Tips for choosing your wedding photographer
Choosing a wedding photographer or a destination wedding photographer can be as exciting as risky.
It is about your wedding, the perfect day you have always dreamed of. Taking some good precautions can help you to make the choice that matches with your preferences.
Here there is a short list you need to take into consideration:
- Second photographer
- Easy to contact
First of all: Choose a professional wedding photographer.
It may seem trivial but nowadays, with the democratization of cameras once reserved only to a few, we are all wedding photographers in a certain way.
If we consider the matter closely, how far do our technical skills, our artistic creativity, our knowledge of light, our ability to guide the bride and groom in a natural way come? Is our equipment adapted to perform with capricious weather, while making a simultaneous backup of the images taken during the wedding day?
I could go on and on about the circumstances where the presence of a professional photographer makes a difference but I know that would risk being a bit boring.
Here is the summary of my thoughts: a wedding photographer takes beautiful photos when everything is going well. A professional wedding photographer takes excellent photos even in the face of the unexpected and believe me it happens often. Unforeseen events are not necessarily negative events. On the contrary, they characterize almost all weddings: a delay in the course of the day that must be managed, adverse weather, the midday light of a summer day which, if not controlled, would make lifeless and bland images. What I have mentioned are just few examples of different contexts that would push friends and cousins with a passion for photography to say that they did not have the time or the opportunity to take the desired photos.
Nobody would like to have a photographer who does not reflect one’s own vision of the wedding: talking with the professional wedding photographers whose images you like, will quickly make you understand if this professional is for you.
The way he or she talks dresses and communicates, give a clear picture of this person. To make you feel comfortable in front of a camera is a priority at Antonio Matera Photography. In fact, I always offer my future bride and groom an engagement session a few months before the wedding for getting know each other. Be sure that this “break-in” will help you to relax, make you gain more confidence as a model, increase the harmony that you have begun to establish with your photographer.
Let’s be frank: I have never heard of future brides and grooms saying phrases such as “I like to pose, we want photos where the pose we take is important”. True is rather the opposite:
“we like spontaneous, natural and authentic photography taken at the time”.
The reality is that a complete wedding needs all kinds of photos: the natural ones, the semi-spontaneous, a handful of posed photos. By looking at the photographer’s portfolio you will be able to get an idea of his style and ideally propose your own.
Open-mindedness and flexibility are rare assets that are not given to everyone.
So if you perceive that your photographer interlocutor is a professional who is able to adapt his way to yours for satisfying your requests, you have probably found the pearl you were looking for.
In the following lines, I am going to mention some essential equipment that a wedding photographer must have in his bag:
Several cameras all equipped with a double memory card slot for securing the images of your wedding, this is the basis, the main condition without which it is better to flee.
Imagine the case where at 10 p.m. the photographer tells you that the memory card is defective and that the photos are therefore lost. This is neither an exceptional case nor a sporadic circumstance that can be easily avoided when working with a professional wedding photographer.
Artificial lights, such as one or more speedlights, continuous lights, at least one reflector to lighten shadows, complementary optics to cover each moment of the event, all this completes the photographer’s equipment.
Second wedding photographer
Last but not least, ask about the possibility of having a second shooter.
Here there are few examples where the presence of the second wedding photographer makes the difference for delivering a consistent reportage:
- The bride enters the church and the photographer concentrates on taking picturesof her without being able to capture the little tear of the groom waiting for her at the altar. Here the second photographer will stay at the right place to cover all images that the first one cannot take.
- Take a photo from the front when it would have been more appropriate to position on the side. Sometimes when there is movement, like during the dancing, it is hard to always capture images from the best position. Thanks to the second photographer the chances to get the perfect composition are much higher.
- Going to the toilet for 2 minutes and missing an important passage. We all are human and to count on a colleague is useful all along the event.
- Not being able to brighten the shadows because with 2 hands just one photographer could not easily hold a reflector. This is the classic examples where the second photographer works as an assistant to support the main one.
- Focus on the bride and groom forgetting the guests. When the number of guests is important, it is easy to miss one or more persons. The role of the second wedding photographer, in this particular circumstance, is to take care of each guest that will be photographed in all its glory.
This non-exhaustive list shows the difficulties that any photographer who works solo must face during a wedding day.
My recommendation is to always ask for the presence of a second photographer, especially if the number of guests exceeds 80 people.
The wedding day is unique, moving, special and this weighs on the responsibility that the photographer carries on his shoulders.
Being able to share with another photographer the many tasks that a wedding day requires helps considerably to perform better. The beautiful photos that follow will witness the dedication and professionalism the photographer of your choice has put in his work.
Your wedding images are the only concrete thing you have when festivities have stopped, the cake has gone and all your guests and family are back home.
This is the reason for which you need to choose with your heart, first. There will always be a less expensive supplier or a more convenient package but to relive authentic emotions and try to transmit them to posterity think about what is the best for you and do not save on this.
It is not rare to meet couples who regret choices dictated by convenience that would like to come back and take a different decision.
My suggestion is that to feel comfortable with your photographer and his work must have priority on the financial aspect.
Reading about other guests’ experiences is an important step before your final decision. To see that the wedding photographer you like has already satisfied or better, exceeded other couples’ expectations, can reassure your choice.
Do not stop reading just one negative or a positive feedback but the more reviews you can go through, the better you have an idea about his reputation.