Human memory is far from perfect and unfortunately there is no way we can remember everything with perfect accuracy, especially without prompts. Why, then, would you risk one of the most important and personal days of your life being lost in the haze of forgetfulness? Your wedding is something that would be immeasurably sad to forget, so it is massively important to have a record of it. Photographs. But what do you need to consider when hiring your photographer?
Clearly the first thing you should look at is a wide variety of portfolios so that you can find a photographer with a style that suits your taste. Sure, to begin with you may feel that a lot of them look the same, but you will soon find unique twists that can really make your photos stand out and help you remember the day. Certain regions like the West Midlands in the UK have hundreds of wedding photographers available, so it’s important to know who matches your style.
It is also important, and a relatively overlooked consideration, to find a photographer that knows your venue, or at least is willing to travel and scout out the location. A photographer with a close relationship with a specific wedding venue will be much more likely to know locations for the best shoots, most importantly those of the couple for the official photographs. They will also be more likely to have contingency plans for if the weather turns foul, and will have plenty of ideas to showcase the whole event. For example, the commercial photographer Matt Gillespie is known to have a close working relationship with the wedding venue Birtsmorton Court in the west Midlands and this relationship has proven to be beneficial to both the venue and the photographer as well as the most important people: the couple themselves.
When you have reduced your list of potential photographers down to a small number it is extremely beneficial to actually meet with them, if possible at the venue, and discuss what their techniques are for photography and to point out aspects of the area that you like. An additional benefit of this is that it lets you find out of you and the photographer 'click'. You do not want to accidentally hire somebody to be in charge of the most important documentations of your wedding who has completely different tastes and ideals to you because the photographs will just end up being disappointing. Additionally, you want them to be able to get on well with your guests so they can move seamlessly between them and get natural shots. Also make sure to ask to see a photographer's full wedding images, not just the highlights. Yes, having the main organised photos look great is important, but having a whole range of varied, interesting photographs makes the whole thing better.
So, memory may be imperfect, but try and remember these tips to get a great wedding photographer. Your photos are the thing you can bring out years and years from now, and to look back at them with the ability to smile at how well they turned out, how good you looked and how great the day was is the real service that a photographer offers.