Tips From A Professional Wedding Photographer For Maximising Value by Matthew Scott
Matthew Scott is a professional, award-winning wedding photographer based in Brighton and Sussex. Over the years he’s seen more weddings than he can count and he’s here to share his tips for maximising your money spent on a photographer and avoiding classic pitfalls of wedding photography.
Get A Professional
It might be tempting to skimp when it comes to photography for your wedding, I get it, weddings are expensive. But the photographs you get from that day will outlive even the nicest of chocolate fountains and will be looked at for years to come. So when uncle Dereck with his DSLR offers to do it for free, I advise you to politely decline.
Not least because, uncle Dereck will be a guest with friends and family in attendance and he’ll want an hors d’œuvreor two, my point is that a professional will be there to work. As well-intentioned as a family member might be by offering, they won’t work as hard as a paid professional and it would be unreasonable to expect them to. Booking a pro ensures quality, experience and dedication.
Build a relationship with your photographer
This is something that you can start working on as soon as you make contact with a potential photographer. You’ll probably see this person more than most of your guests on the day itself so it helps both of us if we get on well.
Let us see your emotions
Our job as wedding photographers isn’t just to document the events of the day but to ideally gain access to your intimate emotional moments as a couple and with your family. This will require you to trust us to an extent and allow a third party into an emotional space that maybe nobody else has seen before, let alone documented.
This tip could just as easily fit into an article on marriage itself. A way to ensure that you feel truly happy with the money spent on a professional photographer is to communicate regularly with them about your style, preferences and any key shots you want to get out of the day. Communication will be important before, during and even after your wedding so be sure to keep them in the loop whenever possible.
Plan Around Lighting
Great light makes for a great photo but not everywhere has equally good light so lighting is worth keeping mind when planning your wedding. From your choice of venue to where you get your makeup done, factoring in the light can ensure great photos and take some of the logistical strain off of your photographer if they aren’t having to set-up artificial light or every shoot.
If you want sunset photos or any other time-dependent shoots then it’s best to schedule these ahead of time and make sure everyone is aware. Sunset can go surprisingly quick!
Don’t Over Plan
It’s tempting to get every single minute planned out for your big day but what I’ve learned from experience is that a healthy dose of improvisation can help create truly special little moments like this one.
In my experience, a loose plan is best because while it’s easy to stage a smile, it’s hard to re-create a genuine laugh.
Have a chat with your photographer ahead of time about their approach to the group photos. Chances are they’ll usually have a system in place and have some good advice on how to make sure it doesn’t take an hour and a half.
Look A Bit Silly
We all know that a photograph can come out wrong. A single moment can contain hundreds of distinct photographs, some bad, some good and occasionally brilliant. The way to get those truly incredible shots is to forget that we’re even there and just have fun in your own space. Also, everyone loves a funny photo in the mix with all the serious ones.
Most importantly – Enjoy Yourself!
When hosting a wedding it can be easy to overlook that this is still your day after you’ve had to consider all the logistics and spend 6 months planning this. It’s really important to take stock and reflect on what this day means and get some enjoyment from this party you’re paying for!
Matthew Scott is a Brighton and Sussex based wedding photographer, covering the whole of the UK and available for destination weddings.