What to Look for When Booking a Wedding Photographer
hile getting engaged might be one of the most exciting things you’ve ever experienced, preparing for the actual day might also be one of the most stressful things you’ve ever experienced. From choosing the perfect dress, booking a suitable venue, ordering all the flower arrangements, choosing the best caterer and more, weddings are hard work. Essentially, you’re preparing for a day of your dreams, but what happens when you have no way to commemorate it? Wedding photographs are not simply a traditional part of weddings, rather it is integral when it comes to maintaining a wedding event. After the years you live with your loved one, nothing beats the joy and nostalgia that comes from looking back to the start and reliving the day when you both were made to be one. Therefore, you cannot overlook having a professional wedding photographer on your big day, but you must remember to regard a few vital factors before deciding on who to book.
Elements of a Professional Photographer
To choose a wedding photographer can be quite a burdensome task, especially considering how there are varieties of different photographers, each on their own professional level. Your pre-wedding responsibilities do include immense research and constant comparison between professional skills, artistic talent, personal attitude and more. Ideally, your photographer should adhere according to the picture you have in mind, and come up with something even more fascinating. Thus, you are picking someone who needs to conform to your imagination and ideas, and someone you can completely trust to memorialize one of your most important days. Thus, choosing a photographer for your wedding isn’t simply hard work, but it also demands scrutinization and selectiveness. Here are the key elements that are present in a professional wedding photographer:
Skill and Competency
Being completely equipped for any circumstance and environment is fundamental towards becoming a professional wedding photographer, but there are other skills which one needs to create the best possible work for their client. From having a calm temperament to adhering to boundaries, a skilled wedding photographer should respond to varied settings in the right manner. Therefore, as one chooses to pay for their skills, you need to make sure your photographer presents such characteristics as mentioned below.
1. Being Calm Despite Calamity
We can admit it – not all of us are suited to being in front of the camera. A wedding will contain guests of different kinds and personalities, with a lot of them being shy to take photos or not having a clue as to how to pose. This can even stretch towards the couple as well, where you and your loved one might feel uncomfortable having someone constantly tailing around you and taking random photos. As a professional wedding photographer, their job is to ensure complete comfortableness and assure their clients as well as photo subjects to not worry. Experienced photographers are the best when it comes to dealing with unexpected environments, as they are trained through years of service to work under any circumstance and condition their workflow accordingly so as to provide the best result.
2. Being Authoritative and Yet Not Overpowering
A vital part of being a wedding photographer is to not get into the way of people moving about in a wedding, especially not in a manner that would cause discomfort and disturbance. Yet, sometimes circumstances demand assertiveness, for wedding photographers cannot simply base their pictures on candid collections of people’s movements. There remains an array of aesthetic photo opportunities in weddings, chiefly because of how elemental each backdrop is and the elegant as well as charming outfits of both the married couple and their guests. But because we don’t have experience with taking proper pictures, we tend to get lost and waste the potential for amazing photos. Often, people might move out of the frame, feel bored, feel hesitant, or simply not participate, leading to quite generic and limited photography in the end. This is only when the photographer is unacquainted with adaptation, where proper training in direction and engagement with photo subjects becomes a requisite for better photos. Thus, the photographer must understand how to communicate clearly and appropriately, so as to let everyone know what they should do while also retaining a boundary by not being too dominating.
3. Having Enough Energy
You cannot have a photographer that seems to be burned out easily. Experienced photographers usually spend hours dedicated to their work, with most choosing to prepare beforehand by consulting with the bride and groom, setting up equipment, scouting the environment, working with pre-wedding photographs and more. If your venue also stands to be a few hours drive, getting to the destination also counts within the effort that such photographers need to put in for their clients. With so much time spent on working, especially having to work by standing, wedding photographers require a certain level of strength and dexterity to properly conduct their sessions with a couple, indicating that it is best to choose photographers who are both experienced in their fields and who do not complain about hours of work.
Ideally, practice makes perfect and such photographers become well-refined with the skills and other prerequisites of wedding photography after having worked in a few sessions. While experienced photographers are incredibly competent at their jobs, most do maintain high pricings, which can be inconvenient for some couples. Therefore, photographers who have had worked in a few wedding scenes before and do retain a fair amount of knowledge and skill are good choices. Yet, make sure you do look for the aforementioned qualities before you determine who to pick for your wedding photographs.
