So you're getting married and you're looking to book a wedding photographer. What kind of things do you consider when booking a photographer for what is, undoubtedly, the most important day of your life?
First of all, does your potential photographer have insurance, both liability and indemnity? Liability insurance protects both you and the photographer in the unlikely event that one of your guests trips over a light stand or a camera bag. Additionally, many local authorities require the photographer to be insured before they're allowed to photograph in local parks, etc.
Indemnity insurance gives peace of mind to the bride and groom - if the photographers equipment suffers a catastrophic failure, or a memory card full of images is corrupted and the pictures can't be salvaged, you, the bride and groom, are covered.
All professional photographers should be insured as a matter of course, most amateurs aren't. If you're thinking of asking Uncle Bob to photograph your wedding with his nice, new, shiny DSLR, think of the repercussions if something were to go wrong and he has no insurance. If a piece of my equipment fails, breaks or gets corrupted, I simply reach for one of my back-ups. Uncle Bob, with his one camera and one lens, has a big problem if a piece of his equipment fails!
Do you like the photographers previous work? Has the photographer shot weddings before? There's no point booking a photographer if you don't like his style or his previous weddings. When you meet a photographer before you book him, make sure he shows you images from a few weddings, not just a handful of shots of the same couple.
Do you like the photographer? What is their personality like? You'll be spending a lot of time with your photographer on your wedding day, so it's important that there's a connection with him/her. If you find the photographers demeanour and attitude to be undesirable, your images WILL suffer, so think carefully before booking them. Your photographer needs to be friendly and be able to make you laugh without being over-bearing, but also assertive, as organising 150 guests for a group shot requires a certain degree of assertiveness.
And then there's the most discussed part of finding a wedding photographer. The budget! With prices ranging from €100 (I kid you not!) to €10,000, it can be very confusing. Make a list of all the services/bits you expect to pay for on your wedding day in order of importance to you and if photography comes high on your list, then budget accordingly. As we've all heard before, once the drink has been drunk, the cake eaten and the dress is in the attic, all that's left are the photographs, so it may be important to invest a decent amount of your budget into your photographer. Want an album? Most photographers will keep your pictures so you should be able to order an album at any time. Again, quality comes at a price, so expect to pay well for a nice album that will last for generations.
I hope that helps any bride and grooms to be in your search for a photographer. If you haven't booked a wedding photographer yet, why not send me an email or give me a call to discuss your requirements? My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is: 086 738 8863.