Wendy Aldiss is a highly acclaimed wedding and portrait photographer, working across London and the Home Counties. She has 18 years of experience and 25 awards to her name – most recently, winning Reportage Wedding Photographer of the Year 2016/17 Central Region from the Master Photographers Association. Here, Wendy shares her advice for choosing the perfect photographer for your day.
How should a couple approach choosing a wedding photographer?
Choosing your wedding photographer can be a daunting task: the best wedding photographers get booked up at least a year in advance. Personal recommendations are invaluable and this is the best way to begin your research; most of my bookings come to me this way. Decide on the style of photography that resonates with you and arrange a meeting, as having a good rapport and feeling comfortable with your photographer cannot be understated. Ask to see examples of shots from a whole wedding – from bridal preparation to the first dance – to give you a better indication of their ability. An experienced photographer is worth investing in; they will be able to deal with many varying situations and light conditions, and still produce high-quality images.
What key things should a couple ask a wedding photographer before booking one?
Always ask how much experience the photographer has and what backups he or she uses. Most photographers work with at least two camera bodies and several lenses. Make sure that you know what’s included in the price and what isn’t. If you are choosing an album then this will be an important part of your investment. Most photographers will also be able to offer additional extras such as framing. Ask how much the booking deposit is to secure the date, when the balance is due and how soon after the wedding you can expect to see your photographs. If you’re choosing to have digital images, ask if they will be suitable for printing. Also, check about sharing the images on social media.
How can a couple help the photographer to get the shots they want?
Decide whether you would like a relaxed reportage style with little or no posing, or if you prefer a more classical approach with posed and group shots. An experienced photographer will be able to adapt, but within their own individual style. A storytelling approach is very popular but group shots are almost always requested. This aspect needs careful planning and it is helpful if the couple provides a list of important shots. Remember that even the most seasoned photographer will need time and cooperation from the wedding party and guests. Gentle persuasion rather than military order is always my preference – this should be fun!
What do you think makes a great wedding photography album?
A photographer doesn’t just capture shots of your day; they also have the important job of editing and preparing the images to create a story of your wedding day. It takes a lot of time, care and skill to do this well. Once the album is designed, the couple should see a pdf layout of the content to check that they are happy. Designing a beautiful layout where the photographs work well together is very important. And don’t forget the quality of the album itself – it’s an heirloom, after all!