers to ask.

~ My three album packages all include photography on the day and the finished, designed album. It also includes any work done to individual photos. You can purchase a CD of images on top of this.

~ My photography and CD only packages include the photography on the day by the hour, agreed by us prior to the day, and a disc of edited images, with a licence for you to print.

~ You can purchase reprints and framed photos afterwards. Prints start from £15

~ I do have a contract to protect yourselves and me.

I'd just like to end on a note about budget. I know that many couples are cost concious at the moment but I would say that you need to spend as much of your budget as you can on your wedding photographer. At the end of the fabulous day, the photographs will be your memory of one of the best days of your life.

For some impartial advice on wedding photography please visit this blog post on the Alice in Weddingland website.

You may have a family friend who's keen on photography, but they won't have the experience of a professional photographer. It may also end up being awkward if you're not happy with the end result. And also, if they're a good friend, they'll want to enjoy your day with you as a guest.

I hope all this has helped and I hope you enjoy planning your special day.

Gillian x