How to choose a wedding photographer
In today’s ‘share crazy’ world of facebook, pinterest and Instagram a good photographer, who can capture the essence of your wedding and YOU, is of increasing importance. Keeping in mind that you can not repeat your wedding photos in case something goes wrong, it is best to get a professional photographer or photographer team (some work in pairs to be able to shoot different angles of important moments and / or use video and stills at the same time). To reduce the risk, just keep the following 3 things in mind.
1. Ask for Referrals
There is an abundance of wedding photographers that can now be found online, but personal referrals from family or friends are still the best way to find a photographer who will be right for you - If your friends were happy with them, there’s a good chance you will be too.
Getting a referral also means that you can ask your friends a lot of questions that you can’t ask the photographer directly. This mainly refers to the photographers’ personality, which needs to complement yours, or your experience might not be as amazing. Alternatively if you found a photographer whose work you love, but no one in your circle of friends has used, go to online referral sites and check out their testimonials. Just keep in mind that online testimonials can be fake, so read more than 1 or 2.
2. Get to know your photographer
It is always best to meet your photographer in person before your actual wedding day and follow their work on social media. Most photographers will have a portfolio full of gorgeous images on their website, which will make it difficult for you to choose your favourite photographer, so ask to see a full wedding gallery for one particular wedding (preferably in a similar setting as yours will be), so you can see how they shoot a whole wedding from beginning to end. Are most of the images in focus, correctly exposed, what feelings do they evoke and do the colour and overall toning appeal to you. Large numbers of photos are not always better. A few well shot and edited images are so much more important than having a huge number of mediocre pictures. Just think about this: how many pictures will you actually display in your wedding book, picture collage or photo album? Enlist the help of family and friends to cover all the little ‘incidences’ that happen during the day and get your photographer to concentrate on the important parts. This will also help with keeping things within a reasonable timeline and budget.
Ask how many weddings they have shot so far. Weddings are fast paced and unpredictable, so your photographer needs to know his gear well and how to deal with issues like rain, too much sun, dark venues, uncooperative children etc. They also need to know how to direct and pose non-models like yourself and your guests.
One of the main differences between photographers shooting styles are ‘documentary’ or ‘posed’. Most photographers will do both, but favour one over the other. Documentary photographers tend to use available light rather than artificially lighting a scene. While they might spend some time posing your family and bridal party, their focus is on the unscripted moments in between. The outcome of your gallery will most likely be more unpredictable, but also more personal. It is however nice to have some more ‘traditional’ images as well. Make sure to tell your photographer what you would like them to do.
3. Check the photographers equipment list
Don’t worry too much about the actual equipment used. Every photographer works well with their own equipment, so it doesn’t really matter too much if they use a Nikon or a Canon or whatever. But what is important, is that they bring a backup of every piece of equipment they will be using to capture your wedding. This means at least two camera bodies, multiple lenses, spare batteries and spare memory cards. Ask them about their backup for your images and then decide if you are happy with that.
What to do after the Wedding
Even after paying thousands of dollars for the best photographer in town, most people don’t do much with wedding photographs after the wedding. Since so much time, effort and money was put into photographing every beautiful detail of your wedding day, it would be a shame if those pictures never saw the light of day. Here are some stylish ways to display those pictures in your home:
1. Wedding Picture Wall Gallery
A nicely arranged gallery of a few of the best images can subtly and beautifully tell the story of your wedding day.
Black and white photos will often look great with simple frames arranged side by side at eye level. While the frames do not have to match exactly, they should at least resemble each other and have something that clearly links them. The key to a good wall gallery is not the frames themselves, but the arrangement and the harmony between the photos.
It is also a good idea to match your wall Gallery to the overall feel of your home or they will look out of place.
2. Wedding Photo Book
Photobooks could have been made just for weddings, as there is no other occasion for which they are more perfect. Many wedding photographers offer photo books as an option, or you can easily create your own by using one of the online photo book options. These books can tell the whole story of your wedding day and are more likely to be viewed on a regular basis.
3. Coffee Table Display
You can arrange several of your favourite prints inside a glass coffee table box. To make it even more personal add a flower from the bouquet, a wedding invitation, the ring bearer pillow or any other memorabilia from the big day. It is nice to have a constant reminder of your perfect day.