How to choose your wedding photographer
How to choose your wedding photographer
You are going to organize every little detail, but you have no idea how to choose your wedding photographer? Simple … choose me!
Seriously, the choice of the photographer is definitely not simple, rather it is a great responsibility. I always say to my spouses, that of all the things that they will organize for their marriage, only three will be physically preserved:
- The Wedding rings
- The Wedding dresses
- The memories…
… and we know where the memories will be kept: in the wedding photographs.
The details, the flowers, the location, the hairstyle … everything that you have organized for your wedding, will be only a memory that gradually fades over time. And it would be a shame, given the effort you have made to prepare everything … unless you can relive and share those moments by browsing the wedding photo album.
It would be a mistake to choose the photographer by analyzing only for the cost of the photo shoot. There are indeed numerous other parameters, which could significantly influence the final price.
Even the photographer, like all other wedding arrangements, should be chosen according to his needs, in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Let’s see together what could be the evaluation criteria to consider when you choose the photographer for the wedding.
Entrust the work to an abusive photographer …
Let’s clarify right away: I do not want to create controversy about abusivism. I am interested in providing you with ideas to make the right choice for your needs.
To photograph a wedding, you need a lot of experience. The day is long and demanding, full of very important moments, to which a professional is already prepared. That’s why often, looking at the images of some photographers, you will be amazed to see that he was able to grasp even the most particular situations.
Be careful not to evaluate the skills of a photographer only on the basis of some nice shot succeeded here and there, but always ask to see a complete work. It is not obvious that a good photographer is able to manage an entire marriage.
Equipment is also important, especially in some situations where it is more difficult to shoot, such as the Church, for example. It is assumed that a professional photographer relies on unexceptionable quality products, and knows how to make the most of them.
It is clear that compared to those who do not do it for work, a professional photographer has to face costs that affect the final price: taxes (ahia!), Depreciation of equipment, training, travel … taxes I have already said? Oh yes 🙂
An abusive photographer will not have all these costs, so he can certainly offer you a more attractive price, but at the expense of your peace of mind.
… or one of your guests
We all have a passionate friend of photography, who astonishes us every time with breathtaking shots. But asking him to give up celebrating with other friends to take pictures, I do not consider it a great idea.
Leaving aside the discourse on the lack of experience, which I have already dealt with in point 1, you would force him to deprive himself of the joy of being with other guests, or to taste the dishes, because he would be constantly busy taking pictures of your precious moments.
He would miss the photos of the various groups, during the toast, the dances, or maybe at the time of the jokes and the various games that usually the most intimate friends do to the couple.
You would therefore risk dissatisfying a friend, and not having important shots of your marriage.
Does he work alone?
This point is very important to me. Working in a team is a great help in those situations where by force of things you can not be in two different locations at the same time. For example, the phase of the preparation of the spouses, which often live far apart, and could take place at the same time.
Try also to imagine the same situation taken from two different points of view as the same scene seen from the perspective of the spouses or their guests, for example, or the possibility of having a photographer who focuses on the couple, while the other dedicates to the guests.
But in addition to countless creative possibilities, the presence of a second photographer can guarantee the continuation of the service in the case of a temporary catch. I am reminded of the usual altar boy who is right there on the trajectory at the time of the exchange of faiths. What anger! But there is no problem, because the other photographer would still be able to shoot from another perspective.
Until what time remains?
One thing is to have the photographer present only for the ceremony or until the aperitif at the restaurant, another thing is his presence for the whole day of the wedding.
You should trust the smartphone of some volunteer invitee, or of the turn enthusiast (see point 2) to have some memories of the party.
In recent times I feel that spouses agree with the location of the wedding, a cut of the cake in advance, to get the usual photos, then leave the photographer free. This is an economic savings only in appearance. Believe me, the best situations happen throughout the day, and you’ll miss very intense and enjoyable moments.
What is his style?
There are photographers who shoot exclusively in reportage style, that is, without posing photos, others that instead prefer exclusively the posed portrait. How there are spouses who feel comfortable in front of the camera and others who prefer a more spontaneous and less prepared service.
From what I feel around, you have quite confused ideas about what the posed photos are.
When the photographer decides in which position you have to put yourself, where you have to look, how to put your hands, whether to use an artificial background or exploit the one present in the location, etc … we talk about posed portrait.
If, on the contrary, the photographer takes only what really happens, changing only his position to shoot the same scene from different points of view, almost never get noticed, we talk about reportage photography.
I like to create a service where I realize a photographic service in reportage style, but I ask the couple some moments in which to make some shots by themselves. I will propose situations using the background, a particular light trying to let them interact in the most natural way possible.
Choose the photographer according to the style you like best, and do not ask a report writer to take photos or vice versa, just because you like his photos, unless he shows you a portfolio of his own photographs that respects both styles.
Does he photographs the groups?
Just because maybe a wedding photographer, prefer to shoot in reportage style, so no photos posing, could turn up their noses at a request of the couple to take the fateful photos to various groups.
Some photographers, myself included, refuse to take photographs of guests at the tables while they are eating. Much better to wait for maybe some particularly nice or exciting moments, to catch a more natural expression.
You could organize photo sessions, with less static and fun moments and situations, trying to actively involve the guests.
For someone, however, this type of photos could be essential, to have a memory of all their guests. Not all the guests, or even the spouses themselves, do not get involved in this kind of sessions, because they feel uncomfortable in front of the camera.
Never say never, because after a few glasses of wine people are transformed, but it is always good to talk about it in advance with your photographer.
Will he send others to his place?
