How to book a great Wedding Photographer
Booking a great photographer is crucial for your wedding day, as the photos he captures will be a timeless memento of your special day. Wedding photographers come in all shapes and sizes, so it's difficult to navigate through booking one. Finding the best-suited photographer is important as you need to have someone who is an expert in capturing the moments as memorable stories so you’ll enjoy them for years to come.
But first, what is a great photographer?
A great photographer is someone willing to give his all to capture 'The Photo' that will be mesmerising. A passionate photographer will plan days for your wedding day, crawl on the floor to get a better angle and physically tire himself out shooting on the day.
Booking a wedding photographer
Since Wedding Photographers are one of the most sought after vendors, it would be wise to look early. Some popular photographers may even book a wedding date 2 years before!
Step 1: Deciding what photographer you are looking for
Decide on which type of photographer you are searching for and how much you will pay. Look at some photography styles and see which ones you like. If you are a bit camera-shy, you would want to try a photographer that is non-intrusive and has a photo journalistic approach. If you do not feel comfortable posing for a photo, aim to get a photographer who knows how to shoot candid photos. It all depends on what you are looking for. Asking yourself some questions may help you narrow down your search. Even though throughout the wedding day a photographer uses a mixture of styles, you may want the photographer to specialise in a particular style that will suit your needs.
For budgeting, we always advise our couples that the budget for a Wedding Photographer should be between 10% and 15% of their total wedding budget. This allows a perfect balance between price and quality of photos. For a photographer, you get what you pay for. So if you find a photographer on Facebook Marketplace selling a Wedding Package of €300 for 12 hours, you will set yourself up for disappointment.
Step 2: Find the photographers
The easiest thing to do is to search online for photographers near your wedding area. If your wedding is in Xagħra, you would search for "wedding photographer xagħra" on Google. Ignoring the adverts from middleman websites, click on the first few photographers' websites and look at their portfolio. If you like the photographer's style, write them down on your list.
Another way to find photographers would be through personal recommendations. Good wedding photographers will develop a reputation, and they may be known locally to your friends and family. Ask your trusted relatives, friends and co-workers for any recommendations. Talk to people who have gotten married in recent years, and ask them about their photographer. Remember that people have different tastes and opinions on what makes a good wedding photographer.
If you have a wedding planner, you can also ask her, as she would have some excellent recommendations.
Step 3: Contacting the photographers
Gather the photographer's contact information and email them telling them you are inquiring for booking a wedding. It would help if you give him as much information as you can because this will help them give you an accurate price. You should share information such as wedding venue locations including the preparation addresses, ceremony address and reception venue. You should also include the number of hours you want the photographers to be present, even if approximate, and the rough timings for the day. This may help you narrow down the list a bit as some photographers may already be booked for that day or cannot cover your wedding because of logistical reasons. We also ask our potential clients to inform us of the number of guests at their wedding. This helps us determine what to expect and price the packages accordingly. With the number of guests, we can also recommend how many photographers and assistants we require to cover the wedding.
Also, ask the photographer about photo prints, albums and photo books. Inquire who owns the rights to the photos, as some photographers may not allow you to print the photos with another photo lab while some others are less stringent.
Step 4: Compare the packages
Take note of the packages and the key takeaways. Compare points of each photographer such as reviews, how much you liked the photos, the prices and conditions. Take into consideration the time he took to reply, the way he sent you the packages, etc. The more effort a photographer makes to get your business, the more eager he will be to capture your wedding day. Find the packages which suit you best financially and what services the photographer offers in the package.
Step 5: Shortlist the photographers
Eliminate the photographers that do not fit the criteria you are searching for. Compare each package by what you are searching for: If you are searching for a cheap photographer just to capture some images (we do not recommend this approach) try to find a photographer with a good price-to-quality ratio. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for, so be sure that the price isn't the only point that you focus on when choosing a photographer.
Narrow the search down by photographers you dislike on paper. Shortlist your selection to the 3 or 4 most favourable photographers.
Step 6: Interviewing the photographers
Contact each photographer and set up an interview with each one to hear more about their packages, ideas and what they can offer you. Note aspects such as punctuality, professionalism and presentation as these are necessary traits of a photographer. But make sure you like his personality, his jokes and the way he talks. This is because he will be with you most of the day. The photographer will be a stranger roaming around at your wedding, so you must be sure you are comfortable around him. You can think of choosing a Wedding Photographer just like you would do when choosing a maid.
Both halves of the couple must chat with the photographer. This is because the photographer will photograph both parties and not just the bride. If you cannot meet physically in his studio or a café, you can video chat or call the photographer.
It is also important that you match character-wise as the photographer will spend the day chasing you and may even slightly annoy you. It would make it easier and less stressful when you are around the photographer.
Step 7: Choose your photographer
After you've met and discussed with each photographer you can then sit down with your significant other and decide on a photographer. You should take into consideration aspects such as experience, price, equipment, insurance, contracts and professionalism.
If you don't like the photographers you've met, schedule a chat with a different photographer and go through the same process.
If you have decided, email the photographer that you would like to proceed with the booking for your date. If he accepts, as a courtesy, email the other photographers, informing them you will not be needing their services because you went with another photographer.
Keep in mind that the photographer is there to capture your special day, so do not ignore him or shut him out. Allow the photographer to do his job as he knows what's best for the photos and memories he wants to capture.
During the months leading up to the wedding, it is important to keep in touch with the wedding photographer so he can be prepared for your wedding. Inform him who will be the other vendors, who will form part of the bridal party and the other nitty-gritty details of the wedding day.
Who are we?
Anaca Photography is a team of specialised photographers in Malta determined to capture your special day, flourishing your wedding with mesmerising photographs. If you have read until this part, you are invested in choosing & booking a suitable photographer. We invite you to take a look at our Wedding Portfolio and see what we have to offer. If you are interested in our work, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (+356) 79710352.