How To Choose A Wedding Photographer
How To Choose A Wedding Photographer
Information and tips on how to choose your wedding photographer
Here is my guide to wedding photography. Most couples planning their wedding this is the first time they have booked or researched the services of a professional photographer. The wedding industry can be confusing at times and a little intimidating at first. This article contains information and tips on how to choose your photographer.
Booking the right photographer for your wedding, has to be one of the most important decisions you have to take whilst planning your special day. It certainly has the longest after affect. As they say, the dress it put away, the flowers wilt and the cake is eaten, though the photographs last forever. A set of wedding imagery that records the emotions, laughter and tender moments that occur, really is priceless. So it is worth doing your research before booking.
Type in ‘wedding photographer in (your area)’ in an internet search engine, will result in hundreds of results. So it is worth knowing before hand what kind of style of photography you are looking for. It is here wedding photographers make this harder than it need to be. There are a few popular adjectives that seem to be used on every website regardless of actual style. This makes the job of narrowing down your choice a little harder. But you just have to look at the main images that they use on their homepage or portfolio and you can judge exactly what kind of approach they have;
Traditional – previously most popular style, evolved from high street studios shooting weddings on the weekend. Good for people you like certain results and posing, though formal portraits and group shots will take up a lot of time on the day.
Contemporary – taking its lead from fashion and editorial photography, it will have a more natural feel than the traditional approach, but results may feel a little contrived and risk reflecting the photographers vision rather than the couples personalities.
Documentary – sometimes referred to as wedding reportage or photojournalism, it is the most unobtrusive approach, consisting mainly of candid photography, unposed and unprompted. The ethos is to capture real emotions with a collection of storytelling images.
There is no right or wrong way to shoot a wedding as long as your aesthetic and logistic requirements are inline with the photographer you book.
Of course most photographers will be able to incorporate all of the above elements into they wedding day approach. So it is a matter of getting the proportions correct to suit your taste. For example, most documentary wedding photographers will happily take a few groups or natural portraits if requested, though will offer less direction
Every wedding photography website will have a page displaying a portfolio. Here you can judge if their style is inline with yours. However it is worth noting, the portfolio displays their best work, that has been produced across many different weddings. Another good way is to view a collection of images from one wedding. Some photographers will have a blog or online journal, where they post such imagery. Here you can see what exactly you can expect to receive. It is also a good way to judge how active the photographer is. Are there many entries? Is it regularly updated?
One of best ways to choose a wedding photographer, is through personal recommendations. The down side of this of course, is that you are relying on your social circle coming across your perfect photographer. The other way is to read online testimonials or client reviews. Most photographers will have on their website a page of client comments. You can also search the internet for photography at your venue, this way you can see some previous examples, though it is worth that your perfect photographer may not of been at your venue before. This does not necessarily matter, with enough experience, a professional photographer can easily adapt to new surroundings.
It takes a lot of practice for a photographer to perfect their approach to weddings. It can be easily underestimated how difficult it is to produce a good set of images that tell the story of a wedding day. So it will take a few good years to tone their craft. After all covering such an event incorporates a wide mix of photography genres, from still life, architecture, portraiture, action and documentary. Experience is paramount when coping with schedule changes, or the ability to be flexible when face with inclement weather, all whilst maintaining a cool and calming presence. People skills are often overlook, not only the ability to control groups if required, but the ability to blend in to any crowd, having a friendly manner towards your family and friends.
The factor of cost will of course play a large part in your choice of photographer. For most couples this will be their first time commissioning the services of a professional photographer and for the some, the cost will come as budget busting surprise. My article, Why is Wedding Photography so Expensive, may go some way to explain the fees you are seeing. Though it is in no way trying to convince anyone to spend more than they are comfortable with, but I think Benjamin Franklin said it best, “The Bitterness of Poor Quality Remains Long After the Sweetness of Low Price is Forgotten.”
Hopefully you have found this wedding photography guide useful. If you are currently planning your wedding, and looking for a South Wales wedding photographer who can capture your day with natural and emotive imagery, please do not hesitate to get in touch. My approach to wedding photography is friendly yet unobtrusive, designed to let you enjoy your day whilst I capture the essence with an understated reportage aesthetic.