I have been thinking about writing this blog post for a while as I am often asked whether I photograph weddings and to be honest the answer is no 🙂 I love weddings, I think great wedding photography is something that should last a lifetime, but I am most passionate about photographing children.  As most of my family customers look to book on a weekend (so mum and dad can be there) I just don’t have the time to focus on weddings too. Therefore, I wanted to write a blog post about choosing a wedding photographer and also to give you some recommendations of photographers that I know personally.

Firstly, “yes” wedding photography can seem expensive, but a great wedding photographer really is worth every penny. Now I am a member of a professional photography body, and have been in this industry a couple of years, I have seen what can happen when people use cheap, un-qualified, un-insured photographers. I’m sure that in some instances this does work out OK, but I’m really not sure it is worth the risk. It’s one of the biggest days of your life, and also the start of your family photo albums, and I can think of nothing worse than being disappointed with the outcome. Rock and Roll bride recently published an article about this and one bride anonymously shared her images and you can read it here. It’s called a cautionary tale so I’m guessing you can imagine how the photos turned out!

A professional photographer is experienced at dealing with the fast pace of a wedding day and will aim to capture ALL those very special moments. They are insured against all eventualities, they have back up equipment, they know what do if it starts pouring with rain, and they will make you look your absolute best. These photos will be with you for the rest of your life (and your children’s) so you want to love them.  When you first chat to a wedding photographer of course you ask how much they charge but there are also a lot of other really important questions to ask. For example;

– What is their style of shooting? Are all the photos reportage style (where you don’t notice the photographer is there) or a mix  of natural and posed?

– How many wedding have they shot and do they do this full time?

– Do they have insurance and do they have back up equipment?

– Can you see an example of a wedding from start to finish? (most photographers will have a blog post with an entire wedding in)

– What camera equipment do they use and do they have someone to second shoot with you? You can easily look up the equipment they use to see if they have the full professional kit. If they don’t have professional cameras and lenses the images just will not be of a high enough quality.

– Can you see the contract in advance and details of exactly what is included in the price?

– Will they meet you beforehand to discuss your big day and plan with you the type of photos you are looking for?

Photographers that I would recommend

I know these guys are insured, are members of a professional organisation, and have lots and lots of experience.  I’ve listed them in alphabetical order and for more information just click on the links to their websites. I’ve also included a little bit of information on each to give you an idea of their style and costs. Finally, if you have any questions please feel free to ask me. It’s one of the biggest days of your life and I want to make sure you get what you hope for!

1. Neil Bowler – http://www.neilbowler.com/

Neil is an award-winning wedding photographer, having studied under some of the world’s leading photographic trainers. Neil is a dynamic, creative photographer & was recently described by F2 Freelance Photographer magazine, as “a rising star among Britain’s internationally respected wedding and portrait photographers, brilliantly talented and very definitely one to watch.” I know Neil well and have trained with him myself.

Based in Warwickshire but travels all over the UK. Wedding packages start from £695.

Neil Bowler

2. Sam Hayward – http://www.samhaywardphotography.co.uk/

A Qualified member of the Guild of Photographers and was placed in the Top 10 for weddings this year (I know I was sitting with him when he got his award :-). Sam is based in Aylesbury but covers Milton Keynes, Tring, and around Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire.

Prices starting from £995 for a full days coverage.

Sam Hayward

3. Julie Skelton  www.julieanneimages.com

Julie is based in Surrey but covers weddings from London to Bristol and other places in between.  She has been photographing weddings since 2009, enjoys getting to know her couples well, and takes care to be unobtrusive and friendly on the day. She is particularly in her element with farm or outdoor weddings, anything with a campfire and a big helping of handmade and DIY. I was lucky enough to spend time with Julie in Paris and would not hesitate to recommend her. £750 for ‘Bijou’ 4-hour package, £1495 for full day with digital files, other packages available on request.

 4. Andrea Whelan http://www.andreawhelan.com/

Andrea is based in London and specialises in small weddings and intimate venues :-).  Her style of photography is very natural and her half day prices start from £499. I know her very well, not only is she is great photographer, she has a wicked sense of humour 🙂