Fun at first sight! by Richard Linnett

Engagement shoots have become an important part of preparing for a wedding, a chance to really check out the photographer, someone you may be with much of your wedding day so they need to be someone you really get on with and even like. They will also be someone who can also make beautiful and technically brilliant images, check out their website thoroughly to make sure this is true.

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Your wedding photographs should be like your favourite film by Richard Linnett

Like a favourite film which we can watch over and over again it would be wonderful to have wedding pictures that we also enjoy looking at repeatedly. One of my favourite films is 'Casablanca', and recently we unusually watched a film twice at the cinema we enjoyed it so much, 'The Shape of Water' . What these films have is a richness of atmosphere, artistic flare, and story, not to mention interesting characters which reward us emotionally and aesthetically. That description should apply to our wedding photographers too, a very high standard which we wedding photographers can aspire to. I have always been of a developmental frame of mind and it is important to always be searching to improve in whatever we do, in my case taking ever better wedding photographs.

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Should you go with the first wedding photographer you see? Should you go with the one offering the lowest price? by Richard Linnett

As with all things purchased 'shop around' on the internet, in literature, listen to recommendations from friends and family and attend wedding fayres. Talk to as many photographers as you have time for and draw up a short list. Do not make a decision in a rush. After your venue the photographer may be the next most expensive part of your wedding, depending upon how much photography you want and how in demand your 'favoured' photographer is. Another reason not to rush is to get to know the photographer a little better choosing someone you know you are more likely to get on with, more on this later.

 A good photographer will capture the emotional moments.

A good photographer will capture the emotional moments.

The Internet is really every photographers 'shop window' these days. Many wedding photographers do not have a high street shop, especially if they specialise in wedding photography. If they have a shop then go and see them and go through their work with them at what is usually a free consultation. Images should be in a style you like and appeal to you, and once taken these images will ideally be yours for a lifetime and should have a timeless quality as well as a record of how you were and how you felt. I would also suggest reading as many reviews as possible including those on Google as well as those on the photographers website.

 Capturing that moment when the bride and groom may kiss as a married couple for the first time! Photographers need timing. Taken at  Shrewsbury Castle .

Capturing that moment when the bride and groom may kiss as a married couple for the first time! Photographers need timing. Taken at Shrewsbury Castle.

Your photographer should be artistically and technically competent, but also remember they may be with you all day, so someone who is friendly, sensitive and who is going to make taking the photographs enjoyable and even fun. You and your guests are there to have a wonderful time, so a person who is going to be able to get on with you all with patient, assertiveness and a sens e of humour is more likely to be inclusive of you all and their character is therefore an important consideration.

 A wedding photographer can use natural light as well as flash lighting. This silhouette has enough detail to add to the interest in the picture.

A wedding photographer can use natural light as well as flash lighting. This silhouette has enough detail to add to the interest in the picture.

Your wedding photographer also needs to be a great communicator, listen to you first and then adding in experience and ideas that make your photographs the joy they should be. They should also make it clear exactly how they will photograph your wedding so that you know exactly what you are paying for and know you are getting value for money. They should also be happy to answer your questions and enthusiastic about their work and there is perhaps a sense that they don't just do it for the money.

 Drinks reception on the drive and lawn in Shrewsbury Castle.

Drinks reception on the drive and lawn in Shrewsbury Castle.

Ideally cost is not your only consideration, but perhaps be honest about how much you have budgeted and if the person is definitely the photographer you want it might be better to book them for less time and get the quality of images you really want. It may be a case of 'less is actually more' and the last thing you want to be is disappointed in the final wedding pictures.

 Wonderful wedding at Shrewsbury Castle with a lovely family.

Wonderful wedding at Shrewsbury Castle with a lovely family.

Once you have booked expect high professional standards from your photographer with the best of before, during and after care service. Your photographer is probably the one professional working with you on your wedding whom you will meet a number of times and you deserve the best on one of the most important days of your life.

 On the courtyard beneath Laura's Tower in Shrewsbury Castle.

On the courtyard beneath Laura's Tower in Shrewsbury Castle.

All the images in this article were taken at Shrewsbury Castle, a wonderful Shropshire wedding venue.