If you've recently gotten engaged, congratulations!
First of all you should have booked your venue which means it's time to look for a photographer. They can be booked up well in advance and soon be full up for the year.
There are a lot of us photographers out there, so it can feel over-whelming when it comes to choosing just one!
First of all you need to know how much you're willing to spend on a photographer, prices really can vary from £250 to £2,500. The higher prices are usually down to photographers having a lot of experience, meaning that they're well established. This does not mean that cheaper photographers are no good, that their quality will be rubbish or that they're less reliable. They could simply be in the first few years of business and are still trying to get their name out there.
Finding wedding photographers
The best way to find a photographer is through recommendations, try asking friends or family that have recently gotten married. You could even try anyone that's attended a wedding, perhaps the photographer stood out enough that they remembered them!
There are groups on Facebook such as Wedding Advice and Chat UK or South Wales Weddings that are full of thousands of people around the UK that are planning weddings. There are also a lot of suppliers in these groups so if you decide to ask for photographers etc in there be prepared for a truck load of comments from. them. all.
It can be a good idea to narrow this down by mentioning your budget, location, date or style that you're looking for.
Who stands out to you?
Once you've found plenty of photographers that suit your budget and you like their style of photography, it can be tough to choose just one. You're going to want to choose someone that stands out to you.
Take a look at their website and social media to find out as much info as you can, whether that's their packages or to find out anything about them as a person. Look for reviews on Google too, to see what past clients have said!
I think it's important that you have a face-to-face chat with each one before you make any decisions, whether that's in person or using a video chat. There's so much more to it than someone being able to take amazing photos.
Meeting them will help you to see the person behind the camera, to find out about their personality.
Will you get along with them? You want to make sure that you're going to spend a whole day with someone that you can trust and feel relaxed with.
What to ask
Once you get that meeting booked in, have a think about any questions you could ask them.
Find out if they have insurance and a contract, as this protects all of you. A contract means the photographer is trustworthy; they can't do a runner without handing over the photos, it gives you peace of mind that you're going to receive what they've offered or you can see if they have procedures in place if they're unable to attend your wedding for whatever reason.
It also gives you an idea of their professionalism and acts as a base for info such as payment due dates, album delivery time frames etc.
You can ask to see a gallery of a full wedding day, or even a few different full galleries. You may have seen some lovely photos on their social media, but asking to see a full gallery will allow you to see if they take consistently lovely photos rather than perhaps only 20% of the time.
You could find out if they have any experience of your chosen venue. It always helps for a photographer to have some knowledge of the layout and lighting. Of course, if they don't know the venue, it doesn't have to be a deal breaker! They can always visit beforehand, or even better, you could have a pre-wedding photoshoot together so that you can familiarise yourselves with the place whilst getting to know each other better. (This is why I include these with full day photography!).
You can ask for more info about what's included in the packages, such as how long will they attend for (some photographers will price per hour and will stick to that, I'm flexible and won't leave before I've captured what's important to you!), how you'd receive your photos and how long the turnaround is. Is an album included? (I include them in every package).