Guy Milnes Photography Logo

Chapter 1

Ultimate Guide to

Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer – Getting the Best Photography to Suit Your Needs


Bride walking through dining room whilst guests applaud at RAF Club wedding

My photographic style ranges from vibrant and detailed shots like this one to the black and white below.

Wedding Photography and its Mind-Boggling Options

Your photographer is the person who will be around you most during your day (except, perhaps, for your intended!).  From the preparations until the first dance and beyond, they are there to capture all those special moments you may not have even been aware of.

You may only require time-limited ceremony coverage or a full day of 8 hours+.  Whichever option you choose, your photographer is one of the first wedding vendors you will approach and most likely be the last you will have contact with when you are presented with your beautiful photographs after your day.

For this reason alone, it is essential that you feel comfortable and relaxed having your chosen wedding photographer around.  However, there are several critical points to consider when wondering, “Which wedding photographer should I choose?” Read on for some hints & tips on how to pick yours…

Wedding couple with their marriage certificate at their ceremony with registrar clapping

Choosing your preferred style is the first thing to do when looking for your ideal wedding photographer.  Mine is all about the priceless natural moments that happen throughout the day.

Consider the Venue>> Chelsea Old Town Hall for Your Small to Medium Wedding.

Mature lady shakes hand of man whilst sitting at table laid for meal with other guests watching

Often, the smallest moments mean the most to look back on for years to come.  It’s up to your chosen photographer to capture as many as possible.

Photographic Style & Approach


Do you require natural shots of the day as it unfolds or a more traditional approach with an emphasis on posed photos?


Think about which wedding photography style appeals to you, then Google it for examples:


Black & white, colour or a mixture?

Bright colours or muted tones?

Vintage or contemporary?

Soft focus or a more high contrast, gritty look?  I don’t do soft focus, but plenty of photographers do it well if that’s your thing.

I specialise in taking documentary shots of the wedding day, fly-on-the-wall style.  Interference is minimal.  I don’t ask for unnatural poses.  Couples that book me tend to prefer natural, reportage photographs that tell their pictorial story through observation.  I hear many stories of photographers taking over the day – that is not my style at all.

The bride enters the Mayoral Room at Bristol Register Office with parents in face masks

Unposed and as it happened: Lovely bride Georgia waits to enter her ceremony room in Bristol with her COVID-19 masked parents.

Remember:  Your wedding day is yours.  Ensure that your photographer respects that and works with you.

Bride at Groom laughing with registrar during Old Marylebone Town Hall wedding ceremony

I love shots like this: a happy wedding moment where I photographed the couple giggling with the registrar during their ceremony.

Wedding Photography Investment – Notes on Budgeting

Budgeting is vital when planning a wedding.  But what happens if you find your perfect photographer but discover they’re much over the fee you’ve set aside for photography?

You don’t have to choose the best wedding photographer, but good photography isn’t cheap.  The photographs are the one thing from your day that you’ll take with you to look back on for years to come.  They’re an investment in memories and should be well worth the extra money you’ll be thankful you spent in the future.

If you like a more expensive photographer, revisit your budget.  You’ll likely have time between booking them and your wedding day to save a bit extra.

Couple holding hands sitting across two benches with St Luke's Church in Chelsea as a backdrop

Your photographer should look for fantastic locations and backdrops like this church in Chelsea.

Don’t settle for second best – You can’t put a price on memories!

Bride's grandma hugs her in Nelson Suite of Llechwen Hall Hotel

Precious moments: Tamara’s grandmother can’t wait to hug her as she walks back down the aisle at her Llechwen Hall Hotel wedding near Pontypridd.

A Brief Word About What You Are Paying For

Many people think the wedding photographer attends the wedding, takes some (hopefully) nice pictures and supplies the JPEGS.  If only that were true, good photographers would be cheaper, their workload a lot less, and they could take on many more wedding clients a year.  Your photographer is the vendor who will invest most time (weeks sometimes) before and after your day.

The groom holds his bride at their short wedding in Fitzrovia Chapel in Central London - taken from the balcony.

Couples can pay a lot for their chosen venues; your photographer should feature this as much as possible.  Few small wedding venues are as beautiful as the Fitzrovia Chapel in London.