I am convinced that there must absolutely be a feeling between a wedding photographer and his spouses. This is created from the first meeting, knowing each other and discussing together on the various details of the photo shoot, up to result in an authentic trust.
Finding yourself with a different photographer on their wedding day is not at all pleasant. We know nothing about the person we are facing, but above all he does not know anything about you.
During the various events that precede the wedding, you have confessed fears, desires, dreams. Maybe you had a pre-wedding photographic service, with the promise that it would have helped you to be more relaxed in front of the lens, and at the same time the photographer would have learned to know you from the photographic point of view.
But if then the photographer is different, what is the use?
Large studios often accept multiple weddings on the same day, and therefore can not guarantee the presence of a particular photographer.
If it is an important point for you, always ask who your photographer will be, and if you will be a collaborator or the owner of the studio.
Already in itself, completing a wedding photo shoot takes a long time. You have to view several photos (usually over 3000 shots), do the photo editing, choose the most suitable for the album … in short, it is a long and painstaking work.
A photographer who has several weddings, or dedicates particular care to the preparation of the photo album, may need more time to deliver the finished work.
If you do not have the patience to wait, then, better that you opt for a photographer that guarantees the delivery of the finished work in times more reasonable for you.
You may ask the photographer if he is available to anticipate delivery of your wedding album if you are willing to pay a surcharge as a right of urgency.
Will you let me sign a contract?
A contract puts a black and white agreement between the couple and the photographer. It is a commitment on both sides to respect what was agreed.
I am of the opinion that a handshake would be enough to confirm a commitment made. However, you may feel more comfortable knowing that in the event of default, both parties are protected.
For someone, a photographer who does not want to enter into a contract, could be considered a lack of interest in making a commitment.
Will he deliver all the photos?
Never assume that the photographer is somehow obligated to give you all the pictures of the wedding, because you might have some nasty surprises.
For a lower cost of service, a photographer could only deliver a selection of 300/400 images, and request additional compensation to give you additional ones.
Likewise, some photographers retouch only a small selection of images, charging separately the processing of all the photos requested by the married couple.
It is very important, therefore, that if you do not settle for a small part of the service, immediately agree how many photos will be delivered to you, and how many of these images will be postproduced.
Photobook or traditional album?
With the advent of digital photography, marriage photography has undergone a radical change. The new technologies have allowed us to introduce new solutions that have enriched the offer available to the spouses.
Among these, in my opinion, the most tangible for the spouses is certainly the press.
Some photographers have remained faithful to the traditional album, with the glued photos, the tissues between one page and another, and that touch of craftsmanship that still fascinates.
Others, however, have fully embraced the digital also for the printing of photos. Advanced materials and solutions, therefore, with the possibility of unlimited customization. Prints that occupy the entire surface of the open photo book, new types of paper, and processing techniques that guarantee durability over time.
In addition to being a choice based on your personal tastes, the choice of one or the other solution presents pros and cons of which it is good to discuss in advance with your photographer.
Not all photographers realize both types of prints, and it is therefore appropriate to be clear right away on what kind of solution you prefer for printing the photo book.
You can get information about the solutions I chose by reading the article on my wedding albums.
Will I be able to express my opinion on the layout, or will he do it all?
I give you advice: trust your photographer.
I understand that you may like this or that photo, and you would like it to be included in the album, but if the photographer did not do it, there might be a good reason.
You have to consider that already during your wedding, the photographer will already be mentally building the story to tell. So, when he makes the album, he is realizing that idea that he had set himself.
Each album is a project. You have to imagine the photographer as a painter to whom you commissioned a canvas, but you want to tell him how he has to make it.
For this reason, many photographers do not accept that they give directions, and deliver the printed photo album according to their own tastes.
Others, on the other hand, are willing to submit to the spouses a draft of the final result. They will then be able to propose any changes, until the approval of the draft for the press.
It’s a big effort, and for this reason many couples prefer to do everything to their photographer, without viewing the result until delivery.
Does it only shoot in color or even in black and white?
This should not be a big deal, since all the photographers now take both color and black and white photos.
It could happen, for example, that a married couple prefer an album only in color or only in black and white, or that a photographer does not realize one of the two variants.
My advice is to immediately clarify this point, if it is essential for you, avoiding unpleasant misunderstandings.
Does he retouch the photos?
Any professional photographer now postproducts his photographs.
For some photographers, it is their own personal touch, to distinguish themselves, and not to deliver anonymous images that do not go back to the author.
It may be necessary to remove the damn pimple that rises, the dark circles after a sleepless night, or an annoying road sign that appears just behind the head of the couple.
Many think that the photo editing is used only to distort an image. This misunderstanding derives perhaps from the images that the media transmit to us. Perfect bodies, faces that look like porcelain, with skin that shows no sign of time.
Someone would like to appear thinner, taller, or to change the colors, even partially, of some details.
They are requests, that indifferently from the tastes, a photographer could not grant.
But, how much does it cost?
I did not need to tell you, I know. The price of the photo shoot is one of those things that is asked almost immediately.
Rightly, I would say.
Each of the points that I have listed, can influence, and not a little, the final price.
Clarify immediately what the agreed price includes, and how much that additional service you have requested can cost you, it will surely avoid unpleasant surprises.
Sometimes, just that photographer that seemed cheaper, turns out to be the most expensive than those you have evaluated, just because the compensation included the “basic service” and not the “full optional”.
So if you are undecided about how to choose the photographer for the marriage of all those you are considering, try to compare estimates that include the same services.
Eventually, if a photographer likes you particularly but is out of your budget, give up some option of his service that you do not particularly want, to lower the price.
Please look at my wedding photos on the page dedicated to real wedding, to be sure that my style meets your tastes.