Although I have been photographing weddings on and off for 12 years, the industry and style is ever changing and progressing, and I want to always ensure I am pushing myself and exploring new techniques to keep my photography interesting and fresh in my approach. So, this May I booked myself into a wedding photography workshop with the exceptionally talented documentary wedding photographer, Adam Riley (http://www.adamrileyphotography.com) through 36exp photography school (www.36exp.co.uk/wedding-photography-course/)
Adam is amazing with capturing the day as it is, using light to his advantage and seeing scenarios from exciting and original viewpoints. His style takes a great deal of inspiration from street photography, and he reminded me to be bold and creative in my approach, looking out for the hidden gems in every day life that can make an image even more beautiful and fun!
I had such a great day, meeting with other photographers wanting to get an insight on how to use light in a more original way, and how to capture those precious moments through beautiful photography. I would recommend the course to anyone looking to hone their skills, gain a different insight on wedding photography, or even if you are just starting out to get a great overall viewpoint of how to do wedding photography successfully!
Here are just a small selection of images from the day…
1. Think About You…
Find out what is the most important factor for you when choosing your photographer; is it their style, their personality, how comfortable you feel with them, what format you receive the images in, the price of the package, the coverage of the day etc? It may well be all these things, in which case, super! It really helps to get a good idea of what you are looking for before embarking on your search.
BRIDE SIAN said:
“The most important thing for me was getting natural photos, as I wasn't too fussed about how good the posed photos were, I just wanted some lovely natural shots. I also was keen to have two photographers as I had heard how the main photographer can be capturing the main events, while the second was capturing the more natural side of the wedding…In hindsight, I would have told the Photographer exactly who I wanted pictures of so they could have focussed on this.”
2. Don’t Underestimate a Good Recommendation…
Ask for recommendations from friends, family and colleagues: chances are if they are happy with their images, then you will be too! On the flip side, if they were not happy with the service they received, you know to steer clear of that one…Saying that, however, everyone has different styles so it’s important to find one that suits you. Even if a friend insists that you will love the photographer they used, you might well be matched better to another photographer’s approach/personality/work ethic/creativity/etc. Listen to advice, but more importantly to your heart.
BRIDE LUCY H. said:
“I didn't really know where to start, so I put an enquiry on Facebook for recommendations, two girlfriends replied and in turn those suggestions were the two photographers I contacted…I went for the more experienced of the two in the end. Price was definitely important too.”
3. Pinterest - Schminterest
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good social media scroll, but try not to get too caught up in Pinterest, Instagram and the pictures you see in magazines. Although this is a fantastic way to get inspiration, if you become too fixated on these, it can be easy to lose focus on what your individual style is, and the type of photographer that will suit that style. Plus, many of images you will see on these platforms are often of super skinny, super gorgeous and super (photoshopped) flawless models, and too much of looking at this is not good for anyone! I honestly think they put some sort of addictive pixel in these type of pictures, because once I start looking, I find it very hard to stop! I never seem to come away from it feeling any more fulfilled, just a little more stumpy and unglamorous! You will feel like Miss World on the day, so as long as you have the right photographer for you, they will bring out the best in you and people will be addicted to looking at your photographs instead.
4. Bond With Your Photographer
Meet them for a coffee! I think it is so important, as a photographer, to meet with the couple for an initial chat, so it must be equally as important for the couple too. It gives you chance to ask any questions you might have in a more relaxed environment, and you can tell if you are going to feel comfortable with the photographer on your big day. It may be that you have the same humour, the same sense of style, or you all can bond over Game of Thrones, but I think the sooner these meetings happen the better, as the more you familiarise yourself with this person, the more comfortable you will feel on the actual day. Even having a pre-wedding or an engagement shoot to get a better idea of how the photographer works is a great way to feel more comfortable with them, and know what to expect on the big day!
BRIDE SARAH said:
“I'd say the most important thing for me was style…I’d recommend that people do a 'getting to know you' shoot as that gave us a chance to try different poses, and for the photographer to work out what we liked.”
5. Shop Around!
Don’t just chose the first photographer you come across, or the first recommendation. It is really important to shop around. When it comes to wedding photography you are often parting with a big chunk of your budget, so make sure you are getting exactly what you want for it. It might be that after a little shopping around, you find someone who is a little less expensive, but their photos are equally as good as the first photographer you looked at, or it might be that the 10th photographer you look at has something extra special that you hadn’t thought about before, and although a little more expensive, is worth every penny to capture all of the photographs you have been looking for. You want to look at these images for years to come with fondness, you probably even want to show your grandchildren, so it’s important to treat yourself to the best possible photography package you can! I would recommend getting in touch with 5 photographers at the very least ,so you can weigh up all of your options. Each photographer will offer you something different, and it’s great to get lots of different viewpoints and price ranges to get a feel for what you are looking for. Remember, you should never feel tied to a photographer just because you have enquired.
BRIDE LUCY S. said:
“When I looked for a photographer, I went on recommendations from the Internet site www.youandyourwedding.com. The format of the photos was quite important as I just wanted a CD of all my photos and to put together a wedding book myself and I wanted to own all my wedding photos.”
Now...Go Get 'Em Tiger!
Hopefully this is a good starting point for you on your journey to finding the right photographer for you. Just try not to get overwhelmed with the choices. Choose a small selection of quality photographers, and go from there. Feel free to get in touch if you want any further advice on choosing a photographer…I promise not to convince you to chose me, ha! (But if you do…excellent choice :p)
Good luck, and don’t forget to have fun choosing!
Love Boat Photography