Why Should You Meet Your Wedding Photographer?
Stunning wedding photos are one of the most important keepsakes from your wedding day. This is why working out how to choose your perfect wedding photographer is so important. It’s also why you should meet your wedding photographer.
Your wedding photographer will be there to capture the special moments that you’ll cherish forever. So picking the right one is important. Meeting prospective wedding photographers is a vital part of the process.
You can read more about how to choose your perfect wedding photographer in our blog post here.
In this article, we will explore the main reasons you should meet prospective wedding photographers.
From the initial meeting, be it at a wedding fair, in-house consult, or even once you have booked them, all the following information rings true. We will focus primarily on the situation where you have shortlisted several photographers and meet them face to face to make the all-important decision if they are the one for you (or not!). You should already know if they are a general fit with your needs and budget.
Directly related to the reasons for meeting a wedding photographer are the topics of conversation they center around.
- What you should talk about with your wedding photographer in order to make the most of your time together. How to make sure you cover the important topics.
- What not to talk about? Your time is precious so don’t waste it discussing irrelevant topics!
- How to meet your wedding photographer. In modern times both face-to-face and virtual meetings should be considered. As should the location you choose to meet.
- And when to meet a prospective wedding photographer. With people booking wedding suppliers years ahead, timing is everything.
So Why Should You Meet A Prospective Wedding Photographer?
It is important that you can establish whether you get on with a potential wedding photographer. What is the general rapport between you? Do they put you at ease? Do you feel like they fully understand what you are looking for in a photographer?
We talk a lot about how building rapport with your wedding photographer is important in our blog post on why you need engagement photos. It is one of the main reasons we include an engagement shoot in our service. It’s also why many couples who take advantage of our proposal photo shoot service go on to book us to shoot their big day.
Avoid Personality Clashes
A wedding photographer will be the only wedding supplier who will be with you all day long. They will be there during the getting ready, for the emotional moments, the wild dancing. They will be present at the intimate times and transitional points of the day. It is important that you can see them blending into your big day.
The last thing you need on your wedding day is a photographer negatively influencing your mood. Do you feel like you will be able to relax in their presence? Do you have a good rapport with them? Will they blend in with your wedding?
How Professional Are They?
Working at a wedding requires a tricky balance between professional and personable traits. Yes, it’s great to find a ‘fun photographer’. But how are they when it comes to professional, clear communication, knowledge, experience, behavior, attire, and product delivery? They should be able to tick all of the boxes.
Conversely, a serious personality might not fit in well with the fun aspects of wedding planning, bridal preparations, or the vibes of a wedding dancefloor. Without a sense of fun and humour a photographer can stick out like an off-putting sore thumb.
On the big day itself, it is imperative that a photographer can assess the current circumstances and adapt at the drop of a hat. They need to be energetic and jovial when appropriate and quiet and respectful when the situation calls for it. If they are capable of this they will blend right into the day, working with the flow of different events, locations, and emotions.
How Passionate Are They About Their Work?
You want to choose a wedding photographer who is genuinely passionate about their work. A passion for photography should be their main reason for being a wedding photographer. We recommend looking for a photographer who displays positive enthusiasm for everything they can do for you. From their wedding photography services to the photographs themselves.
However, watch out for anyone who can take their passion too far. No one wants a prima donna who puts themselves above all else at a wedding. A wedding photographer needs to be respectful as well as passionate.
A Wedding Photographer’s Style And Portfolio
Equally important is that you love the prospective wedding photographers’ photos (and service). Before meeting them should already have a pretty good idea that their style and quality of wedding photography fit your needs.
A ‘client meeting’ is the opportune time for a wedding photographer to talk about and show off their photography style. Make sure this includes recent examples of their weddings. Professional photographers should be constantly evolving their work (and services).
Remember that even if you have met them before at a wedding show they may not have been able to communicate at their best. Meetings at wedding shows are often fast-moving with queues of people waiting to talk to them. Time, space, light, and noise restraints can influence a photographer’s ability to best communicate their services.
When meeting a photographer in a more relaxed environment you should get a better sense of their style, as well as the creativity and quality of their work (as well as their passion for weddings!). Make sure that you are able to see a selection of images from a range of their past weddings. Think about how their work relates to your plans for your big day.
Meeting face-to-face is a great opportunity to view their work beyond looking at their wedding portfolio gallery on the glowing screen of your phone or laptop. A seasoned photographer should be able to show you what their images look like in print. As well as their ability to create stunning wedding albums with their photographs. They can also show you the exact presentation materials that you will eventually receive should you decide they are the ones for you.
Clarity of Wedding Photography Services
Before meeting a wedding photographer you should have a good idea of their services and pricing. A face-to-face is the perfect time to raise any questions and obtain more in-depth information. This can also help avoid any misunderstandings or surprises later on. Read more about wedding photography pricing in our wisdom post “How Much Does Wedding Photography Cost?”.
This is an opportunity can clarify any ‘general assumptions’ you have. All professional wedding photographers provide differing services using varying methods. No two are identical. You should already have an idea of what services would best suit your requirements for your wedding day. Don’t be afraid to ask too many questions, even if you think you already know the answers. The more details you have the better informed your decisions will be.
We are often asked why we offer our wedding photography service in the way that we do. Once our clients have a clear understanding of the many benefits of our ‘all-inclusive’ service they know exactly what to expect from us (and absolutely love it!).
Communicate Your Wedding Day Vision
Hopefully, your research should show that the wedding photographer has taken photographs that fit in with your ideas for your big day. You can use this opportunity to communicate your specific vision and think how well they will fit. Let them know what types of photographs you are looking for. Tell them your personal preferences, likes, and dislikes.
Dig out your Pinterest boards, inspiration, planning book, mood boards, etc. The more information you can give a wedding photographer the more likely they are to understand your exact requirements.
