Top Tips – Choosing The Right Wedding Photographer

Congratulations, you are engaged!

Many couples start the wedding planning process by looking at a selection of wedding venues, before then narrowing it down to their perfect setting to tie the knot. There are certainly plenty to choose from in Cornwall!

Generally speaking, the next form of wedding services that you should be considering is to hire a photographer, but how do you go about doing that when there are so many local wedding photographers to choose from? This is why I have put together this guide on how to find and choose your wedding photographer.


Bridal wedding blogs are brimming with inspiration for your wedding, whether it be seasonal, colour or themed (English country, rustic, vintage etc…)

What ideas do you have for your own wedding?

Have a look to see if any local photographers have had any of their work published in these blogs. Real wedding submissions are a great way to view a range of photographs from a wedding and to get a feel for the quality of the work you can expect from the photographer, from the finer details to the candid moments.

Another good idea is to complete an online search to see if you can find any real weddings that have been shot by any local photographers at your chosen wedding venue.

The Scarlet Hotel Cornwall spring wedding- Image 50

Photographer Style

You will need to consider what style of photographer you want for your wedding and also how the final pictures will look.

Here are a few wedding photography styles that you might wish to consider: Classic, Reportage and Documentary. Which one do you prefer?

Classic wedding photography (sometimes referred to as traditional or formal wedding photography) – Your photographer will capture the key elements of the day, like the signing of the register and the cutting of the cake, as well as taking staged photographs of you and your wedding guests.

Reportage wedding photography – Natural looking, non-posed wedding photography that follows the day as it unfolds. A style of photography that might suit those who do not like posing for the camera.

Documentary wedding photography (sometimes referred to as photo journalistic) – A form of natural wedding photography, telling the unique story of your wedding day.

Documentary wedding photographers adopt an approach whereby they record the natural, candid moments as they happen (in a similar way to a reportage style) but also focusing on the emotion and the atmosphere of the day, along with the finer details.

Sarah and Paul's rustic winter wedding at The Green in Cornwall - Image 7

Editing Style

When looking at real weddings or various photographer portfolios, you might find that some images look soft and pastel, where others look like they have been taken on old film.

Every photographer has a different style; they will shoot using either a digital camera or with film, have equipment variations and will have different ways of editing their images using computer software. This is called ‘post-processing.’ The majority of photographers make basic lighting and colour adjustments but can also use computer software to create a certain ‘look’.

Some popular wedding photography editing styles include:

Clean – Lightly processed to achieve a natural look.

Matte – A low-contrast look, with muted pastel colours, similar to vintage film.

High Contrast – A vibrant look with rich colours that pop.

It doesn’t matter which one you choose, as long as you love the look!


The Price

“Why is wedding photography so expensive?”

It’s a question on the lips of many engaged couples but there’s a lot more involved than you might think: Equipment costs, the hours it takes to edit the hundreds of pictures per wedding, business insurance, tax, software, advertising, presentation (online gallery subscriptions, USBs, albums), repairs, postage, travel expenses and for the wedding photographers with children, child care costs!

According to a recent wedding survey, over the last 12 months supplier costs have increased by 12% with the average cost of a wedding being £17, 913. The average wedding photography cost being in the region of £1600.

Prioritise what is most important to you but it’s important to remember, when the wedding is over, what will you have? Your husband/wife, your rings and also your memories from the day, beautifully presented. This is why wedding photography is so important, and why careful consideration should be made when choosing a great photographer to tell your story.

The Scarlet Hotel Cornwall spring wedding- Image 49


It goes without saying that finding a wedding photographer that you can gel with is equally important. Choosing a photographer that you think is great but who you don’t get along with, is never going to work. If that photographer struggles to make you laugh, smile or get the best out of you, then you aren’t going to achieve that relaxed, natural wedding photography that you long for.

It’s important to meet with your photographer prior to the wedding, not only to discuss the day in detail, but to ensure that both parties get on well and can work together. If you like each other, then you are more inclined to relax and have fun on the day, ensuring great wedding pictures!

“Thanks for the great photos and excellent service from start to finish. You have a great style and unobtrusive touch that helped to capture those so important natural and unposed moments” – A recent testimonial received from C Soady-Smith.

talland bay wedding venue, Cornwall

Conclusion – When to book

So after narrowing it down, you have chosen your local photographer for your wedding in Cornwall. How soon should you book them in advance?

Although it can vary, the average engagement is 14 months, with the average amount of months in advance for couples to book their wedding photographer being 9 months before the wedding date. Of course, engagements can be either shorter or longer depending on the circumstances.

A good rule of thumb being, if your wedding is less than a year away, you should be actively searching for a photographer.

Why should you book your photographer so early anyway?

Well, unlike other wedding vendors, like a florist or a make-up artist for example, typically wedding photographers only shoot one wedding per day. So when a photographer books a popular date with a couple, that date is no longer available for other couples to book. As you can imagine, a photographer with more experience or a better reputation will tend to get booked up fairly quickly, so if you have a preference for a photographer, don’t wait!

If you are looking for a wedding photographer in Cornwall, I have very limited 2018 dates remaining. I am now taking bookings for 2019/20 weddings, please contact me to check availability.