Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

February 14, 2024

How Do You Choose Your Wedding Photographer?


New Jersey weddingMy first international wedding in New Jersey, America, USA by Wiltshire wedding photographer Barbara Leatham


What have I learned over the years?

I've learned that on this one special day of your life, your photographs are going to be one of the few things what will still be around long after the confetti has been swept up, the cake has been eaten and the flowers have faded. You really want to make sure that your photographer is going to capture your day in a way that resonates with you.

So how do you choose the best photographer for your day?

Well it's not easy, for many there's a budget involved; no doubt there will have been much researching online, deciding on what can be afforded as well as what is included in the price; but there's much more to finding your ideal photographer than this. For example, do you like their style? Do you like them?

The last question may possibly be one of the most important. Like any relationship that brings people together, be it business or personal, the magic happens when you all get on together.

As a photographer, asking your bride and groom to trust you comes from empathy and understanding them and they you. You are being invited to be part of their day - and not just any day - it's the day they are sharing with family and friends; and although you are there to deliver a service, you also find that you often become a friend to them, supporting them in the lead up to their big day as well as on the day, and often afterwards.

We are often privy to the most intense moments so trust is very important.

Here are some other things that I think couples should think about when choosing their photographer

  • Most professional photographers offer or include an "engagement shoot" also known as a "pre wedding shoot" which is an ideal time to get used to being in front of your photographers camera.
  • They usually always have a gallery of pictures on their website, but often these can be the "very best" or even images taken during photography training days and may not give you a true idea of a full day of images.
    I always offer to give the password to recent weddings I have done so that a couple can get a good idea of the coverage I give. Make sure you ask your photographer about this.
  • Talking to previous couples. I always ask my couples if they are happy for me to pass on their contact details to future couples.
    Testimonials are wonderful for a photographer to have, but there's nothing quite like talking to someone who has been in front of your preferred photographers camera on their big day to give you a good indication of what it might be like for you.
  • Make sure you meet face to face. I love to meet with my couples, whenever possible, over a coffee/tea so we can have a good chat.
    Getting to talk to your photographer, especially if you are booking with a studio that has many photographers is essential. You need to know who you will be trusting with your special day. This is the time when you'll start to get a feel about how well you'll gel on your day.
  • If in doubt, meet with them again before you book them. But likewise, if you know instantly that they aren't the photographer for you then tell them. There are only so many days in the year and while a photographer is holding a day for you they may loose another enquiry. Of course we are always disappointed when a couple choose someone else, but it's harder when we don't hear back at all.
  • Make sure they are insured. Seriously important that they are covered.
  • Do they have a network of reliable professional photographers? Should the worse ever happen and they can't cover your day can they make sure that you are not without a photographer?
  • Do they have back up equipment? A simple question, but if you are trusting your day to someone with just one camera and one card then you are taking a big risk should something fail to work on the day. Unlike a portrait shoot where a booking can be rescheduled your wedding day is a once in a life time event.
  • How booked up are they, are they shooting back to back weddings? Can they give you the time and energy they need to on your day to deliver the best images they can for you?

Choosing the wrong photographer can cost a lot, and I'm not talking about the financial aspect, although this is important

Tiffany wedding ringsThe Tiffany wedding rings for Hayley and Chris, Wiltshire 2023


Do you get what you pay for??

Often the answer is yes. You have to remember that the actual cost of getting married is quite inexpensive. Going to a registry office or even a church, without the luxury of a dress, the suit(s), the reception, flowers, favours and yes, even the photography, you can get married to the person of your dreams for a really good price. But I think that we all want to share our day and then we want it to look beautiful when we do, and finally we want someone to record it for prosperity. All of these cost and you have to decide where you invest your hard earned money.

I always tell a couple to invest in three things

  • Your wedding rings. You wear these for the rest of your life, make them something you truly love and cherish
  • The bridal underwear. Invest in something beautiful that makes your feel like a queen every time you wear it, even if it's just under your comfy joggers.
  • Your photography. Remember that a good professional photographer can make your wedding look amazing no matter where else you try to keep the costs down.


Be realistic about your budget, on average the cost of a UK wedding is now £20,000. The average professional wedding photographer charges £2,000 upwards. But they will have invested in good quality equipment, professional photography training, business insurance and will have vast experience with difficult situations that they can master.

I hope that this has been useful to you. With over 20 years of experience I've heard so many heart breaking stories of couples who have been let down because they choose someone without researching. But with a few choice questions, like those I've suggested here, in your pocket you should find it less likely to happen to you.

I no longer advertise doing weddings, and you won't find a wedding page on my website. My weddings are through referrals, and I am grateful to all the couples who have trusted me over the years.


Bride and groom evening timeBowood Hotel, Wiltshire, bride and groom taking time out before the evening guests arrive - 2023


Barbara Leatham Photography is based in the small village of Tilshead in the middle of the Salisbury Plains in Wiltshire. but also covers Berkshire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, London and the rest of the UK. Barbara also teaches photography and runs workshops for beginners, enthusiasts and amateur photographers as well as business owners who want to improve their own business photography

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