If you need to search for a wedding photographer in your local location there are three main search strategies that I would consider using:
Local Printed Directories. These printed directories have become a firm favourite for any one needing to source out a local business, be it a plumber to fix your broken boiler or a painter and decorator to give your walls a fresh lick of paint. Several local wedding photographers will still choose to advertise in such business directories and hence they will prove a useful starting place when searching for a wedding photographer. However as a photographer myself, over 90% of my enquiries now come from my online marketing exploits so don't be surprised if your choice is a bit limited. It's also impossible to tell just from browsing a few black and white adverts how good the photographer actually is. Ok so they may have been in business since 1884 but what if anything does this tell you about the quality or style of their work? All serious photographers these days will have a web site so at the very least check this out and see whether their claims stand up to closer inspection and more importantly whether you actually like their work! Many photographers I know don't even bother advertising in printed directories anymore so do be aware that you may be missing the photographer of your dreams if you only employ this method.
Online Search. Yes the mighty Google comes up trumps again. All but the most techno phobic photographers will have a healthy web presence in this day and age and if they don't, then they're missing a trick! How to use a search engine to find a wedding photographer is fairly simple and although it may sound obvious to most you'll be surprised just how many times I'm asked this question. Try something simple like “wedding photographer yourlocation" and then try broadening your search to include a location near to yourself such as a major town or city. You'll be sure to come up with a great long list of potential candidates. Don't make the mistake of just clicking on the paid listings, or for that matter only browsing the entries on the first page. Just because a photographer pays a small fortune to be listed number one, either to Google Ad words or to a smart SEO (Search Engine Optimiser), doesn't necessarily make them the right person for you. This method has the great advantage of allowing you quick and easy access to a varied mix of local photographers, their portfolios, prices and maybe a few real life testimonials or two. The same with the printed directories though is that a part from a few customer testimonials, you have little way of knowing how good and ultimately reliable the photographer is.
Personal Testimonials. The ‘Word of Mouth’ is a still the most powerful marketing tool for any local business and one that I would certainly employ if I was searching for any local trade. A personal recommendation from a relative, friend, neighbour, work colleague or whomever is like gold dust. Ask them as much as you can and most importantly try and witness the photographers imagery first hand by flipping through their wedding album. This will give you a good idea as to whether or not you really like the style of the photographer, as you won't want to just book a photographer because their are reliable, you've got to love their work too! Working on a personal recommendation is always a great starting point and is a good way of trying to side step as much risk as possibly when hiring in an unfamiliar trade. Do still check out their web site and don't just simply dismiss other less known photographers in your area as you may just be missing out on the wedding album of your dreams.
Overall try to employ a mixture of search techniques and therefore keep your options open as a result. There is no right or wrong way to find a good local photographer but do remember that you wedding day will be stressful enough without having to worry about whether or not the photographer has captured those ‘special moments', so don't rush such an important decision. A little bit of effort now will pay dividends later as a good wedding photographer will not only help your day go smoothly but will also supply you with the physical memories you can enjoy for many many years to come.
Photographer Northampton with over 14 years experience of professional photographic practise. Supplying high quality creative photography to Kettering , Wellingborough, Corby and all Northamptonshire.