10 reasons why you should book a professional wedding photographer
Are you looking for a wedding photographer, but think it may be difficult to orientate you might get some tips here on what to look for and why you should choose a professional photographer. There are very many wedding photographers, but what is a good wedding photographer? There is no definitive answer – thankfully. That’s what helps make this industry varied, exciting and constantly evolving. Everyone has different preferences and they appreciate different styles and ways of working with different photographers.
My personal experience is that a good wedding photographer is a photographer who does a good job, who understands the couples requirements and is both professional and amicable so that the couple will enjoy working with their photographer and have great memories of working with that photographer. The right professional photographer will deliver images of a high technical and creative quality that the customer is delighted with and will go the extra distance beyond what is stated in the agreement. A professional photographer has the experience and knowledge to see the right situations and capture them in the best possible way, both in technical and compositional terms.
For you to make the best possible decision in your choice of wedding photographer here are 10 things you should think about when choosing a wedding photographer who will be one of the most important people on one of the most important days of your life.
1. Images. Anyone can take 10 nice pictures and show them off on their website. Today a lot of people ask their friends or family to photograph their wedding as they see they have taken nice photos but don’t be fooled into thinking the photographer delivers better pictures than he or she really does. Ask to see a representative selection of images from past weddings the photographer has photographed.
2. The photographer. Hiring a photographer to accompany you throughout your wedding day should be a person who is pleasant to be with. You should be able to talk in length before the wedding and in some cases meet before deciding which photographer you want to go with. Grab a coffee, have a chat and get to know the photographer. You can quickly decide if you want the photographer to be a “guest” at your wedding or not.
3. “Professional photographer.” The professional title photographer is not a protected title. Anyone can call themselves a professional photographer. There are no agencies to check if it’s required and the photographer is not required to take any courses or training to call themselves a photographer. My definition of a professional photographer is a photographer who has the technical knowledge to take great photos but also makes a living from their photography. That’s me. It’s up to you to decide if the photographer you have chosen is suitable for the job. Therefore you should check thoroughly.
4. Routine. A key difference between the professional and none professional is the professional will be able to stay one step ahead of the schedule and anticipate the unexpected? You must be sure that the photographer has this experience and knows what is going to happen and yet be able to create unique and creative images.
5. Back up. The photographer backs up their images immediately after shooting and possibly during shooting. For example during a full day wedding when the wedding party sits down for their meal I will backup all images on my laptop and do the same for the evening images. Once home I’ll keep a copy of all photos on my laptop, make a copy onto my desktop computer and make a third backup onto a hard-drive. Finally I will make a backup onto a secure online backup service so in the event of a fire, theft, water leak, rampaging toddler or the like I always have a backup.
6. Camera Equipment. Shooting in dark churches or reception rooms with dim lighting without flash requires a lot of both the photographer and camera equipment. You should appreciate photographers mainly shooting without flash. When taken hundreds or thousands of images during the day, when the photographer constantly uses flash it goes without saying that this can be both disruptive and nuisance for both the bridal couple and guests. Some shots do require some flash but the most evocative pictures are often where the photographer doesn’t use flash.
7. Price. Total price should be clarified in advance. The last thing you want when you come home from your honeymoon is a bill in the mail from the photographer that they had not taken into account. Examine what you get and what you have to pay and get it happily writing if you think it is safest.
8. Dress Code. It goes without saying. A wedding photojournalist is there to work but it can be a long day so the photographer wants to be comfortable but doesn’t want to become a big topic of conversation about what he or she wore. Personally I alway wear a shirt, chinos and soft shoes. This isn’t as formal as a suit but is smart enough and allows me to stay discreet during the day.
9. Shot lists. Discuss with your photographer any essentials photographs you want capturing on the day. This can be anything from a wedding favourite to an essential shot with a granny or cousin. Key pre notified shots for any photographer should include group shots.
10. What if… It is wise to check with the photographer if he has a plan for unforeseen events. Illness can occur, photographic equipment can be damaged or stolen, the weather is never guaranteed, especially here in Scotland, etc. No guarantees can be given, but an experienced wedding photographer is better protected against unforeseen things that can occur.
Good luck with the planning of the big day. Remember to have fun with the planning, enjoy the days together with each other and enjoy yourselves! And when you’ve booked a talented wedding photographer you can enjoy our anniversary in the knowledge that the important their pictures are in safe hands!