Talent and Style
We typically denote talent as something that we’ve been born with, but it’s actually something that takes years of honing to truly accomplish. A wedding photographer stands with no exception to that rule. Photography requires months and even years for one to garner proper expertise, and through this, talent is sharpened and refined. Most people who tread on to the creative field do maintain distinctive qualities in how they conduct and present their work, which is visible through their portfolios.
Good photographers, however, distinguish themselves by constantly learning and developing their artistic style. This ensures that they do not simply cleave on to a simple look but can refine their work to suit both contemporary and artistic needs. They harbor an intellectual curiosity that is injected into their work and their ideas, making their work entirely unique and exciting. Because of how much they study and analyze the work of other professional photographers, they are constantly inspired and choose to work from different angles so as to not to be stagnant in their style. This is what talent encompasses, essentially, where such photographers outrank others in the wedding industry simply because of their unique style and determination to be better.
As one choosing the wedding photographer, you need to make sure you see a genuine interest towards photography by how your potential photographer talks about pictures and styles as well as the modifications they have made to their work. You need to browse through their portfolios, understand their artistic style and figure out if you’re alright tow work with the style portrayed. But, most importantly, you need to interview the person you’ll be picking out and you need to ask them how they choose to modify their work for the better. Usually, the ones who prefer to perfect their work through adaptation and education are the best pick of the lot, and you should definitely have them hired for their love and dedication towards photography.
For wedding packages, you will typically have your wedding photographer trailing around you the entire day. That would mean constant engagement and consultation with your photographer as he/she works to capture your best moments. With so much one on one time with your photographer, it is possible that theirs is the face you’ll see for most of the day, making it an absolute necessary for you to pick someone whom you truly like.
A wedding photographer who maintains a horrible personality would tarnish your entire wedding program, turning it into absolute shambles instead of it being the day of your dreams. You don’t want to fuss over their working manner, engage into petty squabbles for their arrogant demeanor or have them shout at you throughout the day and see their disappointed frowns pointed at you when you’re preparing to have a day filled with fun, joy and love. Therefore, you need to see if your wedding photographer maintains a unity with your ideas and is respectful to both you and your loved ones. Someone who actually takes the time to help and commune with you is someone you need to consider as your ideal wedding photographer.
You don’t really have to search for a friend in your wedding photographer – that is not the requisite for good photos. Instead, you need to understand that your photographer is the sole person with the ability to immortalize this special day of yours and pay homage to the moments you share with your loved ones. To aid them successfully accomplishing their job, you need to properly engage with them. However, if that’s restricted by a bad personality, it hardly amounts to an outcome you’d be satisfied with. Photographers and their clients alike, base the quality of their pictures through the connection they make. Better imagery is achieved only when a better correlation is made between both you and your photographer. Therefore, either have them around in your engagement sessions for a trial experience, or make sure to consult and talk with them before you take their package. This allows you to examine how friendly they are along with how well you might get with them.
Aside from their personality, skills and talent, another integral element in their work is how well equipped they are. While booking, you might expect them to come up with a complete loadout of professional equipment and tools, but this might not always be the case. Typically, a professional photographer has an array of gears, which includes a professional camera with the appropriate lenses, speedlights, tripods, flash diffuser, studio strobes and umbrella and such. However, some photographers may be genuinely amateur in their field of work and therefore, will not bring what should be included for the best photographical result.
Eventually, this will leave you both frustrated at their incompetency as well as annoyed when your pictures are pillaged with bad lighting, uneven focus, inconsistent levelling and poor quality. What worse way to ruin a perfectly happy day than to pay for pictures that hardly come close to what you imagined they would?
Even though we might not usually ask a photographer what their loadout consists, it is still better that you do. Firstly, you need to put the proper research in and understand the standard gear used by professional photographers. If you know anyone who has worked in photography, it is also best to consult with them and ask around about the equipment. After a decent understanding, you can progress on to asking your photographer about their equipment and gear before choosing to hire them for your big day. The saying ‘Better safe than sorry’ is one you should definitely adhere to.
With a day that moves so fast, you need to expect your photographer to do the same. Punctuality is a direct representation of one’s professionalism, and your photographer should understand that. You do not want to delay your wedding and have all your guests waiting for someone who is unable to come on time to fulfil their duty.
Your wedding is a day you will never forget, but in the case that you do, your photographs stand as a memoir for your biggest day. You would want every single detail to be perfect and choosing your wedding photographer means you have to be determined to select the best. Therefore, make no compromises and ensure that your potential photographer fulfils all the criteria mentioned above, so that you do not sacrifice losing the sole property which encapsulates your love and happiness for that particular day.