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Choosing a wedding photographer

Choosing A Wedding Photographer

John Maddaford
John Maddaford Updated:
11th of November 2022

When choosing your wedding photographer, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. There are lots of professional photographers available. But, finding one which you both feel comfortable with and takes photos in the style and manner you want can be a little tricky. Especially when the best photographers can be booked up to two years in advance!

It can be tempting to just accept offers from family and friends, but this is something you should think carefully about, as it's very hard to match the work of a professional photographer! If you are unsure as to whether a photographer has the experience which you need why not look up the BIPP or ISPWP?

What's important when choosing a wedding photographer?

Most importantly, you should choose someone you feel comfortable with and someone who produces photographs in a style you like. Ask to view a complete, recent wedding album, rather than just looking at the photographer's best photos. You must feel confident with your photographer, as they are going to photograph one of the most important days of your life!

Of course, different photographers adopt different styles. A traditional photographer tends to do more group shots than a photojournalistic photographer, who will capture events as they naturally unfold, without having people pose for the camera. Most photographers will be happy to photograph the bride getting ready. And, if there are two of them, then the other photographer can photograph the groom getting ready as well.

Jessica and Tom | Jessica Raphael Photography | Guides for Brides
Image credit: Jessica Raphael Photography

The shots

Most professional photographers will know the standard shots to take i.e. signing the register and cutting the cake. But, if you have any more specific shots you want, then most photographers are more than happy to do this! Have a look around in bridal magazines to get an idea of the different types of photography styles, and see which ones you prefer. A good photographer should be able to do a mixture of photojournalistic photography with a handful of group shots to keep parents happy as well as some really great fun shots of the bride and groom together!

Pippa and John | Laurence and Ella Photography | Guides for Brides
Image credit: Laurence and Ella Photography


Typically allow an hour or so for photography but check with your photographer to see if this is long enough. Most guests are more than happy to stand around for up to an hour, provided they have a drink in one hand and a canapé in the other! If the weather is bad, then ensure there is sufficient room indoors for your guests to stand and for photographs to be taken. It can be a good idea to have a small jazz band, string quartet or entertainment like a magician to engage the guests whilst they are waiting.

Group shots can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on your choice of photographer and the co-operation of your guests! A handy hint is get the best man and ushers to help round people up. Most photographers will require the bride and groom on their own for half an hour or so to get some special couple shots.

Rosie and Matthew | Barry Paffey Photography | Guides for Brides
Image credit: Barry Paffey Photography


Wedding photography can cost anything from £100 to £5000, but you really do get what you pay for. Many brides say that the photography is so important to them that it’s not worth compromising on the cost. After all, it's one of the most important reminders you'll have once the day is over!

Image credit: Ella Violet Photography

Things to ask your wedding photographer:

  • Do you provide full-day coverage (from the bride's preparations until the newlyweds leave their reception)?
  • Do you work with an assistant?
  • What's your style? Reportage, traditional, contemporary?
  • How many photos do you generally take?
  • Do I keep my proofs or do I have to purchase them?
  • How soon after my wedding will I get to see my proofs?
  • Do you take both black and white and colour photos?
  • What is included in your basic wedding package?
  • What are the charges for additional photographs, or albums for the parents?
  • How much do extra hours of coverage cost?
  • Is travel included in your package? If not, how much do you charge?
  • Do I get full copyright over my images?

Finally, just enjoy yourself - if you look happy then your wedding photographs will look great!

Find your wedding photographer here.

Looking for excellent photographers in your area?

John Maddaford

About the author

John Maddaford

With 15 years experience at Guides for Brides, John has many clients that are photographers and videographers. He is the best person to contact if you are looking for recommendations.

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