Choosing a Wedding Photographer – 6 Things You Should Know

08 Feb 2022

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer in Six Steps

As long as cameras have been around, wedding photographs have been valuable possessions, with many becoming family heirlooms over the decades. So the importance of choosing a wedding photographer well really can’t be overstated.

To help you find the right person (or people ????) for the job, I’ve put together some points below to help you better understand what you’re looking for and how to find your perfect wedding photographer.

1. Determine your budget

The first thing you need to do is decide how much you want to spend on your wedding photography.

When it comes to weddings, your photographer is one of the largest individual costs. But it’s also the one investment into your big day whose fruits you get to enjoy for years to come (apart from, you know, your actual wedding license and rings). So it makes sense to spend a bit more here if it means you can bag a photographer whose style you really love.

There are no hard and fast rules about how much money you should spend on your wedding photography, but for many couples, it makes up 5-15% of their total budget. You can find a photographer on almost any budget, but most will charge slightly different ways so make sure you understand what’s included.

We always say don’t be shy about talking budget and understanding what’s important to you.

2. Figuring out your style

There are many distinctive styles of wedding photography out there. From editorial fine art photography to candid and relaxed shots, you have loads to choose from. Think about the overall “feel” you want your photos to elicit. Do you want something elegant and understated or colourful and quirky?

Like with all things wedding planning, Pinterest can be your friend. Creating a mood board for your wedding photos can help you figure out not only your style but what specific shots you want to have taken on your wedding day. It can also be a useful thing to share with potential photographers when narrowing down your list.

Ideally, you should look to hire a wedding photographer who has examples in their portfolio of weddings similar to yours that they’ve photographed. Whether it’s a midwinter shindig, a casual elopement or something else altogether that you’re planning for your nuptials, this is the best way to ensure you get images you’ll love. This is especially true if you’re planning a somewhat unique wedding (have a look at some examples of our One of a Kind Wedding Venues)

3. When to book wedding photography

To ensure the best chance of securing your favourite photographer for your wedding, aim to book them about nine to twelve months in advance. Of course there will always be the chance of last minute bookings, especially if it’s a mid-week wedding you’re planning. But it’s also true that many wedding photographers will cap the numbers of weddings they photograph annually so don’t hang around if you’ve a particular photographer in mind.

Another advantage of booking your photographer early is you can involve them in the planning process and ask for their advice, especially when it comes to timings for the day. Your wedding photographer will be an invaluable resource for all your wed min (we tell all our couples that there’s no such thing as too much information)

4. Narrowing down your list

Make sure you find photographers for your list of potential photographers with an extensive portfolio in a style you love. Your wedding day is probably not the best time to give the gig to someone very green to the industry. Read reviews on social media and ask to see all the photos from other people’s weddings rather than just the best-of photos to get a real feel for their expertise.

I would recommend that you create a shortlist of a couple of different wedding photographers and get in touch with them. Find out how much they charge and whether they’re actually available on your big day.

You should also pay attention to how quickly they respond and the tone they use. You want to find someone who is prompt and professional in their correspondence, but also someone who seems genuinely excited about bringing your vision to life.

5. Meet with your potential photographer

Once you’ve narrowed down your choice to one or two photographers, organise to meet with them if at all possible. In order to get the best photos possible on your wedding day, it’s important that your photographer is skilled at getting you to relax and connect with your partner.

To this end, it’s good to feel out what kind of a person would be on the other side of the lens and go through your plans for your wedding day together to see whether you’d be a good match. Your photographer should be someone who understands your vision, helps you feel comfortable and with whom you have good chemistry overall.

Of course, this can be harder if you’re planning a destination wedding or elopement, but thanks to modern technology, you can still get a decent idea of your chemistry with your potential photographer over a video call.

6. Draw a contract

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you understand all the small print and what’s included in your package. This includes:

  • How many hours they’ll spend at your venue on the day
  • What prints or albums are included and what extras cost
  • Digital photographs (including copyright)
  • Whether a second shooter will be involved (and who they will be as remember you need to be able to connect with them too)
  • What happens if they can’t make it on the day due to an illness or emergency
  • Will they bring lights with them (in Scotland this is a crucial question)
  • Timescales for when you’ll receive your photographs and album



A little about us

Blue Sky – Wedding Photographers in Edinburgh

We’re Alie and Niels, an Edinburgh wedding photographer duo and husband and wife with eighteen years of experience in the wedding industry. We’re big fans of timeless, jaw-droppingly gorgeous wedding photography – and what’s a better backdrop for this than Scotland?

We take time to get to know you to find inspiration in your story and to discover what really makes you tick. Have a look at our dedicated wedding photography page and blog posts on real weddings we’ve photographed to get a better sense of our style. Like what you see? Drop us a line and let’s get talking.


Alie xx