How to find your Perfect Wedding Photographer Sydney

Looking for your Perfect Wedding Photographer Sydney? Here’s a insider guide on how to find them from a wedding photographer who went through the same process as you have.

Planning a wedding is difficult and one of the toughest aspects that doesn’t get enough attention is the selection of that all important wedding photographer.

I was married in 2014 so I understand that finding your perfect wedding photographer in Sydney is hard work and something you just cannot get wrong. It is the most important day of your life so far and you only have one time to get your wedding photos right.

Instead of simply choosing someone I knew in the wedding industry, I decided to go through a similar process that I bride would go through so I could get a real understanding of what you would go through. I went to wedding expos, looked through wedding directories, searched google and got a shortlist and met with 3 different photographers with different approaches and different price points.

After meeting with all 3 photographers, I was clear to me that building trust right from the get go was really important, and first impressions count for a LOT. Being quick at responding to emails really helps too.

The first photography studio although their photographs were nice, I felt their finished products were cheap and nasty. They had many photographers working for them and I didnt want to feel like a number to them.  And they didn’t respond to my emails very quickly which was a red flag from the beginning. The packages didn’t quite make sense to me with so many confusing add ons and and options.  They were the cheapest of the 3 by a fair amount.

The second person was incredibly nice and friendly from the start, he worked from a home studio which was very down to earth. He was passionate about his photography, had a strong vision for the wedding day and actually asked me what we wanted and how he could help us achieve that. And he had amazing albums and followed up without being annoying. He was  the most expensive of the 3, but showed real pride in his work and he had plenty of great reviews to back up his reputation.

The third photographer was arrogant and cocky who had a huge ego and didn’t really seem to care too about anyone but himself. He had really nice work but his attitude really threw us off. He was the middle of the 3 for pricing.

So who do you think we went with in the end?

Number 2. Despite being the most expensive of them all.


Firstly, I wanted someone who was nice to me and my fiance and make us feel comfortable which gave us confidence in his abilities to relate to us and our guests. That was my first criteria.

Secondly, his albums and work were stunningly beautiful and I was happy to pay for something that I could be proud to show my kids one day. I was budgeting a certain amount for photography but decided that I would sacrifice bombinieries instead to help pay for it instead (best decision I made for the wedding!)

Finally, he had excellent reviews and I couldn’t find a bad word about him anywhere on the internet.

I was pretty stoked  he even finished the online gallery in 3 weeks and we had our album within 3 months. Some of our friends didnt see their wedding photos for 6 months after their wedding!

Enough about my wedding, let’s share my best insider tips from a wedding photographer who has stepped in your shoes on how to find your perfect wedding photographer.

Look at their past work

The first element that should be considered when deciding how to choose your wedding photographer is their past work.

Make sure they have with examples of the work they have done in the past such as a full wedding album similar to yours and galleries. If they show you just a portfolio album with different couples from different weddings in it then it shows they are just starting out in the industry.

They will also ask a lot of questions about your wedding day, find out what you don’t like and what is important to you. They are humble about their successes, and can really relate to what you want from your wedding photography.

Do you get a sense that their photography really tells a story from start to end looking from an outsider’s point of view?  Is there a bitt of variety or is it just a collection of traditional posed photos that looks same same after a while?

Ask them if they are doing this full time, or is it just a hobby?

Don’t be swayed by a flowery speech or an awesome deal to make you book on the spot. A great photographer’s work does the talking for them and they shouldn’t need to do that (if they are they are pretty desperate). If you feel like you’re being sold to, don’t let it happen.

Ask them if they have photographed at your venue or ceremony location (bonus points if they have, not a deal breaker!) A good photographer can figure things out very quickly on the day if presented with the right location.

Ask to see their wedding albums and if they are of good quality. Compare how it feels in your hand. The best wedding photographers have a focus on providing quality albums, prints and finishes and are proud of the products they display.

Ask about how long it will take to get the photos back to you and how they will be delivered?

Ask about their reviews and if he can share some.

Ask how many weddings have they photographed. If they are not a specialist wedding photographer then maybe reconsider your options. A jack of all trades is a master of none. When you need a painter, you wouldn’t ask a handyman to do it. Even though he possibly could do the job, they are certainly not experts in that area.

Ask them what if they enjoy what they do and gauge their sense of pride in their work. Ask them about their personal journey into photography and why they decided to photograph weddings.

Ask about their photographic style and does it suit your personality?

Ask them about their style and does it resonate with your personality? Do you want a photographer who likes to pose you and direct you and stage moments, or do you prefer a more natural fly on the wall approach? There is no right or wrong answer to this question, only you know what you like.

Have you seen other photographers work, say from your friends or family who have been married and ask yourself, what did you like about their photography? Do you like being the centre of attention? Or would you prefer someone who likes to stand back and observe the day as it happens?

Do they offer an engagement shoot to get to know you as a couple beforehand? (I did one with my photographer and it made a world of difference).

You’re going to be spending a lot of time with this person so make sure you like who they are!

