The wedding day is arguably the most important day in any couples diary. It presents the opportunity of a lifetime for the couple to openly declare the love they share and their commitment to the relationship. Such days carry their fair share of mixed emotions and reactions including smiles, tears, laughter, joy and even anxiety that can simply be described as magical. These memorable moments need to be captured and preserved for a lifetime. The crucial task of capturing the magic moments weddings present should however be entrusted to a seasoned professional wedding photographer.
Walking down the aisle, cutting the cake and tossing of the bouquet are commonly considered to be the best photograph opportunities presented by weddings. This is however not entirely true since with a skilful photographer capable of creative wedding photography, beautiful memories can be captured with every passing minute of such a significant day. The general jovial celebrations present awesome chances to capture amazing photographs of the wedding couple, their families and friends alike.
To help you choose a wedding photographer that is right for you, I’ve put together a list of 5 tips to follow:
Start to compile a list of wedding photographers
Ideally, you need a list of about half a dozen photographers who might fit the bill. It’s a good idea to start by asking friends and family for recommendations. A person who has had a good experience with a photographer and has great photos to show, will always be more than happy to share information and it also gives you a point of reference once you meet with the photographer.
Check out each photographer’s website. Don’t pay too much attention to the web site itself, since anyone can pay to have an all singing all dancing website made for them. Any decent photographer will display lots of his photos on site, including recent wedding work. The question to be asking yourself is whether his photos are visually appealing and do they “do it for you”. Single out the photographers that appeal the most to you
Choose A Personality
Personality can play a significant role in how well your ceremony and reception are captured on film. If you choose someone who’s overly-aggressive, it can impact the entire day. On the other hand, if your professional is timid, he may fail to catch perfect moments because he’s reluctant to take charge. Choose someone with whom you can talk easily. Getting along with that person will pay dividends during the celebration.
A quick phone call will help determine a couple of things. Firstly, whether he or she is available for your wedding date and secondly the type of photography they specialize in, such as traditional, candid, photojournalism, digital or film etc. Based on this information and also whether you felt you liked the person, you can then arrange a few meetings with the people that you are interested in
It’s probably best if the prospective bride and groom attend the meeting along with the bride’s parents (since they’re probably going to foot the bill). The photographer should have a wide portfolio to show you, including his latest work. Take with you a list of questions and don’t be shy about asking “dumb” questions, since you don’t want to be worrying and wondering what the procedure will be on the day. There are lots of questions that will probably come to mind and these should include: How will you show me my pictures to choose (i.e. electronic, online gallery, proofs etc.)? How easy will it be for friends and family to order photos? What is the price for different levels of coverage? What ideas do you have to make my wedding photos unique to us? How long have you been in business? And so on.
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a couple of wedding photographers it’s always a good idea to get them to show you photos that they have taken for a complete coverage of one single wedding. Take a good look at them and see whether you think individual people’s feelings have been successfully captured or do they look posed and self-conscious. Are the photos natural looking? Are they shot with some unusual angles? Last of all, do you wish they were photos of your wedding day?
Ask For References
Reputable wedding photographers will be happy to provide 2 or 3 references. You just need to ask. A lot of couples look through sample portfolios without considering that the samples may not accurately represent the person’s talent. The samples can be misleading. Ask whether you can call a few past customers to see how happy they were with the professional’s work. Not only will following up on references give you an idea regarding his skills, it’s also an ideal way to determine how easy he is to work with
Make a commitment
If you’ve had a couple of meetings and asked the right questions, you should now have made your choice of photographer and feel comfortable with them and confident that they will deliver some brilliant photos. Be prepared to leave a deposit with them and finally check any last-minute concerns. Such as their policy on wedding date changes or if the wedding has to be cancelled for whatever reason.
Finally, once you know the wedding photographer’s available, you’re convinced he’s the one for you, and you’re happy that the price is worthwhile, take a deep breath and relax. That’s one of the hardest decisions made.
What are the mistakes to avoid when choosing wedding photographers?
The first mistake couples make is to immediately go for the wedding photographer their family members or friends recommend. You can almost always get away with bad food or a lousy band playing for your wedding. When it comes to your wedding pictures, that’s another matter altogether. You, your family and your friends will be looking at your wedding album. You’ll want to remember your wedding day as one of the most important events in your life, not as a nightmare you have to constantly relive over and over again as you browse through your wedding album. In choosing a photographer, you should take the time and effort to see a number of photographers and look at their portfolio. Just because another couple had a good experience with their photographer, it doesn’t mean you would have the exact same experience.
Often, couples work on a tight budget. After all, the essence of an event is the union of the couple and not how lavish the celebration is In doing so, some scrimp on things that may seem inconsequential at first, but are ultimately essential-like wedding photography.