It can be difficult to find the perfect wedding photographer for your big day. I know the feeling after going through the process of organising my wedding almost four years ago.
It’s so easy to go wrong. The market is saturated with new photographers coming into the business every day. Don’t get me wrong, there are some very good ones but there are also some terrible ones!
I often hear stories of some wedding photographers stealing other people’s work to use as their own portfolios. Some of them will go to workshops to photograph models under another photographer’s guidance to build up a gallery website . I don’t have any problem with this as long as they can reproduce the same amazing shot without any help.
Being in the industry I have developed an eye to recognise who is good and who pretends to be.
Here are 5 things to consider when searching for the perfect photographer:
1. Style: Formal or documentary Wedding Photography?
Traditional wedding photography is usually characterised by people posing or looking at the camera. The photographer will direct the bride and groom and their guests to make sure they are looking their best.
Documentary wedding photography is a more relaxed way to photograph a wedding where the photographer will interact very little with the guests in order to capture the day as it unfolds.
A good number of photographers claim to have a documentary style. Unfortunately, a large number of them hide behind this to avoid interaction and to cover up a lack of skills. Documentary photography is actually trickier (in my opinion) because the photographer has less control over the environment and has to be quick to photograph the key moments when they happen.
2. Quality Consistency
Let’s imagine that I lend you my camera and ask you to keep pressing the shutter on a wedding day. Out of the 2000 photos you will take, you may get lucky and have one amazing photo! Let’s imagine now that you do this at 15 different weddings, and you’ve got yourself a portfolio to use on a website.
Photographers’ websites are good to give you a first impression but always ask to see a full coverage of one wedding. Check whether the quality of the photos is good from the beginning to the end. Can the photographer cope with the dark inside of a church as well as a bright sunny day? Or formal portraits as well as the evening disco?
3. Style consistency
The final aspect of the photos is often dictated by the way the photographer processes the photos on his computer. It’s bit like two bakers, baking the same cake, they will probably decide to decorate them differently. I always like to keep the colours of my photos very natural or black and white. This is my personal choice. Another photographer might prefer to offer vintage style or very vibrant photos. Everyone’s taste is different, but I feel that the look of your photos should be consistent throughout, especially if you are wanting to create an album from them.
4. Photographer’s personality
Don’t forget you are inviting a complete stranger to your big day. When you have found someone’s work you like, it’s a good idea to meet the photographer before you book him/her. How do you feel around this person? Will you be comfortable being photographed by them? Trust your instinct.
Be realistic about what you are paying for. You are not only paying a person with a camera to snap the day. Being a full time photographer is expensive. I carry around £5,000 worth of kit to give you the best quality of photos as well as back up equipment in case any of it fails. I also have monthly expenses to run my business: insurance, photoshop, camera repair and servicing, website maintenance, gallery systems, accounting, broadband, marketing…I also have to earn a living and pay my bills. This is why I have to charge what I charge for my work.
One more thing, ask loads of questions! For example, ask if your photographer is fully insured and has a backup plan if they can’t make it on the day for whatever reason.
It’s an important decision, and often, once it’s over, you will only have your photos to relive your big day.
If you want to hear more tips, you can watch the video below.
If you’d like to meet and discuss your wedding plans, feel free to give me a call 07947391758 or email firstname.lastname@example.org