1. things to consider when choosing your photographer
There are many things to consider and I could write a whole lot about each and every one. So I’ll try and narrow it down a little. The three main things to consider are... Do we LOVE their photographs. Do you look at their website and feel a true connection to the photos or are they just a bit nice? If they light you up and you feel something when you see them, that's a very good sign. What do their couples say about them? Read their reviews and testimonials. Do their testimonials address your concerns? For example You might think you'll feel super awkward in front of the camera and you hate posing. If the photographer's clients rave about how comfortable the photographer made them feel. They may be a good fit for you too. This is the most important. Even more than the photography! I know, you probably thought nothing was more important than good photos. But this is so much more important and can really affect your entire wedding day...
Once you have decided that you love their photos and that their past clients have put you at ease about working with them, arrange a meeting or a facetime call. Ask the right questions, ask what the plan b is if they are poorly on the day, ask what happens if they drop a camera on the day, ask to see a full gallery or two to see if they have consistent results through the whole day. Have a laugh, drink tea, tell them about your vision for the day. The MOST important thing is that you trust them and you get on great! The photographer will be with you ALLLLLLLLLLL day long. If you had to spend one of your best days ever with some absolute tool, that would really suck! It would taint your day and your photos. Each time you see your photos, instead of remembering what a fun time you were having, you would remember how much that photographer was annoying you! I can’t believe how many people pay thousands and never even have a chat with their photographer before the big day.
2. to engagement shoot or not to engagement shoot?
I think there are wonderful reasons to have an engagement shoot but It’s not 100% necessary if you already feel totally comfortable with your photographer from the chat I mentioned above. There are some benefits of an engagement session that people don't often consider. These are that you get to spend a little time together before the day, away from all the stress of planning where you can really be present, put some love on eachother, celebrate your relationship and have a laugh. If this results in incredible photos that you can hang on the walls then that's a bonus. Engagement sessions are also a great way to build the relationship with your photographer so that by the time the wedding comes along, they feel like an old mate with a camera rather than “THE PHOTOGRAPHER” It can also be a great way to discover that your photographer is NOT right for you. If the engagement session goes horribly wrong and the photographer turns out to be some racist joke cracking idiot then at this you discovered this before the wedding and you'll hopefully have time to sack them and find someone who matches your personality better.
3. what to expect from a wedding photographer?
On the day you should expect them to not only do their job but to also be an extra friend who will help when little things go wrong. You can expect them to be organised and to deliver the results promised without having to change up the plans for the delay or delay things to get their work done. You can expect them to actually enhance your day by creating meaningful experiences and reminding you to take it all in, breathe and enjoy yourself. You can expect them to have your best interests at heart and not just their portfolio. You can expect them to be able to deal with ANY lighting situation and get great results. You can expect them to hang out by the tea station for a little too long. Actually maybe that's just me.
4. what to do if we hate posing?
If you hate posing, follow the steps mentioned in question 1 with that in mind. Does the photographer whose work we love take lots of posy photos or do they focus (geeky photo pun intended) more on the natural moments of what's really happening. Do their testimonials talk about how relaxed the couple felt and how they barely had to pose and still got amazing photos. If you hate posing then choosing the right photographer who has a more relaxed and natural approach is crucial.
5. what's your favourite part of a wedding?
I have so many! I well up at the proud look on a parents face in the morning, I get all warm and fuzzy during the ceremony, I crease at the speeches and I feel like I have learnt things when I have a super long chat with a grandparent about the good ol days! I think my very favorite part is the part where most photographers have already left. 90% of my couples choose to have me stay for the entire evening. The parties are so much fun and I feel that some of the best memories are made after the first dance (which is where most photographers leave)