There’s been a lot of buzz over a recent Facebook post from Singapore with a bride posting a few of the “worst” photos from her wedding. There’s a whole background story to this that I will not repeat here (you can google it) but the conversation that started got me thinking that perhaps many brides and grooms don’t know necessarily where to start when looking for a wedding photographer. As much as I’d like to write an entire book on this, I’m going to provide just a few items to consider:
(Quick note: All the images here are mine!)
- Did you see the photographer’s ACTUAL work?
Many times you’ll see a few really neat images that will blow your mind. That’s great! However, a wedding day is a full day and there are many photographic opportunities to tell the story throughout the day. To get a sense of how a photographer sees the day, look at the entire image set and see the breadth of their work from various weddings or other personal work they’ve done.
- Quality over quantity?
While it’s a usual question to ask how many photos, note that more photos doesn’t equal better. I generally deliver (on a typical wedding day) 200-400 photographs, which is about a 2-4 inch stack of 4x6 prints or roughly the distance between the end of your thumb from the end of your pinky finger. The reason that these numbers aren't super high (as in, in the thousands) is that because I truly believe that a part of our job as wedding photographers is the EDITING process. Not all clicks of the shutter result in amazing photographs as occasionally people blink, things move in front of the camera, lighting changes, duplications of the same photograph, etc. A good photographer will take time to edit the images to tell your story in the most “efficient” amount of photographs while still retaining the emotions of the day and making beautiful photos.
- Do you know who your photographer is? Have you had a chance to get to know them?
Part of the reason I like to include documentary photosessions in my wedding packages is to give the couples a chance to see how I work in a non-stress, low-key photoshoot. This allows my clients to get to know who I am and how I work and also give them an understanding of the general photographic approach to the wedding day to (or at least a preview thereof!). At the very least, meet your photographer and get to know them on a more personal level. They’ll be spending practically the entire day with you and you want to know that you have hired someone with whom you gel with really well and would be happy to work with on your wedding day.
- Did you read the photography agreement/contract?
This is important so that both the bride and groom and the wedding photographer know what to anticipate if a situation arises. It is meant to protect the bride and groom but also protect the photographer so that in the case something happens, there isn’t a spiral of misunderstandings. The important thing is to make sure you read the agreement and if anything catches your eye, feel free to have your photographer talk to you about it!
Wedding photography is not as easy as it looks. It’s actually very, very difficult to do right. It requires a certain amount of stamina and endurance, strength, mental fortitude all while requiring that person to be artistic, creative and be a people-person all at the same time! Despite all this, wedding photographers work hard to document your day and we love what we do.
Hopefully the tips above will give you some food for thought on choosing your wedding photographer. Love their style, love their personality and then don’t forget to kiss for at LEAST 3 seconds on the altar!!!