Thursday, January 12, 2012
Top five questions when looking for a wedding photographer.
This may sound like an obvious question but for a lot of couples that I've worked for they haven't been too sure to start with. Normally because they've never really thought about it before. So how do you know what you like? Just look around you would be my first tip. Look at old pictures of yourself, which ones do you like? One's that have been posed really well? Spontaneous pictures? Have a look at photographers websites or do a Google Image Search and make a note of the photographs that catch your eye? Is there a common theme there? The important thing is have your eyes open and make mental notes of what you like.
2. What do I want?
Once you have a feel of what kind of wedding pictures you would like have a think about what you want done with them. This is a pretty important decision when it comes to choosing a photographer as you need to find a photographer that's going to give you what you want after the wedding. As a very broad rule of thumb there are the two options, one where you take most of the control after the wedding and the other where the photographer does. So how would you have control of the photographs, normally by choosing a photographer who will supply you with a disc copy of all your images after the wedding. This means you choose what to do with them. Get prints, have a canvas made, share them on the Internet, normally its up to you. This may be very appealing to a lot of couple as it means they are not tied to what they can do with the photographs and once they've paid up for the photographers time there's nothing else to pay. The other option is to go for a photographer that provides all the prints after the wedding. This is great if don't have the time to do it yourself, the downside is every time you want another print you have to go back to the photographer to pay for one.
As I said, this is a very broad rule of thumb as many photographer's will offer a bit of both but the important thing is to have an idea of what you want beforehand.
3. How do I find a photographer on the Internet?
Well you may already be a part of the way down that route already if you've been looking at images on the Internet. It's most peoples starting point, if only for ideas. Now the hard thing wont be finding a photographer on the Internet, it will be deciding which would be a good one. What should you be looking for then? Essentially what you are looking for is credibility at this stage assuming you've seen a photographer's work that you like. Now that you have a little knowledge my first tip would be ask lots of questions, usually this is a good way to get a feel about how professional someone is. Do they reply promptly? Do they actually answer your questions? Do they encourage you to ask more? And what I would say is most important, do they sound interested? By that I mean, do they sound interested in finding out more about what you want, about whether their style would suit you, not are they just interested in getting your business? A good photographer will be just as keen as you to make sure this will work to every ones benefit. A bad photographer will just want the work, irrespective. It is easy to put up an impressive website, or even a bogus one, if you have the right knowledge, what's not so easy is to engage with a client.
4. How else would I find a photographer?
Ask! Where does most of a photographer's work come from, word of mouth. Wedding pictures are shared and that means lots of people see many, many wedding pictures. Ask your friends and plenty will either recommend their photographer or remember seeing some else's pictures that they liked. The benefit here is you can find out how the photographer worked with everyone, was he amiable when necessary, was he dynamic when he had to get a shot, was he discrete and not in peoples faces all day.
5. If I go with a package with a planner and they insist I have to have their photographer, should I go along with that?
Personally I'd say no. Certainly meet them and if you feel ok with it then fine, but if you don't think they are good enough or they don't offer the sort of package you want then I would say no. You don't get a second chance with your wedding photographs!
So five questions that I'm often asked, does that cover everything, no, not at all but I think its a good place to start.
My one most important tip would be though, know what you like and know what you want. If you have a good idea of that before you approach photographers then that will save you some wasted time approaching the wrong types of photographer. And if you don't know, no problem, but make sure your photographer helps you work it out for you. That's what he's there for, not just for what he or she does on the day but for the time they spend with you beforehand making sure it all goes smoothly and provides you afterwards with what you expected.