Picking a photographer for your wedding day can be one of the trickiest parts of the whole process. Hell, depending on how long you book them for, you could be spending more time with them on your wedding day than your OH, so it's kind of one of those things you need to get right.
I'm bias, but I think spend as much as you can afford on your wedding photography. If you're on a budget, it's better to skimp on quantity than quality. Sit down and think, what shots do you really need. Do you want the getting ready photos? The first dance? Write a timeline for your wedding, think of the photos you really want and work back from there. It's obvious but a half day is going to be much cheaper than 12 hours of coverage that in the end, you might not actually need.
Once you've decided on your budget, have a look at some different photographers. Wedding blogs, wedding forums, friends - ask around, get recommendations and have a good shop around. Reading through a photographers website is a great idea to get a general idea of their vibe but more importantly, a handy way to nosy at their portfolio. Be wary if they only have one or two pictures per wedding (anyone can fluke and get a couple of really great shots) but instead look for an extensive and full portfolio. A photographer with a great hit rate is the horse you want to back. I fell in love with my photographer after seeing a gorgeous wedding she shot on a blog I followed. The fact she had a dancing popcorn and swinging Aladdin gif on her site only made me love her more. Shortly after I found myself reading about every wedding she covered and deciding she was it. She needed to be the one there on my day.
While weekday weddings are becoming more popular, you can still negotiate extras a bit easier than in high Summer Saturdays. Most photographers I know tend to do rates for quiet, weekday elopements and are willing to work with couples, especially if it's something they really want to work on. Be honest and up front with your budget and photographers will let you know what they can do for that amount. It could mean less time on the day, or less final edited images, or if you are spending a bit more you can see if you can work for prints. Great photography is very rarely cheap and you can expect to bat around £1000-£1200 for a starting point for great photographers. Truly though, it's an investment and something that I am happy to spend my money on.
I feel it's important, where possible, to meet with your photographer with your OH. If you can do an engagement shoot. It helps build a rapport, talk through how the day is going to go, and also helps the photographer find out what you like. Even a cheeky wee Skype convo can make all the difference and make things slightly less high pressure on the big day.
Communication is key when you're working with your photographer. Documentary style pictures have become so popular recently but if you want the family photos, make sure you say. Want a picture of your groom watching you walk down the aisle? Snaps of your family over from Egypt? Make sure you really think about what pictures are important and who you want in them. Cake cutting, first dance and speeches, these tend to come in standard, but a list of people, a handy member of the bridal party and a shot list will mean you have one less thing to worry about and will definitely help your photographer. Pics of every guest may not be realistic (though if you really want it, can be done) but remember it does eat in to your time. It can be as brutal as guest-list but you'll be thankful you've thought of your key moments and can enjoy the day.
Most important of all is to trust your photographer. You've booked them for a reason and they are going to get the most beautiful snaps possible. You're in safe hands, so kick back and enjoy the day.
Photographers you should 100% consider using because they are 100% bad ass
Tub of Jelly - Photography, video and yeah, all of it is super stunning. From highland elopements to city escapes, Betty is a dab hand at this whole wedding photography. Also, spoiler, totally booked the hell out of her for my wedding because she is super wonderful. Did I mention the dancing popcorn?
Christina Riley - Dreamy romantic photography captured on film. Perfect if looking for capturing those quieter moments. Also without the doubt one of the nicest humans you could ever meet. Give her your money for the most chilled out day and loveliest photos.
A Sassy Nation - One of the most prolific alternative wedding photographers in the U.K and for a good reason. There isn't a single one of her weddings that I haven't gone all heart eyed about.
MB Wedding Photography - Martin's more known for his fashion photography having shot for Lazy Oaf, Hope Street magazine and Abandon Ship. But yeah, turns out he's a dab hand at weddings too.
All photos thanks to Tub of Jelly - because she is wonderful