A typical service that your wedding photographer provides:

  • Preliminary emails/phone calls and meetings – answering couples’ many questions.  See my Wedding Photography FAQs Page, where I answer many of these.
  • Paperwork (preparing the contract, questionnaire, invoice etc.).
  • Close liaison with the couple and prompt responses to their queries right up to the day with another meeting if necessary.
  • Full photography coverage (full days are often 9-10 hours or more).
  • Editing all photo files – usually takes up to a week (I take 15000-2000 on a wedding day, and sorting and editing the very best takes time).
  • Design of photo album (if applicable) – another few days plus the time it takes for other drafts.
  • Supply of all media – (files, album printing and delivery).
  • Debrief – to check the couple is happy with their photos and the service received.


Long after the reception tables are cleared, the band has packed up, and other vendors have moved on, your photographer will still be thinking about and working on editing the photographs of your day.

Bride and Groom kissing after ceremony at Fitzrovia Chapel

Good wedding photography isn’t cheap: your photographer should be experienced and know where to get all the key moments.  Sometimes, the unexpected happens, such as this impromptu kiss as the couple walks back down the aisle.

Research, Research, Research!

So you’ll likely spend a fair whack on the photography for your wedding – be sure to get it right when choosing your wedding photographer.  Use the WWW and search keywords that reflect the style that you’re looking for.  At this stage, the photographer’s location isn’t important.  But get an idea of the different options and styles that appeal to you most.  Only then can you start to narrow down the various photographers in your area.  Or not… I live in Wales but also cover weddings in Bristol, London and the southeast.  If you love the work of a photographer who lives further afield, speak to them.

At the start, your photography is an abstract concept.  You can’t touch, smell, or see it like flowers, food, or wedding dress.  But browsing photographers’ websites should give you a good idea.  The work you see on their site should be similar to what you’ll look back on for years to come.

Read reviews of how other couples have found the service and results.  Many of my past clients are happy to be contacted if further assurances are required.

Short-list a few that resonate well with you and arrange to meet them.  Personality and photographic flair are equally important, so ultimately, choose who you both like the work of and feel you can work with.  If a meeting isn’t possible, ask about arranging a SKYPE chat or phone call.  I work between London and Cardiff/South Wales so meeting somewhere mutually convenient in either area shouldn’t be a problem.

Bride's father pointing during speeches whilst the couple laugh

Your photographer should have a good sense of when moments like this are about to happen.  The bride’s father recounted a memory involving the best man and groom as children.  This kind of shot means so much to the couple to look back on.

When Choosing Your Wedding Photographer, Ask Yourself:


Do I like the photographic style?


Can I see myself in similar-styled photos?


Would I feel comfortable with this photographer being around throughout our wedding day?

A newly-wedded couple share their first kiss at Southwark Register Office

The first kiss is always a tender moment, and it’s critical for your photographer to be skilled enough to capture it well.  This short wedding ceremony was at Southwark Register Office.

Use Your Photographer

Once you’ve chosen your photographer, use them.  They’re experienced in all aspects of the wedding day, so ask questions, listen to their suggestions and value their opinion.

Remember, they are the professional…

Ask them for recommendations if you need them.  I have worked with many wedding vendors, from videographers to bands to venues to florists.  Most photographers have built up a list of suppliers they are happy to recommend, so feel free to benefit from this.

I like to help the couple as much as possible.  Therefore, I encourage them to contact me whenever they have the slightest query or concern about anything related to wedding photography.  Wedding days are complex, and if I can help take off the pressure in any way, I’m delighted to do so.

The Singing Waiter Masters Performing at a Wedding at The Ned in London

The Singing Waiter Masters were a unique post-dinner piece of entertainment.  Exciting and dynamic, I had my work cut out, keeping up.  Your photographer should try to be everywhere at once to get those stunning shots.

10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer


      1. Will we get all the edited image files?
      2. High-res or low-res?
      3. Will we own them (what about copyright)?
      4. Have you worked at our venue before?
      5. How many (roughly) will be provided?
      6. Is travel included in the price – will there be any additional costs?
      7. Are you fully insured?
      8. What about if you are ill or can’t attend?
      9. When is the balance due?
      10. How do we book you?


