So you're getting married, or you may know some one who's getting married and you're looking for a wedding photographer ?
Google 'wedding photographer' and there will be thousands of wedding photographers , narrow your search to 'wedding photographer london' or 'wedding photographer surrey' and again there's hundreds of photographers saying they shoot weddings.
So what to look for and how to choose your wedding photographer ?
For starters select a wedding photographer that lives where you are - no point in falling in love with wedding images produced by a wedding photographer that lives the other side of the country - though I do travel and do destination weddings.
So what style do you want ? 'Traditional wedding photography', 'Reportage wedding photography', 'Contemporary wedding photography'. Now that's confused you ! What's the difference ? 'Traditional Wedding Photography' - this is where every picture is posed, groups are arranged in specific order, feet must be facing in the correct way, hands positioned just right. All weddings were shot in that style until the late 80's . I and other wedding photographers decided to do things different . My influence from the 80's were the 'Paparazzi photographers' - Dave Hogan, Richard Young. As well as shooting the formal wedding pictures, I also shot in black and white in a Paparazzi style. This was ground breaking and broke all the rules of wedding photography. Today it's common and is called 'Reportage Wedding Photography' - an informal unposed style of photography. Okay you understand traditional wedding photography and reportage wedding photography but what is 'Contemporary Wedding Photography' ?. Think fashion modern photography. Pick up a copy of Vogue, Elle or Tatler , look how couples pose -basically that's contemporary .
Some photographers only shoot reportage wedding photography - some shoot all three. So what do I shoot ? All three but it's down to you what you really want.
So we've looked at locating and style. What's next…...
Images - look at a wedding photographers pictures. Do you like his style ? Does he capture the joy, the laughter, the fun, the little details and the emotions of the big day.
Prices - photographers are 'creatives', and some hate talking about money, though some are great business people but have little skills when it comes to wedding photography. But lets get real hear. Some people say wedding photographers earn a good wage. A four figure fee for a days work. People tend to forget the consultation meeting, the hours if not days spent editing pictures after the wedding, the cost of computers, software, backup, camera gear, insurance the list is endless. You may find a "wedding photographer" that may charge a few hundred pounds to photograph your wedding. My advice is stay clear of him UNLESS he ticks all the boxes - he has a great website, he uses two pro spec cameras and has another spare just in case of failure, he uses an assorted of fast 'L' lenses, he's been taught how to photograph weddings, and continues to be educated as the industry moves. He uses the latest software, images are all 'touched up' and he backs up his images . He has full insurance . The list goes on…….
Okay you found a wedding photographer you like …. Now what ? Ask the question do you really like this photographer. You like his images, his style, his website but as a person ? Quite an important question as this photographer will be spending all day with you at your wedding. Now you need to have a consultation with this wedding photographer you love .
Forget about Skype, conference calls or worse still email. You need to meet in person and find out about this photographer.
On meeting how does he come across, is he presentable, confident, did he arrive on time is he passionate about wedding photography ?
Now's the time to talk about wedding photography and find out if you want him to photograph your wedding.
Some questions you could ask but nothing too techy .
How many weddings have you shot ?
What style of wedding photography do you shoot ?
Do you shoot anything else ?
Do I get the digital files if so are they full res.
This last question will help to determine if he is the photographer for you.
What would happen if you have a corrupt card or loose a card ?
Mr 'Cheap Wedding Photographer ' would probably panic . He may only shoot on one camera, and a large card that could store all your wedding pictures .
There's no correct answer but I shoot on two cameras and use small 8gig cards meaning that there are fewer images per card but there are lots of cards.
As a wedding photographer they should have passion and love talking weddings have the people skills, the knowledge and equipment to do the job right.