The 10 Secrets You Must Know To Choose A Good Wedding Photographer
Choosing your wedding photographer is not a difficult task. If you know my 10 secrets, you will avoid many of the pitfalls that are so easy to fall into. It is very important that you choose a photographer early when you are planning your wedding.
Most popular photographers
The best and most popular photographers are booked early, often a year or two in advance. So once you have your date and wedding location set, the next item on your list should be your photographer.
If you had gotten married a generation ago, in the 1930s or 40s, your choices would have been rather limited. Back then, photography was still something of a “dark art.” The photographer or his assistant would literally spend hours in the darkroom developing film and making photographic prints by hand. Their options for the wedding day were limited.
The photographer usually came to you at the end of the ceremony and picked you up at the church door. He then took a handful of pictures with his large camera. Usually, a full-length picture of the couple at the church door, a close-up if you were lucky, and then maybe a family group or two.
Colour pictures were a real luxury in the 1930s because the colour film was still in its infancy. A talented photographer could offer you hand-coloured or colour images that they made from black and white originals, but that was an expensive option.
To take good “documentary” pictures, you actually need other skills as well. You have to anticipate what’s going to happen, be in the right place at the right time, know when to press the shutter to catch the decisive moment, know how to deal with different lighting conditions that fool the camera, and compose the image properly, and finally, be able to control the guests so that the things you want to photograph happen naturally.
How do you avoid the pitfalls? It can be difficult, but here are 10 secrets that will help you choose your wedding photographer!
- If you look in a directory, you will only find contact information. Looking at a website is a good start; at least you will see some pictures there. Nowadays, a good and well-made website is affordable for most people who want to start their own business.
So you can’t assume that someone with a fancy website is the best choice. Maybe he has another job to pay the mortgage. Does the website have a bio page? How much information does it have about the photographer, their experience and professional qualifications? How long have they been in business?
- Does he belong to a recognized professional association for photographers or just a camera club? Is he subject to a professional code of conduct? Do you have a point of contact to turn to if something goes wrong? Unfortunately, a man can go to town on Friday with his unemployment money and buy a fancy camera and call himself a professional photographer on Saturday.
There are currently no regulations for photographers in the UK. Anyone can legally set up as a photographer and does not have to register with anyone. The public is not protected by any legislation. Over the years, the major professional associations of photographers in the UK have lobbied the various governments on this matter, but to no avail.
- is there a postal address on the website, or just a mobile number and email address? How do you find them if there is a problem? Not every photographer has a large studio, many works legitimately from home. A reputable photographer will always publish an address.
- If the photographer is working from home, he/she will probably not have a large studio unless it was custom built or converted from a garage or other space. It is unlikely that he/she will do many portraits during the week.
Can you make an appointment to view a selection of recent wedding images, or does he/she insist on coming to your home? When it comes to looking at samples, albums with a variety of weddings can look good. Photographers always like to show off their best images. Always ask to see complete weddings from start to finish. This will give you a better idea of the photographer’s skills than just admiring pretty pictures.