With all the images we now see across our social channels and 4K screens, photographs have never played such a big part in our lives and the mood these images captures is even more important on your wedding day; they become very personal.
I was speaking with Ryan Browne, a multi-award-winning MPA Photographer based in Yorkshire, and asked him what he thought a bride and groom should think about when choosing a wedding photographer.
“Make sure you have looked through the photographer's galleries properly. This way you will have an idea of the photographer's style and you will see if it fits the vision of your day.”
I do think the most important question you need to ask yourself is what style of wedding photography you prefer. The days of just posed shots are long gone. One of the most popular styles I tend to see is the reportage/journalistic style of wedding photography. Taking candid photographs of people is great for creating a story of the day; this also captures the emotion of the wedding day, picking up real smiles and laughter and even tears! These are images you may not see on the day, but they bring it alive and keep it alive when you look back at them 10 years down the line.
So many photographers use custom-templated websites which suck, but if you find one who has invested in their website; this is a great start. If they are templated, don’t worry, you will get a better flavour if you look at their social feeds - Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook being the most visual of these - and check out their Twitter account as well. Remember “people do business with people” - get a connection with your potential photographer in advance of meeting them.
Ryan talks about seeing the light - “Make sure the photographer you are interested in can see the light." If he can, it does not matter if he/she has worked at the venue before, as they will be able to see the best locations, regardless of what the light is doing; making sure you look great whatever the weather!
If you want to check a photographer out in advance, do a trial run by having a pre-wedding/engagement photo-shoot. It is a great way to get to know one another and learn more about how the photographer works. The photographer should offer advice on how to pose for shots that are flattering. If you have struck up this rapport in advance, this will allow you both to be very relaxed on the day; you can also check out if they can see the light!
"This is not always possible but if your photographer knows all the best features of the venue, this has its advantages. This will create focus, especially when you are normally working to a 1hr 30-minute drinks reception," says Ryan.
However, I would add to this that you do not want images that another couple has had in the past, so again in your research check out your venue, if you can, and look for duplication. Remember, when looking at the images, at a wedding you don’t just photograph people, you also have to photograph architecture and the surrounding landscape.
Some of the images on this post are Ryan’s from Swinton Park in Yorkshire; you will see how he has captured the mood, the architecture and the landscape very well.
Look for the passion...does the photographer have a blog and is it regularly updated? A busy blog means the photographer is also busy. A photographer who updates their blog regularly is one who loves photography and gives you an opportunity to see their very latest images.
If you would like to see more of Ryan’s work, you will get a great feel from his Instagram feed, or look at his website Ryan Brown Photography or follow him on Instagram!
To find out more about Swinton Park, featured in Ryan's images on this post, please see below.