Write down questions and ask them when you meet your potential wedding photographers.  If a meeting isn’t possible, then ask on the phone.  It’s so important to put your mind at rest.

I like to answer as many questions as possible on my site so couples get a feel for who I am and what I can provide before contacting me.  But many photographers have scant information on their site, so you may have many questions for them.

The groom signs the register whilst his bride watches on at Islington Town Hall

Ming signs the wedding register at Islington Town Hall whilst bride Jenny watches.

Get Everything in Writing

If they quote a fee for particular services on the phone, ensure they send this through by email.   Ask for an itemised list of what they include in your chosen package.  Then, there can be no dispute further down the line.

Couple leaving wedding at Morden Park House with guests throwing confetti

The confetti makes for an excellent opportunity for a sequence of shots of the bride and groom.  I do a mixture of colour and black and white for a more diverse set.

Communication and Information

Know what you want and ensure your photographer is on the same page.  If something is important to you, do tell them.  For example, sometimes a poignant moment is planned, such as placing a rose to remember a relative no longer around.  Ensure your photographer knows about this so they can spend time capturing it.

Make sure they know where to be and when.  Provide an itinerary and list of required shots.  I give my clients a questionnaire to fill in to make things easier.  Tell them if there is anything else you believe they need to know.  Don’t leave anything to chance!

Consider the Venue>> Lambeth Town Hall, London, for Your Civil Wedding.

Bride tossing her wedding bouquet at Belair House in Dulwich

Some shots are trickier than others.  Trying the get the bride and tossed bouquet and single female guests trying to catch it all in one go is one of the more difficult photos.

Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away

This seems like obvious advice.  Sometimes, there is a situation where you love the photographs but have a less-than-pleasing feeling about the photographer.  In this case, go with your gut and move on.  You will find someone who resonates with you professionally and personally and whose work you adore.  So save yourself potential problems later and walk away if you’re not 100% happy…

Wedding couple outside Baker Street Station - bride with dress flying up

After their wedding ceremony at Old Marylebone Town Hall, we wandered down to Baker Street for a few urban wedding portraits.  The wind caught the bride’s dress and provided a great Marilyn Monroe-style shot.

If You Like My Wedding Photography Style, What Happens Next?

I like to help out wherever I can and have a wealth of experience, having documented over 200 wedding days.  I love to pass on my knowledge to help out brides and grooms during what can be a stressful time.  I’ve laid out my website as a resource for engaged couples to look through for tips and ideas.  I do hope you find it helpful.

If you like the sound of me and my photography style, pick up the phone or drop me a line. My contact details are below. I’m always more than happy to chat through your options and give you advice and ideas if needed.  I primarily photograph weddings in  Cardiff (& South Wales), London, and Bristol, but I will consider national weddings, too.

Chapter 2: The Wedding Preparations – Light & Aesthetics – Next>>>>

>>>>Back to Index<<<<

Of course i'd ultimately like you to choose Me...
Contact Me to Discuss Your Wedding Photography Options!

Email me, fill in the form below or phone 07947 613070 any time!!

Pen on Sheet Music for Wedding - Poco a Poco Piu Animato

Thank-you. I'll be in touch soon...Oops, something went wrong! Please try again or email: guymilnes@gmail.com

Wedding Photographer in London, Bristol & Cardiff

Guy Milnes Photography is based between London and Cardiff, covering South Wales, Bristol, London and the home counties.
He has been a professional photographer since 2008 and loves to capture the wedding day's atmosphere as it unfolds naturally.


Preferred Contact Number:
07947 613070


Caerphilly Castle Logo - Guy Milnes Photography

Guy Milnes Photography
79 Van Road
CF83 1LA


26 Hermon Hill



E11 2AP

02920 869973

"Creating memories of a time and place to cherish through the years!"

Guy Milnes Photography - Privacy Policy

Information provided to Guy Milnes Photography will be used purely to supply services as discussed. Contact details will not be provided to a third party unless specific permissions are obtained.


I am fully GDPR compliant.