Finding the right Wedding Photographer
Choosing a wedding photographer depends on a number of different criteria. You need to have a clear idea of what’s involved in choosing a wedding photographer that’s right for you.
Reputation and Experience: these days digital photography has given everyone the power to take good images, but only true professionals with talent and training can provide you with a professional service. A persona recommendation is often a good starting point. You cannot afford a ‘no show’ or a botched job. You only have one chance to get your wedding photography right and you have to be able to trust the photographer.
Someone who will fit in: You need to shop around and meet the wedding photographer. There’s nothing worse than hiring someone whose personality or style does not fit the occasion. Most wedding photographers try to be as unobtrusive as possible and behave like and look like a guest.
Will they take photographs we actually like? Take a look at their work and decide if this is the style for you.
Do they offer a wide range of packages to provide choice to meet our budget? Always key to choosing the right wedding photographer: they have to fit your budget with no hidden costs.
When Should You Book Your Wedding Photographer?
The sooner the better. 9-12 months before is a good rule of thumb. Why so long? Well, like a wedding venue can get fully booked, so can a wedding photographer. Most only work at weekends and there aren’t that many weekends in a year. And while you are at it, make sure you are not being provided with an assistant rather than the main man or woman.
What Are The Different Styles of Wedding Photography On Offer?
These days there is much greater choice than just the traditional wedding photographs.
A wedding as an exercise in photojournalism
This approach turns the wedding experience into a story with a beginning and end and covers a number of styles which can be very individual to the photographer. It will usually employ a number of locations which are pertinent to the bride and groom’s ‘story’.
The style is usually described as ‘candid’ and shot using available light. If any of your family hankers after traditional planned shots of family groups, the ceremony etc. then be very careful about this style.
Traditional wedding photographs:
The complete opposite of the photojournalistic style, this is the one we all know. It means endless poses of the bridge and groom, the best man, the bride’s parents, the groom’s parents, everyone together, cute page boys – you get the idea. Usually a wedding photographer in this style will have done the same prepared set of shots with the same camera positions and lighting, even at the same venues, dozens of times. It isn’t exactly spontaneous or original but it does record the event and people for posterity.
Artistic wedding photography style:
This is another planned and posed style but makes uses location, composition, unusual angles and digital rendering to produce something between candid and traditional. But beware: some artistic photographers can be a little ‘off the wall; – make sure you see several examples of their style before choosing.
What Should I Pay For A Wedding Photographer?
Answering that question is like answering ‘how long is a piece of string?’ You must make a decision based on your overall budget. Decide what percentage of your budget is required for professional wedding photography.
What you must ensure is that you get value for money. This means you have to do a bit of research, ask friends what they paid and look for recommendations.
A typical price range is from $1000 to $3000. It could be a lot more but not a lot less unless you just want the photographer to show up and leave you to.
To decide what you should pay means you have to understand what you want and the service you require,
Some questions to consider:
- Do you just want the negatives/digital files to ‘do it yourself’ or a complete professional service?
- Type and style of albums?
- The final number of photographs required?
- The range of photographs: is it just the wedding ceremony, or will it cover the whole day including reception?
- The reputation and previous work of the wedding photographer.
Summing it all up
Like everything else, wedding photography has changed and the digital age has offered many new opportunities. Make sure you plan ahead and make the choices you and the families involved will be comfortable with. You only get one chance to create a wedding album which you will cherish for a lifetime.