When it comes to planning your big day, choosing a wedding photographer is almost as important as deciding on a dress. After all, what’s the use of looking lovely if there’s no one there to capture the moment? Finding someone to photograph your wedding takes time and research, but find the right one and you’ll be rewarded with photos that you love – photos fit for a photo book!

Decide on a style

Your first big decision is to choose which style of wedding photography you prefer – whether that’s traditional, posed photos (like your parents’ wedding album), or more contemporary, documentary-style photography, with lots of candid shots. Once you know what you want your pictures to look like, it will be easier to find the right person to take them.

Bride and groom kissing beneath confetti

Do your research

Browse local listings, check out reviews and ask other couples for their recommendations to put together a shortlist of photographers to contact. Most photographers will have blogs or websites featuring examples of their work. If they’re on social media, check Facebook and Twitter to see what kind of feedback they’ve received.

Meet in person

You’ll be spending your whole wedding day with your photographer, so it’s important that you get along. Arrange to meet informally before you make a booking to see if you click and to make sure you feel comfortable with them.

Couple saying vows at outdoor wedding

View their portfolio

You’ve found a photographer and you get along well, so now you’ll need to see what they can do. Ask to see as many examples of their work as possible, and not just a portfolio of their best bits. Seeing full albums will give you a better insight into how they approach shooting the complete wedding day from start to finish.

Visit your venue together

Take your photographer along to your wedding venue so you can point out your favourite spots and discuss potential photos you’d like them to capture. They’ll be able to explain what’s feasible and are also likely to have plenty of creative ideas you hadn’t considered.

Bride and groom sat on bridge

Plan important shots

Even if you’re opting for candid, documentary-style photography, there are probably still some must-have shots you don’t want your photographer to miss. Let them know in advance what you have in mind so they can factor in time to capture those family group shots.

Ask about image rights

Although you’ll be paying for your photography, most contracts stipulate that the photographer owns the rights to all photos taken on your big day. This means you may have to buy the rights to the images if you want to print them or turn them into a photo book. Check with your photographer beforehand to ensure you know exactly what you can and can’t do with your photos.

And don’t forget your “other” photographers!

With everyone snapping away on their phones throughout your big day, you’ll have wedding photographers aplenty. Encourage guests to use a personalised hashtag so you can find their snaps on Instagram, and you’ll be left with more than enough photos to fill a photo book (or two).

Wedding guest taking photo with phone