A truly professional photographer should also be happy to honestly let you know if they think their service fits your exact needs. Don’t be disheartened if they don’t think they will be a good fit for you, they simply aren’t what you are looking for. It’s better to find this out at an initial meeting than further down the line. You can then focus your time and energy elsewhere.
What to Talk About With A Wedding Photographer
This is an opportunity for you to clearly communicate your vision for your big day. As well as how you see your photographs fitting into that. A quality wedding photographer will want to know as much information as you can give them. They can then tell you exactly how their services will fit your needs. In talking face to face you can make sure they are on the same page as you. This will help them deliver the best possible photographs on your big day.
Talk about your love story so far. Your chosen wedding photographer will be responsible for telling the story of your big day. They will want to know all about the history of your relationship. Tell them about how you met, how you got engaged, and all you love about each other. This information can help them get to know you better and how best to capture you both in their wedding photographs.
Knowing You Better
Allow them to know you better. Telling a wedding photographer all about yourselves should open the door for them to share similar information with you. If you can find commonalities, similar interests, and opinions they are going to better know your likes and dislikes. As well as establish a deeper rapport with you.
Your Wedding Plans
Talk to prospective photographers about your wedding planning so far. This way they can get a clearer idea of how you see your big day and the best way to capture it in photographs. Talk to them about colour schemes, traditions and meaningful moments, surprises, novel ideas, and details about your venue. Remember that even if they have worked at your venue before locations, layouts, etc are constantly changing.
Wedding Timings And Logistics
A seasoned professional photographer will want to know about the schedule for your big day. Let them know what the main events of the day are and when you are expecting them to happen. If their services are time-based they can recommend the amount of coverage they feel is suitable. As well as the potential cost implications. You can also ask their expert advice on wedding timings. They can advise you on how best to optimise timings for the best possible photographs.
What Not To Ask A Wedding Photographer
A word of warning about meeting a wedding photographer. There are some things that you should not need to ask your photographer.
The Very Basics
You should have done some level of research before meeting a prospective photographer. Even if they have been recommended to you it’s important to establish if they are realistically in the running to be your chosen supplier. You will be wasting your time (and theirs) if you haven’t established some basics before meeting them.
- Do you like their photographs?
- Are they available for your date?
- Does their style appear to fit with what you want?
- Are their services within the ballpark of your budget?
A wedding photographer should have this information available on their website or at initial contact. If not then the clarity of their communication has to be called into question.
Generic Lists Of ‘Top Questions’ From Magazines/ Websites
There are thousands of these lists available online. They are often created by people with little experience of the inner workings of wedding photography. Many of these lists contain irrelevant questions that pad out the content of the article.
Each list tends to be quite different. You will end up accruing thousands of questions from multiple lists. This can be overwhelming for both you and any photographer you are meeting.
We are not saying reading these lists is a bad idea. Just be aware of the content that is actually relevant to your needs.
An example would be Brides magazine listing such odd curve ball questions as:
- Do you offer a photo booth?
We have never heard of a professional wedding photographer offering a photo booth. Why would they? Running a photo booth is completely different from wedding photography. Who in their right mind would want a wedding photographer who is not 110% dedicated to capturing the day as it unfolds?
- Have you ever worked with our wedding planner or videographer?
Does this really matter? A seasoned photographer will have worked with hundreds of wedding planners and videographers. They should be able to work effectively with any other suppliers you choose. This is regardless of whether they have worked with them before.
Or Hitched wedding directory asking:
- Will Other People Be Able to Take Photos While You Are?
Yes ‘unplugged weddings’ are great for wedding photographers. Yet, how do they expect anyone to be able to stop other people from taking photos at a wedding? Reality has left the room!
Specific Technical Questions
Other Things To Watch Out For
Asking if they have worked your venue before – it seems logical to ask this question. However, it may be more complicated than you think. Please see more about this in our post on how to choose your perfect wedding photographer here.
How To Meet A Wedding Photographer
An In-Person Meeting
This is the most personal way to meet a prospective wedding photographer. Let’s face it wedding photography is a very personal service. A professional photographer should arrange a meeting at a location convenient to you. Be it at home, a quiet café or pub. There will need to be a table or flat surface with adequate lighting for them to display their work to you.
We have even organised meetings on a ferry and an airport lounge! This type of meeting can help you quickly establish a connection with a wedding photographer. It allows them to easily present their portfolio and album samples in person.
An Online Meeting
We are organising an increasing number of virtual meetings. With modern technology, busier lifestyles, and a greater number of cross-continent weddings. This method can help save time and money on travel. Here portfolios and albums can be presented online.
Our clients tend to choose either or both of these methods. The choice is based on their convenience and availability.
When Should You Meet A Prospective Wedding Photographer?
Again, there is no simple answer to this question.
We would, however, recommend narrowing down your list as promptly as possible. Meet the candidates as soon as you can after deciding on your chosen date. Our diary tends to get booked out a couple of years in advance. We often have clients meet us even before they have even booked a venue.
A professional wedding photographer should be able to organise a time that is convenient for you. Remember that their diaries can get pretty busy in the summer months.
To Conclude – Why You Should Meet A Prospective Wedding Photographer
In conclusion, meeting a prospective wedding photographer is essential for stunning wedding photography. It allows you to establish a rapport, avoid personality clashes, and assess their professionalism. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to gauge their passion for their work and ensure their photography style aligns with your vision.
By communicating your wedding day vision, sharing your love story, and discussing your wedding plans and logistics, you can ensure that the photographer understands your unique needs.
Remember, meeting in person or virtually is a way to connect and ensure a harmonious partnership. So, take the time to meet a prospective wedding photographer early in your planning process to make a confident and informed decision.