Choosing a wedding photographer or a family portrait photographer can be a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. Here we offer some valuable advice about what you should consider when making that choice.
Tip #1 Why can’t we all just get along!
All good photographers will try and capture the natural, real you in their images so it is important that you develop a natural affinity with your wedding or portrait photographer. You know fairly quickly on first impressions with people whether you are going to get along so go with your gut instinct – “am I going to have fun with this person?” is a question you should be asking yourself.
Tip #2 You get what you pay for
A truism very common in life and even more so in photography. Price should be ONE of the factors in your decision but not the over riding one. There are a lot of ‘amateur professional’s’ out there who will charge you next to nothing and deliver even less. Remember – you are stuck with the end results of your day so choose wisely.
Tip #3 But I want the deluxe package!
If you are on a budget you can always upgrade later – the key thing is to get the source images taken in the first place. Weddings are expensive things at the best of times so a good idea is to keep the end print & album quantities on the low side initially and then come back to the photographer when the wedding and honeymoon bills have been taken care of. I have often suggested this to clients who you can see are wrestling with the financial strain and the look of relief on their faces is often worth a picture in itself. A lot of people are unaware of this option. Be wary of any wedding photographer that tries to sell you into a package you cannot afford.
Tip #4 Plan Plan Plan…. then plan some more
Sitting down with your wedding or portrait photographer months before the event is an excellent idea as you will be surprised at what advice the seasoned professional can offer. Remember – these guys have been a major part of often hundreds of weddings and can give you invaluable tips on planning the day, timing various parts of the day and getting you more relaxed about the whole event. Forward planning also gives you time to work through those contingency plans that absolutely require forethought.
Tip #5 Think outside the box
We’ve all seen gazillions of pre-posed wedding photos that seem to simply document the day and record who turned up and what they were wearing, but you should be looking to capture those candid heartfelt moments where Dad slyly wipes a tear as his little girl gets given away, or the glance Grandma gives Grandpa as the vows take place and they move to hold hands remembering their special day all those years ago. Our desire as photographers is to capture your personality in the few hours we have with you so it is important to express yourself clearly to your photographer – tell them what you want and what your goals are.
In closing, I would say that it has been a real privilege to be part of so many couples special day, sure there is the stress of making sure you deliver given that you’ve only got one shot at it, but often taking that moment to reflect on why all the people are there in the first place is a humbling experience.