TIPS ON CHOOSING THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOUR WEDDING
- REVIEWS & RECOMMENDATIONS
The trick is to try and get an accurate sense of what a given photographer’s strengths and weaknesses are, so check out the reviews of all potential photographers on their websites and Google (Google reviews are dated and are less likely to have been created artificially).
A good professional will be honest about their strengths and weaknesses, be suspicious if they say they have none. Weaknesses to look out for are questionable time management, social awkwardness, slow or poor client communication, not cheerful and outgoing with you and not taking direction well.
As you’re interviewing photographers, work out your needs and deal breakers. Bear in mind that no photographer will be perfect but not every aspect of your wedding will be either. The photographer-client relationship is personal, look for how best to be imperfect together and you should be happy with the results.
- PRICE AND WHAT THEY OFFER
When looking at pricing, be careful to see what is not included in the package. Second shooters, additional hours, hi-res JPEGs, albums, travel costs and engagement sessions may be included in the price quote or may be extra.
Make sure you’re not signing up to pay more later for things you definitely want – having your wedding photos taken isn’t worth much if you have to pay extra to receive the digital files.
That said, things like albums and prints can always be ordered later when you’re not facing the burden of paying for a wedding, so if you love someone’s art, but they don’t include as many bells and whistles with their package, then always go for the art every time.
When you’re looking at a photographer’s portfolio, it’s helpful to know that those images do not come out of the camera looking like that. A lot of the work in modern photography is done in post-processing now, by either the photographer themselves or by a 3rd party and how much time is spent on the post production and the quality will have a dramatic effect on how your finished images will look and feel.
The most common trends for processing currently are:
|CLEAN||Processed true to life|
|LIGHT AND AIRY||Dreamy, lots of light, almost gauzy|
|FILM EMULATION||Ranging from dark and moody to less vibrant colours – to mimic the look and feel of film shot photos, but at a fraction of the price.|
A considerable amount of what you are paying your photographer for, will be to cover the hours of post-production spent on your images after the day. Personally, I will spend at least a couple of minutes on each and every image to make sure the composition, exposure and colour balance is perfect and that is before I even start looking at any basic retouching (i.e. removing shine from the groom’s forehead or reducing a few eye wrinkles on a smiling bride). So, when my clients receive their 400+ images from the day, you can guarantee I would have spent at least 3 full days just on the post processing and that is even before I have started on converting the files to black & white, resizing and setting up the web gallery.
Once your wedding over, you’re going to want to get your hands on your photos as soon as possible, so always speak with your photographer and get a timeline for when they can turn around your images. Delivery of the full gallery can range from a week to six months or more.
(Important note: Faster isn’t always better. A lot of really talented wedding photographers, who want to keep prices low, shoot a lot of weddings during the high season and then take more time to deliver the images during the low season, which gives them time to deliver you flawless work.)
Also consider what rights will you have with your finished images? Will you get hi-res JPEGs (hint: you want those), or will you have to order prints through the photographer?
Also ask what publication rights your photographer will have and what reproduction rights they will give to you? Remember, the copyright of the images always belongs to the photographer who has created them and that the photographer has only given you the images on licences, so do not be fooled into thinking you can make a few bucks by selling your wonderful wedding images to an image library or a 3rd party for commercial use, as you will open yourselves up to being sued.
- BLOW THE BUDGET
When you wake up the morning after your wedding day, the only tangible things you will have left to remember the day, are your wedding rings, the dress and the wedding photos!”
So, it’s worth considering this and having a strategy as to where to spend most of your budget. It’s Important to have a beautiful dress in your photos, but will your Christian Louboutin’s hiding underneath, will they ever be seen?
I would say this of course, but my sincere advice is don’t scrimp on the photography, it’s an investment.