You spend more than 20K dollars on a wedding. Plan every detail immaculately. Choose the china, the cake, the venue, the menu and the invitation card. But after all the dust has settled, what keeps everything together for years to come? It’s the pictures taken by the wedding photographer. It is thus, imperative that you appoint someone who you absolutely trust to make great images. With wedding photography, you will never get a second chance. So, take all the time you need to decide on someone who is both capable and compatible. Hopefully, the following tips will help you with your decision-making.
Does The Photographer’s Style Match With What You Are Looking?
Before you pick up the phone and make an appointment, it is important that you take a close look at the photographer’s portfolio. Every photographer has a style that is evident from his/her portfolio. A simple review would reveal the way they like to shoot and retouch. Look for the kind of photos that the photographer has taken that you want him/her to take on your wedding.
It is very difficult to make them change or adapt their style just for one wedding. Though they can accommodate special requests, it is important to find out if the photographer’s style matches with what you are looking for.
And while you are looking at the style, you should also look at the quality of images. Check the photographer’s portfolio to find out if the images are similar in quality to what you see on wedding magazines. You shouldn’t settle for anything less than that.
What to look For Exactly?
A number of things, really. E.g., look for hand positions. If the photographer is really good, the person will know how to pose the bride and the groom. And one of the first things they will address is the hand position. For most brides and grooms, the longest they have ever faced up to a camera is the day of their wedding. There are already butterflies in the stomach and the last thing you need is a photographer who stresses them out even more. This can really be seen in the hand positioning. Notice if the hands look natural or stiff. That will give away the photographer’s attention to detail as well as the ability to calm the nerves.
Look for details in the posture of the bride and groom at the wedding party. Does the pose look stiff or they appear natural? You should always look for authenticity and those magical spontaneous moments. Try to spot a fake smile. You can spot a fake smile easily by looking at the wrinkles on the skin at the corner of the eyes. A real smile has exaggerated wrinkles. These are just a few of the things.
Communication is extremely important. The one thing that you want on your wedding day and during the pre-wedding shoot is that your wedding photographer is able to capture those really special and intimate moments. And the last thing that you want is a wedding album full of images that leave you sighing. Take the first meeting with your wedding photographer very seriously. Communicate everything that you need right at the start. Communicate whether you need certain looks and certain poses. That way your photographer will know what you are expecting and they can focus on those aspects on a fateful day. At the same time don’t step on the creative abilities of your wedding photographer. After all, they are the experienced ones when it comes to wedding photography!
Discuss the Venue
It is one of those aspects that gets pushed to the back and slips out of the mind of both the client and the photographer. Discussing the venue with your wedding photographer is important. Though your venue might already be finalized at least discussing the details of the venue will allow your photographer to make their preparations. Some venues have little natural light making proper exposure a problem. Again, if the after wedding party is to be held inside a hall complete with different lighting sources, it also poses a challenge. Additional lights are necessary for these situations so that a proper exposure can be made. There are literally hundreds of different situations and it is always best to discuss the details of the venue upfront.
Some photographers prefer to shoot the main event and then pack their gear. They are unwilling to shoot the wedding after-party or stay on for extra hours. Some photographers may prefer to shoot in natural light only. If you plan on having a photographer around for the party it is best to convey that to them. Check their availability. Most photographers will charge extra for the hours beyond what they promise you in the contract. It is always a good idea to make your schedule by including your photographer in the discussion. Avoid surprising your photographer on the wedding day by asking them to stay well beyond the promised time frame.
Finally, the value proposition. While most wedding photographers would offer similar services, look for options to customize the deliverables. The best wedding photographers would offer you a sneak preview of the best shots from the big day. They will offer you a secure private access to their collection. Some will even offer you a review session where you can go through the best images together before finalizing on the ones that you want to see in the wedding album. This is important as it helps you to round up a great shoot and finally produce an album that you two will cherish your entire life.
David Lye is the founder of Photographers.com.au which combines his professional internet marketing expertise with his years-long experience in amateur photography.