I’ve been a Sligo Wedding Photographer for 15 years now, and have shot over 500 weddings. I’ve been lucky enough to have been booking weddings since before I actually finished up being a Formula 1 photographer – yes, I was home in Sligo between the German and Hungarian grand prix races, and second shot my first wedding and met with what turned out to be my first clients that weekend. They trusted and booked me for their wedding the following summer!
With 2023 wedding bookings coming fast and furious and the calendar filling up, especially as we seem to be nearing some sort of end to the pandemic, here’s a few tips that I’ve learned through the years, and apply whether or not you are booking me, or another photographer you like!
DO – Try to either meet up face to face or via Facetime/Skype/Zoom. I try to do this as much as possible, as you can gauge a person’s personality much better meeting face to face or seeing the person on screen (more popular now due to Covid). Your wedding photographer is the one person on the wedding day you’ll be interacting and being up close to all day long, you want to be sure you get along! Meeting if possible gets this started or not as it sometimes might work out.
DONT – Book without at least chatting to the photographer over Facetime/Skype/Zoom. Again chatting you’ll get the person’s vibe, how they work, are they confident about weddings. We do this all the time so not much should phase us! Of course, if you are getting a direct referral or have been a member of a bridal party, you’ve seen how we work so that is one time where you can definitely just book us as you’ve had the best pre-booking experience!
DO – Look for consistency in images from different weddings. A photographers style is the way they capture images, not how they edit their images. Consistency should mean if your wedding was shot 10 years ago, most of that wedding will still look fresh and up to date.
DONT – Book based on trendy ways the images are edited. Ask yourself how those super light or super dark images will look a few years from now. Remember those old fashioned sepia images or those black & white images with a splash of colour – how do they look now!
DO – See a full start to finish wedding gallery. We photographers all show our best work on our websites. When booking you want to see family pictures, group pictures, the essential super important pictures, but not necessarily the most gallery worthy for photographers. Ask to see it all! A full gallery should be a mix of documentary shots, bridal portraits, ceremony, family shots, documentary reception shots and bride and groom portraits – that’s how I shoot a wedding anyway, so my full galleries will all have them.
DONT – Book based on seeing only some bride and groom portraits from a stunning location. We all love these shots, who doesn’t. A wedding photographer should be photographing so much more though during the day, ask to see it all! Those portraits after all, take a small amount of time compared to the rest of the day.
DO – Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Depending on the photographer we do update these pages more often, so you can often see other work you might not see on our websites. Some of us will also post some relevant personal info which can help you gauge that photographer and what they are like to be around!
DONT – Book a photographer just because of Facebook or Instagram. A FB/IG post can have a few images, whereas a website or blog post can have many times more than that, which ultimately gives you a much clearer idea of a wedding day. A website gallery is usually a best of the best, a FB/IG post is usually the best of the best from that best of the best!!
DO – Look at the photographers documentary style images and moments, images of other guests. A wedding photographer should be capturing as much of other guests as possible, not just the bride and groom. Yes the bride and groom are super important and always the focus of our attention but we should be (I am anyway) trying to capture everything around the couple, and that should include friends and family moments.
DONT – Book a documentary style photographer if you want and prefer more formal pictures. Same applies for booking a more formal photographer who will focus on portraits more so than capturing real moments during the day. Ask questions like do you want to capture 20 or 30 different groups during the day (those take time to round up and organise), or do you want to just be with your guests and relaxed. Book a photographer based on their style and let them do their thing!
DO – Read reviews, as many as you can! Facebook reviews, Google business reviews, website reviews. These reviews should be varied and not just one or two. The ultimate best review if possible should be from a friend or family member who has had the photographer for their own wedding. These word of mouth referrals are the best of the best and how a lot of photographers get their bookings. Nothing beats hearing direct from somebody who has been through the whole booking and photography experience!
DONT – Book just based on those online reviews if possible. As above, a direct referral is always best if possible. That way you hear about the photographer, how the images came out, when you received the images, how it was to work on the day with the photographer.
So if you are considering booking a wedding photographer for your 2023 wedding then please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss your wedding. Use the contact form to fill in some of your details, and I’ll get back with a full price list breakdown and then from there we can meet up face to face or online and go through any and all queries you might have!