With so many photographers and vendors out there, you might be wondering how on Earth you can sift through us all! Every photographer has a different approach, style, pricing, packages to name a few elements, but we’ve put together this handy guide on searching for your perfect photographer
Although this list is not exhaustive, it’s a great place to start searching for your dream photographer before you start shortlisting your favourites. Every element of wedding planning starts with research and looking for your photographer is no exception – research is vital! You will spend roughly 10-16 hours with your photographer on your wedding day alone – plus pre-meetings, album choosing etc. so putting your research in from the start will ensure you feel confident in your final decision. You can find out more about the other elements of wedding planning in our ultimate checklist.
Use the methods below to widen your search and then begin to create a shortlist of your favourites. From this point, enquire if your date is free, get a feel for their personality and arrange a call or meeting to discuss your plans further. Don’t forget to ask some key questions and take a look at our TikTok page where we share some further handy questions to ask your photographer.
1. Google Searching
Google, your likely go-to with thousands of answers available at the touch of a button. It’s important to try and tailor your search and refine what you’re looking for to get the best results as ‘Wedding Photographer brings up over 340 MILLION results! There are a number of ways you can rein in what you’re looking for by using locations and search terms, here are a few examples:
- Refine by local photographers – searching for ‘wedding photographers near me’ will bring up Google registered businesses along with a selection of images, contact details and their website. This is a good way to skim through all of your local photographers if this is important to you. Of course you can tailor this slightly searching for ‘Photographers in Cardiff, Bridgend, Somerset etc.’ if you’d like to find photographers local to your venue.
- Refine by style. If you have an idea of the type of photography you’d like – light and airy, dark and moody, natural light, vibrant, posed, natural – try searching for these ‘terms + photographer.’ Don’t be put off if your photographer isn’t local but you love their style, we primarily cover South Wales but we’re photographed couples in Bristol, Gloucester, Worcester, Somerset and will travel further too!
- Refine by venue – take a look at some examples of photos from your specific wedding venue or a venue category (i.e manor house wedding, registry office wedding, castle wedding, barn wedding). For example, if you are getting married in a small registry office and would like outdoor photos afterwards, you may wonder where your photos will take place if there are limited surroundings or a busy setting such as a city. A quick search for your ‘registry office name + wedding’ will likely bring up some blogs like this one, showing examples of different shots and photo opportunities that photographers have created and the levels of creativity they’ve implemented in what could seem like a difficult setting to work with. Photographers may also have full galleries from your chosen venue. Take a look, try to imagine yourselves in the photos and if you like what you see, add to the shortlist!
- Refine by cost – you may have a budget in mind for your day so you could of course include this in your google search to find photographers that offer packages suited to you.
2. Searching social media
Social media is the next big one here as there are lots of platforms that photographers use to share their work.
- Instagram is a great tool for searching for a photographer by location or venue. Simply pop your chosen venue into the search bar, scroll across to the ‘locations’ filter, tap the venue from the list of results and you’ll see all of the photos that have been taken and tagged to that particular venue. Granted not all will be images by photographers but give it a try, you’ll find some photographers in the mix! Like what you see? Give their page a follow and add them to your shortlist to make enquiries!
- Facebook is where most of our couples discover us, we often like to post on our page what we’re up to so you get to see the behind the scenes too and what we’re like as normal humans. This is something that’s really important for us to communicate, we’re going to be spending a lot of time with you so it’s only fair you get to know our personality, right? You’ll find us and other photographers by searching for business pages, popping up in forums, local area hub groups and through Facebook Ad targeting. Take a scroll through their business page and get to know their work and personality.
- Pinterest is another great tool for planning your wedding, getting ideas and inspiration. Found a photo that you love? Click the image to view the original source of the photo and you may just stumble upon your dream wedding photographer’s website.
3. Forums and Groups
This one links in with social media but Facebook groups and online forums are a great way to help you get closer to your perfect photographer. You can ask for recommendations from Brides and Grooms who have booked or even post your date and ask photographers to drop their link below if they’re available. Whilst this is a great way to discover lots of different types of photographers, the results can quite often be overwhelming with some posts often reaching 100+ comments with photographers recommending their services. Again you can tailor these results by adding your preferred style, date and even your budget into the question so your responses are a little more specific. Shortlist any you like the look of and delve deeper into their page and website.
4. Wedding Fayres
Okay, so maybe this one is a little harder to reach with the current restrictions but wedding fayres are a great opportunity in searching for your perfect photographer as you get to talk to people in person and experience first hand what they’re like. You’ll also be able to take a look at physical products such as albums and folios which will help you to get a better idea of the type of package you’d like your wedding photographer to offer.
At present, there are some virtual fayres taking place where vendors go live via Facebook so you can meet them virtually and ask any questions. We can’t wait to attend our next fayre as soon as we’re allowed, so we can have the opportunity to meet lots of couples and chat about their wedding plans!
5. Ask your friends and family for recommendations
Before we go any further, by using this term we are not encouraging you to ask your family members to be your photographer.
Uncle BOB may have a brand new shiny camera that he can capture your day with but it’s even more important for him to be part of your special day and worry free.
What we are suggesting is that you ask friends and family who have recently gotten married for their personal recommendations.
Ask to see their wedding album, ask what it was like to be around their photographer all day and
what their favourite buffet food was if they felt part of the family. We’ve been to several weddings which have been linked in some way through recommendations and it’s lovely to see various friends and family again, we always feel so welcomed and trusted by everyone since they’ve seen us work our magic before. Of course their style and personality has to suit you so your sister’s ideal wedding photographer may not be yours and vice versa but it’s definitely a great way of discovering photographers.
It’s never too early to do your research. With photographers taking bookings 2-3 years in advance and peak season filling up first, do your research and start enquiring to make sure you have first pick! Remember, research > shortlist > enquire > engage > book!
Do you have any methods which you used whilst searching for your wedding photographer? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!