“What sort of photographer do you think we want?” I asked Sean, a couple of weeks prior to taking his mum up to the Wirral to visit our wedding venue for the first time. I’d decided to cram as many appointments as possible into our scheduled weekend visit, and that included meeting with potential photographers.
“Umm…” he replied. “A good one?”
Hmm. Helpful! And about as far as I’d got myself.
Neither of us know the first thing about photography. All I know is that the pictures from our big day will be with us forever and ever and ever, so it’s pretty important that we like the end product. I was determined to get the right person for the job.
I phoned ahead to arrange appointments with a few local photographers whose websites I was impressed by.
(Honestly, wedding planning is just a series of meetings with different people – I don’t know what I’d do without my wedding planning diary. It was an engagement present from my lovely friend Rachel, which is even engraved with the words ‘Alex & Sean, the happy couple’ on a silver panel on the front. I love it!. Every bride-to-be needs one.)
Turns out, choosing the photographer is a tricky business. There are so many different styles to think about.
There’s reportage photography, which tells the story of the wedding day (aren’t all photos supposed to tell the story of the wedding day?) candid photography, where you don’t know the photos are being taken (yikes! This definitely isn’t right for me – I don’t want to be caught unawares adjusting my dress or, heaven forbid, with a double chin), artistic wedding photography, which seems to be the sort that is done in sepia and looks like you’d hang it on your wall as ‘art’, even if you didn’t know the bride and groom…
I was beginning to get a bit overwhelmed by it all. (And at least I don’t even have the extra worry of the photographer we want being booked up – getting married on a Monday in October, we, unsurprisingly, seem to be able to have our pick of suppliers).
The best way to work out what you want is definitely just by asking the photographers if you can see wedding albums they’ve done in the past – preferably at the venue you’re getting married at too, to get a feel for which set ups you like and where the photos can take place.
We quickly ruled out arty and candid photography and soon realised that the photos we want are going to be pretty traditional.
Apparently at the moment there’s a shift away from group shots of family members gathered together for the formal wedding photos. But I definitely want that. I know my parents and grandparents would prefer that to arty shots of us staring into the distance in black and white, anyway. (Although we’ll definitely throw in a few of those for good measure!)
We eventually settled on an amazing photographer, Verity (also my sister’s name, it must be a sign). You can see some of the work she does here. She put us completely at ease – and let’s face it, if someone’s going to be with you for a large chunk of you wedding day, you certainly want them to do that – was an absolute pro, and more importantly, flicking through her albums that Sunday morning actually made me well up and get all teary.
They were perfect – exactly what I picture when I imagine us looking through our own treasured wedding album decades from now.
Another job sorted.