Wedding photography is an exciting field with many photographic hobbyists looking to make some extra money on the side providing cheap wedding photography.
After paying hundreds for just the dress alone, never mind the church, the flowers, the reception and all of the food and drink. It’s very tempting to book a cheap wedding photographer; after all, the photography is probably the last thing you want to think about.
Choosing your wedding photographer is the most important thing to do when planning your wedding. In fact it should be the first thing you do.
First-class wedding maui photographers get booked up months in advance so don’t leave it to the last minute to book. However saying that, there could be a few dates not booked, so give them a ring and see if your date is free.
Obviously everyone wishes for the dress to be beautiful, the flowers stunning, the food to be delicious and the reception to be charming. The wedding photographer, however, really should be one of the top things on your list of essential items.
If you choose a poor quality wedding photographer, it will be felt in every photograph that you look at.
Nothing is more significant than your wedding photography. Why’s that? Well, just think about it – what happens when your wedding is over? The flowers are dead, the dress gets freeze-dried (or whatever it is the cleaners do) and put in a box, the cake is eaten, and a year after your wedding you won’t even remember what you ate. All you’ll have left from this day are your memories – and your photos are the doorway to those memories.
Down to the tips:
1. Does the photographer have many different photographs from the same wedding to show you?
I’d be concerned if they were all from the same wedding. Proper professional photographers have taken wedding photographs for many different brides and that should reflect in their work.
On the other hand if you only see one photograph from each wedding I would suspect that the photographer only gets one good picture from the whole day.
You need to know that they are consistent and have taken photographs at many different weddings with at least three different pictures from each wedding in their gallery or book.
As an average guide, photographs from three recent weddings are appropriate.
2. Does the photographer listen to you?
A photographer that talks all the time about how great they are is someone you should be wary of. If a professional is not prepared to listen to you then they are not very professional, I mean how do they know what you are looking for?
3. Do you actually like this person?
You will be spending the most important day of your life with a stranger, make sure you like them. If the photographer’s personality clashes with yours, you could be in for an unhappy day – or at least an awkward one.
Why risk being unhappy on the most important day of your life? That’s why reading the photographer’s personality is, in my opinion, more important than analyzing their portfolio. Will they be officious? Offensive? Aloof? When you talk with a prospective photographer, get a feel for them and see if they are someone you’d want to be friends with.
If the answer is “yes”, then put them high on your list!
A Professional has style. A professional photographer will have a distinct style and taste. The photographs may be in black and white or in colour; you may see lots of manipulation in the images or none.
An amateur photographer posing as a professional will not have much of a style. Their images will look uninteresting and vulgar. If their style is all over the place then you can bet your life that they are not professionals.
What are the images like?
- Are the images flat?
- Too dark or too light?
- Can you see the details on the wedding dress or is it just a white blob?
- Do the people in the pictures look awkward or distracted?
- Do the group photographs look messy?
- Are the backgrounds in the pictures cluttered?
- Do the backgrounds compete for attention for the people in the picture?
- Are the people looking at the camera?
- Do they still have their heads?
If you answer yes to these questions then I would say that the photographer is not a professional.
There are exceptions though; with the Photojournalistic style, most people in the pictures are not looking at the camera and the backgrounds can be a little distracting.
Also ask the photographer where the photograph was taken; sometimes they have done the best that they can do. This is especially true with registrar weddings, where the registry offices are usually situated in or near industrial areas where the backgrounds are not very pretty anyway.
4. Does the photographer seem professional?
This is the most difficult one to gauge as many people know to dress smartly and it’s easy to learn the technicality of the camera, the terminology to explain the photographs and sell their presentation.
You can never know for sure but there are a few pointers:
5. Ask them if they do photography as a full time career?
- i. If they answer yes then it’s one point in their favour.
- ii. If they say no, then ask them what else they do. If it’s a completely different field, like building or office work, then they aren’t a professional photographer, they will have nothing to lose if they mess up the photographs of your wedding.
6. How long have they been in business?
i. Anything under a year is suspect, mainly because they will probably not have enough experience with professionally covering weddings outside the seminars and courses.
ii. Two to three years is good, the photographer has probably had enough wedding experience to know what to expect and how to deal with any situations that may arise.
iii. Anything over three years is very good (as long as it is their full time employment) as it shows that they are doing pretty well and they should have a good reputation.
Ask about the photographer with your friends and acquaintances; see what reputation they have achieved. If it’s good then they can be trusted, if not then don’t trust them, think of it as a confidence rating.
7. How many weddings have they photographed?
i. This is important, if they give you a figure under 20 then be on your guard and take all of the other answers into account when finally deciding on whether to book them or not, especially take into account how many years they have been in business. If they have only done 20 weddings in two years, then perhaps you shouldn’t book them. 20 is a very low number of weddings for two years; you can expect an expert photographer on average to photograph at least 20 weddings per year.
ii. If they give you a figure over 200 and they’ve been in business for only a couple of years then they are blatantly lying. There is no possible way for them to have covered so many weddings in two years.
iii. For a business that has been operating for two years, a reasonable figure for weddings covered is 60.