Couple listening to the sermon during the Wedding Ceremony, alongside their family and friends. Photo shot by Anaca Photography in Imgarr

How to book a great Wedding Photographer

May 4, 2020
• By
Darren Cassar

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 will 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 to photograph your wedding. A good photographer will be able to capture great photos of your wedding in any scenario, adapting to the situation through creative improvisation.

Booking a wedding photographer

Since photographers are one of the most sought after vendors, it would be wise to look early. Some popular wedding photographers in Malta may even book a wedding date more than 2 years before! The photographer is an important part of your wedding day entourage, and it is worth it to go the extra mile when booking a photographer.

Steps in brief

Here is a step-by-step guide on choosing a great photographer, written for Maltese Wedding Couples.

  1. Decide what you are searching for in a photographer
  2. Search and browse for photographers
  3. Reach out to the photographers for package details
  4. Compare the packages
  5. Shortlist the photographers
  6. Chat with certain photographers
  7. Choose and book your memory-saver.

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 photojournalistic 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.

Budgeting & Costs

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 the 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

Online Search

The best approach 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, take a look at the first few photographers' websites. Browse through their wedding portfolio and skim the about section. If you like the photographer's style, write them down on your list.

Recommendations

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 and the experience with him. 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 them, as they would have some excellent recommendations. Never go on a person's suggestion blindly, look them up online to see their portfolio, customer relations and most importantly reviews.

Candid photo showing the newly-wedded husband and wife going away from the church in Imgarr, Malta

Step 3: Contacting the photographers for details

Gather the photographer's contact information and email them telling them you are inquiring about 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.

With the photographer you should share information such as the wedding venue locations including the preparation addresses, ceremony address and reception venue. You could 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.

Furthermore, 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. Be sure that the photographer will deliver the photos in the way you want. So if you want a printed album, communicate that before and if you want the digital be sure that they are given out to the client.

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 pricing 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 that suit you best financially and what services the photographer offers in the package. One should favour a photographer who does not take long to reply, as he will probably deliver your images within the agreed upon-timeline.

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 (would 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.

Beautiful Bride wedding rings photographed by Anaca Photography in Nadur Gozo

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. If you cannot meet physically in his studio or a café, you can video chat or call the photographer. 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. An important question to ask these days is for postponements regarding COVID-19. It should be set in stone what will happen if the government puts in new restrictions which would mean postponing the wedding. Or what will happen if the photographer cannot make it to the wedding because of being quarantined?

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 other photographers 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. Trust 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 determined in choosing & booking a great 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 anacaphotography@gmail.com or (+356) 79710352.

Further reading

Content last revised on 3rd June 2021

First Published on
May 4, 2020
• Last updated on
June 3, 2021 20:38
• Written by
Darren Cassar

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