Ask about his or her “Tools”

 How to find your Perfect Wedding Photographer Sydney

No it is not meant to be an offensive question, but asking about someone’s tools will raise some eyebrows! While you will want to choose a wedding photographer who has the latest equipment, do not allow this factor to hold too much sway in your decision making process. Having great tools means very little, if the photographer does not have tried and true methods for getting the most out of them.

Every man and his dog can purchase a professional camera and call themselves a photographer, but does he or she have the skills and knowledge to operate it? Liken it to a person who buys a sports car but never takes it to a race track to drive it like it was meant to.

Would you trust someone with limited experience on the most important day of your life? Or would you trust someone who has a wealth of experience and can back it up with consistently great work.

Ask if they have a backup plan just in case Sh*T happens! 

I’d be really happy if someone asked me this question, because it means they have done their homework and understands that this is so important. Ask them how they backup your images and keep it safe on the wedding day and if they can’t provide you with a solid answer, i’d take my business elsewhere.

If they only have 1 camera and 1 lens and it breaks down on the day, what will happen? What happens if their memory card fails and they only have one memory card? What happens if their computer fails and they don’t have a backup of your images?

The best photographers always run 2 memory cards in their cameras, have more than 1 lens just in case one breaks, has more than enough memory cards and has multiple redundancies of your photos saved in different locations…just in case…..knowing that it is better safe then sorry.

I have heard stories where the photographer had to borrow one of the guest’s camera because their one simply wouldn’t work on the day. Worse yet, i’ve been called to photograph a wedding on the day of the wedding because their photographer didn’t decide to show up.

Do they have a contract to protect you so you know exactly what you’re getting for your money. If they don’t have one, then i’d really question their professionalism and legality.

Do they have an ABN? If not, then they are just doing this for fun and don’t take weddings very seriously.

Do they make you pay with cash only and no other option? (if this is the case, then they are certainly doing something dodgy).

Don’t trust your friend/family member who happens to “take nice photos” on the most important day of your life

Every friend and family member who fancies themselves a photographer is going to come out of the woodwork. But they are not likely to have the equipment, ability and track record to provide you with the photography that you want. Don’t let yourself be swayed by their appeals. Don’t hire your uncle with a nice big fancy camera. Just because he has the tools it doesn’t mean he knows how to use it 😉

Just tell them politely that you would rather them enjoy the day instead of working and they won’t be offended.

You only have one chance at your wedding photography, and it’s not a job for an amateur photographer with limited experience.

***Don’t hire that that guy in the photo above!

Meet with more than one photographer

Meet with a variety of wedding photographers. Get a feel of their personality, whether you like their style of work. Once you have done your homework, trust your gut instincts and choose the wedding photographer who gives you the best feeling. When you do the proper research, there is zero reason to second guess yourself.

Did they reply to you quickly without having you chase them? Those who are too busy to reply to you means they don’t really care about you. Believe it or not, there were a number of photographers who didn’t reply to my inquiry, or they replied a month later.

I personally shortlisted photographers and compared their styles, their approach and their inclusions and found that the best photographer for me was the one who took the time to get to know me and my fiance, who replied to my emails and phone calls immediately and had the best quality inclusions. All three of them had very different approaches and personality and it was clear to me who made me feel most comfortable so I simply went with him.

Don’t always go for the cheapest option.

Like all things in this world, you do get what you pay for. Find out exactly what you’re getting for your money. Do they include things like engagement sessions, albums, all day photography or hourly packages? What is important to you? A good photographer prices their work according to their experience, reputation,  quality of products and service they provide and most importantly how much pride they have in themselves.  A low price generally means less experience, less quality, less service and less pride in themselves.

If you have a set budget but your favourite photographer is a bit out of reach, my honest advice is to to just tell them you really like their work but you’re slightly out of my price range and you’ll be surprised what they can do for you. They may not necessarily can give you a discount, but they may offer some bonuses that can help. When you really want something, there is always a way.

I’ve also written another blog post on where you could save some money on your wedding and splurge on things that are more important to you, such as photography or even that dress you’ve always wanted.

13 Ways to Save Money for your Wedding

Learning how to choose your perfect wedding photographer is all about asking yourself the right questions. Does the photographer provide you with a feeling of stability? Is their presence calming and soothing? Do you like their personality? The last thing you want to do is hire a photographer that you don’t get along with and they just don’t understand what you want just to save a few dollars.

Your wedding day is going to come and go much more quickly than you think. Once it has ended, all that remains are the special moments and memories that your photography will bring it back to life again every time you look at your wedding album. Everything else, the flowers, hair, makeup, DJ, cars, food, that table arrangement you spent a thousand dollars on will all fade into a distant memory.

Knowing how to choose your perfect wedding photographer allows you to not worry if your wedding photography will turn out, because you know you can trust the person you’ve chosen to do the best job they could possibly do given the circumstance rain, hail or shine.

Hope you find these tips helpful!

To learn more about how I approach your wedding day, visit The Experience

If you would like to ask me all of these questions, I know I can answer all of them! Click below to book your free wedding consultation

Book a Free Wedding Consultation

How to find your Perfect Wedding Photographer Sydney

May 12, 2017

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