There are so many Birmingham wedding photographers (go on, Google it!) that it must be daunting for couples who are planning their wedding and have no idea where to start when it comes to finding their photographer. I often mention to couples that they spend thousands of pounds on the day itself but it’s only the photographs (and occasionally a video) that will stay with them until they’re old and grey.
Obviously, given my choice of career, I place enormous value on photography and the clients we tend to meet generally feel the same way and invest their money accordingly. Some couples spend more on their cake than they do on their wedding photography. As amazing as some wedding cakes are (see Ben the Cakeman for example), in twenty or thirty years time, having a beautiful wedding album which brings back all the memories of your wedding is priceless.
With so many wedding photographers in the West Midlands many people imagine us to be in fierce competition with each other but, in reality, many of us are friends who are more than willing to help each other out. Photographers like Emily Quinton and Claire Evans are good friends of ours and we often recommend each other to clients when they enquire about a date where we’re already booked.
A lot of people also seem to think that they have to choose a wedding photographer from their local area. I was recently asked if I would travel as far as Lichfield for a wedding. Lichfield is less than 30 minutes from our studio! After doing weddings in Devon, Cornwall, Brighton, Newark, London (see image above) and more recently New York, Lichfield seems almost walking distance! But maybe not with all that equipment! This weekend I’m shooting Kate & Dan’s wedding in Somerset 🙂
So, how do you choose a wedding photographer?
For me, the first thing to decide is if you like their style. Every wedding photographer is different and each has their own unique view of the world. Some are very formal and traditional, others specialize in reportage photography where they document the wedding without interacting with the couple or their guests. Some photographers are influenced by fashion magazines, others by movies. For me, our style incorporates many different influences to produce a style which is unique to us.
Once you’ve found a photographer whose style you like, the next thing is to get to know them. It’s important to gel with the person who will be so involved in your wedding day and to understand how they like to work on the day itself. We hear so many stories of nightmare wedding photographers who throw strops, boss people around, take hours to do the formal photographs or don’t even turn up to the wedding! None of the photographers we know would act like that, but there are still plenty of wedding photographers around who give the rest a bad name.
Obviously meeting photographers in person is a great way to get to know them but these days you can also get a sense of a person’s style and personality through their blog. Not all photographers have blogs but, for those that do, it’s a great way to see their recent work as well as getting a sense of who they are as a person. It’s the reason I post about days out with my wife, Evelyne and my son, Elliott, as well as weddings, portraits and my band photography. You could even keep up with what I’m up to on Twitter.
There are plenty of other questions to ask when choosing your wedding photographer but, for us, most clients book us because they appreciate good photography and we get on well when we first meet. They may also love our Queensberry albums or the fact that we stay for the whole day but if they don’t like the images we capture they obviously won’t book us.
Many couples remain friends with Evelyne and I long after the wedding day has passed. Some book us to photograph their newborn babies. Some arrange to meet us when they go to a concert. And it’s great that many will recommend us to friends when they decide to get married.
Whoever you choose for your wedding photography, we hope you have an amazing day that you’ll remember for the rest of your lives…. with a wedding album worthy of the occasion 🙂