Not knowing where to start looking for a photographer, I did a google search for "photographers in york." Lots came up. A few people had emailed me after a wedding fayre my mum attended. I looked through dozens of websites, and ruled out the ones I didn't like. Then I asked Gadget to rule out the ones he didn't like, and emailed the rest.
There were no set criteria here. We like photos, and we routinely sift through hundreds (or maybe thousands) of them. We know what we like. The one thing I can share is we do not like washed out, over exposed, so-called "vintage" pictures. We like our pictures to be fun, and we like them to include people.
Arbitrarily I decided that £1000 was the maximum I was prepared to pay. I don't really know why, but as we got five candidates under that price, it seemed reasonable. I also insisted that they had to specify whether they would take posed group shots, and if so were there any limits. A friend had problems with this, and I'm pleased she felt she could share this with me, allowing me to deal with it upfront.
As with the venue, it seems some people are incapable of reading emails (or maybe they just can't be bothered?). We got several standard, bounce back replies which contained nothing more useful than a price. They were all over £1000.
The short list of five quickly became four as one photographer confirmed he was booked for our wedding day. Then it became three as one person was "so busy photographing weddings" that he couldn't possibly meet anyone on a weekend. My dad did the interviews for us. He works in London during the week, and can only do weekends.
Of the two he spoke to, one was a clear winner. Like the venue, it ended up being an easy decision. Kath Occleston's photos are FAB - bright, fun and beautiful. I'm excited to meet her, and I really hope we can get permission to go up on the venue's roof to take photos (her idea, and if you've looked at our venue you'll see why!).
The last photographer fell by the wayside, as we were happy with our choice. I'm now glad they did, as they are still sending me solicitation emails.