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How to choose a wedding photographer

I got this great insight on how to choose your wedding photographer


this is a good read for all brides and grooms to be

One of the most difficult things for the wedding couple is choosing your photographer. It’s not just a matter of having the services of a person that can take photos, and indeed knows which way to point the camera, but more that he/she has a personality you can cope with and enjoy all day. The first thing I would advise is that you find someone that has been in the game for long enough to understand the meaning of “being in the moment”. There are lots of photographers out there who take fabulous sunsets, landscapes, trees and the like; and the photos are brilliant, but can they cope with the fluid, fast pace of a wedding? Do they understand what is about to happen next? For someone who has shot over 600 weddings during the past 35 years I can “sense” when there is to be a special moment, and that needs to be captured. Otherwise the moment has gone and you are left thinking, that would have been a nice shot. So number one, find someone who is experienced in wedding photography and have a look at their portfolio. Look at whole weddings not just the best images of a few weddings.

The second point I would make is membership of professional associations. Formal education can also be important and you should ask if the photographer has completed any formal training. Make sure you also ask if they are a member of a professional association. For example, the recognised industry standard association in Australia is, the Australian Institute of Professional Photography, AIPP. Be sure to look at the AIPP website to find out why you should insist on an AIPP Accredited Professional Photographer for your wedding. This should be your benchmark, if your photographer is not good enough for the Institute, they should not be good enough for you.

Then you need to decide on the style of images the photographer takes. To a degree you can decide what style you want taken but generally photographers become set in their ways. Most will tell you they shoot candid, casual, non posed, natural etc. But in reality it’s a combination of all these styles. Some photographers shoot all posed shots; which get very boring after a while, some shoot for the glossy bridal magazine look; which your wedding really isn’t, some shoot everything sideways; which also becomes monotonous, then some turn most of the image into black & white while leaving brightly coloured flowers in colour; this too is a little hard to look at after a while. A good suggestion is to take some images that you like to the photographer and ask if they have done something like it in the past. If so, ask them to show you. Always be sure to meet the photographer that will be at your wedding. Some studios employ part time photographers that they send to shoot weddings and can’t tell you until close to the date exactly who it will be at your wedding. That situation clearly wouldn’t suit me.

Then there is the price. Find out what you get for your money. How many hours will the photographer be with you? Will you get your images in high resolution on a disc? Are you purchasing an album? How many sides are in the album I am purchasing in this package? What is the number of sides of an album that is normally purchased after a wedding? If my album isn’t that many sides, how much will this cost after the wedding? Make sure there are no future hidden expenses. What might seem like a good deal at the time, perhaps a package for $2,500, could easily turn into an expense of $6,000 or more. Don’t forget we have all heard the term, “Would you like fries with that?”

These are just a few tips to remember. Don’t be afraid to ask what it is you are paying for and make sure your photographer has a personality that is going to keep you both laughing all day. That’s what it’s all about, having fun.

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