Are you planning to get married in France? Tips on how to choose your photographer

One of the important decisions that you’ll be looking forward to making long before your actually wedding day is who to choose as your wedding photographer. In this article I am hoping to give you a few tips and pointers to help you work out how to choose:


Long after your wedding day has been and gone what is left to remind you of your special day? You may have kept your dress and the flower decoration from your cake but it is the images captured and created by your photographer that remind you of all the details of the day, that you will hopefully treasure for a lifetime.

Make a list of photographers that seem to fit your criteria for both style and budget.

Research their websites, ask for references from them and then choose to meet with those who you think fit the bill. For example, are you looking for someone to take group photos or are you looking for a photo journalistic style of the whole day from the brides dress and hair preparations, right through till the evenings festivities?

Look carefully into what is being offered in the ‘package’.

Some photographers offer images on CD, but are those images than you can print or is it a sideshow that you can view on your PC or TV that you can’t print.
What type of album or photo book is being produced and how many images will appear in it? Ask to see an example of the finished product so you can see the print quality.

How easy is it for family and friends to see and buy the photos and how much do they cost?


Not many French photographers have private on-line viewing of images for family and friends yet, let alone e-commerce built into their sites so that you can order images, canvases and posters directly. They are catching up but if it’s something that is important to you as, for example, you have friends travelling from abroad for your big day, how can they see your photos and how can they order reprints?



Is it important for you that your photographer is bilingual?


Do you have French & English guests and if so, can your photographer help you with the group photos by speaking to all your invited guests at the crucial moment? Another great reason to have a bilingual photographer is that they can approach officials at the 'Mairie' (The town hall where the legal marriage takes place) and the church to introduce themselves and ask politely for permission to photograph throughout the ceremonies.


French tradition of couple photography before the wedding day


Well this was a curious one to me when I was first approached to carry it out. Being English means to me, and I’m sure many of you, that the groom doesn’t see his bride in her wedding gown before the big day. It also seemed strange to me that couples wanted photos that weren’t actually taken on their wedding day. Well I have carried this out for soon-to-be-married-couples and it can be lovely moment for them, full of tenderness and intimacy. Couples are relaxed as it is only in my presence and some wonderful images have been created.

Then, following on from this pre-wedding session I have been asked to provide a range of printed photos which the bride and groom have on show at their wedding reception. It’s certainly very different from our English traditions but I can see the positives of doing it.

Meeting the photographer


Feel free to write down the questions that you’d like to ask during your meeting with the photographer and take notes if you’d like. Your photographer should always outline exactly what they are offering for you at what price and with what payment terms, in writing so everyone knows what to expect.

The more questions you ask beforehand the more relaxed and confident you’ll feel about your photographer and the skills that they are bringing to your wedding day. If in doubt, ask!


Here are a few other questions you might like to ask:

  • What is your style of photography : traditonal, photojournalistic, a mix of both?

  • Do you have backup photographic equipment in case of any failures?

  • Do you have travel or overtime charges?

  • Will you be personally be carrying out the photography?

  • Who will I be dealing with after the wedding?

  • How will you make it easy for family and friends to view and order reprints and enlargements?



Budget: Why choose a more expensive wedding photographer over a cheaper one?


Well, there can be several reasons. Like many things in life if you think that the price is too good to be true then it probably is and this can be applied to wedding photography too. Whilst good value for money is important, getting the results that you are looking for is even more so. Imagine being disappointed in your wedding photos…they simply can’t be retaken.

Much of the cost of a professional wedding photographer isn't just the actual wedding day. Wedding photojournalists, like me, can take on average 1000-2500 photos during a wedding day. I may be invited to be there from the bride’s preparations right through the day and into the early hours. With those hundreds of photos are days of work choosing the best ones, photo correction and manipulation and finally preparation of the layout of the photo book and preparation of on-line photo galleries. On average photo books feature the 350 most creative and memorable images of the day.


Take your time making your decision as this is a big one. You should never feel rushed into it.


“Remember that all professional photographers, (professional in attitude, as well as being paid for their work), want to produce the best images possible for Wedding Photography for you to treasure for a lifetime and they understand the responsibility placed on them to do everything in their power to make it happen for you.”