How Not To Choose Your Wedding Photographer

by | Wedding Planning Wisdom, Wisdom


Jennifer Kennedy of Bells n Whistles Events
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory |


Image by Milena Dekic from I Love Wednesdays via Bells n Whistles Events

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, that a good photographer is worth their weight in gold. This is very true and something I completely stand by, because a good wedding photographer provides you with a lifetime worth of memories.

Need convincing? Here’s one horror story from a recent wedding that should have you believing in the value of a good photographer.

Not long ago we were hired by a couple who had a mid-range wedding budget and could afford a good photographer, so we suggested a few wonderful photographers who were available and had reasonable rates. However as we got closer to their big day, the couple kept adding more and more to their wedding and sadly it was the photography that got de-prioritised. They decided to go with a cheaper photographer.

The photographer that was chosen offered low cost packages that included many things – on the surface it appeared that the trusted and highly professional vendors we suggested couldn’t compete. All is not what it seems, though.

If you opt for a cheaper photographer, most don’t care about meeting with the couple, they just turn up on the day. For all you know, they might not speak English well, or you might not like their personality. Having someone at your wedding–your very personal and special day–who cannot communicate with you clearly or whom you don’t get along with, is a disaster in the making.

Just because you have hired a company, doesn’t mean that you will get their principal photographer. Even though this is the case with a lot of reputable photography companies, they are typically honest and upfront about it, rather than trying to hide it. The couple I referred to above, discovered that the photographer barely knew the company or owner and had never met the videographer he was working with. Not good.

Which leads to my next point; photographers and videographers need to work well with each other. If a company offers a package that includes photographer and videographer, you’d quite rightly expect that they come from the same company and have worked together before.

In this case, the photographer and videographer couldn’t work well together, constantly getting in each other’s way. For example, the photographer couldn’t get shots of the ceremony because the videographer had set-up smack bang in the middle of the aisle (once the bridal party had walked in), even though we had instructed him not to beforehand. He agreed at the time, but knowing we couldn’t do much about it during the ceremony without interrupting it, he did it anyway.

To the detriment of the photography, the videographer had a wonderful spot during the ceremony. I found another vantage point for the photographer and he was still able to capture the wedding ceremony, but it was such a shame that the videographer set-up in the aisle. If nothing else, it looked highly unprofessional and blocked some guests’ view of the ceremony.

During the night, it was clear the photographer hadn’t seen the runsheet–even though it had been distributed to the photography company prior to the wedding day. He wanted to change the order of things, such as the time dinner was served, because he wanted to do table shots. This might not seem like a problem, but the kitchen was working to the timings on the runsheet and were ready to serve; to push back serving the main meals by 30 minutes would have meant the food would have been inedible! We are always flexible and fluid with our runsheet, and we offered some alternative suggestions, but there’s only so much you can do.

So please, when you choose a photographer, meet with them prior to booking or at least talk with them on the phone! You will get a good idea from that chat about their personality and style, as well as their attitude towards punctuality, scheduling and working with other professionals.

And of course, if you have a planner working for you, they should know of (and preferably have worked with) any photographers they put forward for your big day.

Swirl divider Why You Should Hire A Professional MC For Your Wedding

Ms Gingham says: Oh god it makes me cringe just thinking about how uncomfortable that poor couple would have felt. Not a good feeling on what’s supposed to be a happy day! Brilliant article which everyone planning a wedding should read!

About Jennifer: Jennifer’s background is in advertising and marketing, working in client and project management. Jennifer has packaged her core abilities, such as negotiating with suppliers, attention to detail, time management, budget know-how, exceptional organisational skills and a flair for design, into the highly successful and respected Bells n Whistles Events.

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