This is an article by a wedding photographer about wedding photographers. I have tried to keep my advice unbiased.
1. What are they like as people?
You need to get along with your wedding photographer – as you are spending most of your wedding day with them and a negative relationship will show in your photographs. If you gel with a photographer it’s a great starting point. If they put you on edge for any reason run a mile.
2. Look at their photos with a critical eye
It may sound obvious, but I’ve seen plenty of photographers taking big bookings without ever showing a single photograph – marketing on price alone. Don’t be surprised if you have booked a photographer without an extensive portfolio if they let you down. There are plenty of good photographers just starting out who can be had for a bargain. There are also plenty who don’t know their way around their own anatomy, let alone that of a camera.
Is there a a good range of photographs? A good photographer will be able to get photos in even the most difficult of situations – commonly a darkly lit church or a difficult reception venue. If the photos are all outside on a sunny day it could mean that the photographer struggles with indoor shots. Ask to see a whole wedding to get an idea of where the photographers weaknesses are (being a photojournalistic photographer mine are group shots)
Do the photos all look posed? Some photographers specialise in catching the action as it happens – but there are still a great many who work in the traditional way and pose the key events; cutting of the cake, first kiss. You will be able to tell.
3. Are they above board?
A professional wedding photographer will get you to sign a contract to protect both themselves and you. It is important to read the contract and raise any issues you have with it. You should not feel pressured into signing.
They will also be above board with the tax man – sadly there are still people in the industry who do not declare their earnings and these have also been known to disappear before the wedding – if a photographer insists on cash in hand it should ring alarm bells.
Thirdly they will be insured – check that your photographer has Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance as these protect you should the worse happen.
4. Are they prepared?
A professional will have back ups of everything – cameras, lenses – and they will have a back up plan for inclement weather. A photographer needs to be highly organised.
5. Do they bring help?
Some photographers prefer to work alone, others will bring assistants or second shooters. A second shooter will help cover your day more thoroughly – especially if you need pictures of both the bridal party and the groomsmen getting ready. An assistant will help the photographer operate by doing things like setting up lights, holding reflectors, changing lenses and backing up your wedding photographs.
6. What do you get?
Coverage – how long are they going to be with you? Are they covering the preparations, ceremony, formal shots, evening reception. (If a photographer is with you for the majority of the day it’s nice to offer them food). Some photographers will dictate what they cover and others are more flexible
Albums and prints – do you want an album or just a cd of images? If you are getting a disk find out if you have permission to print for personal use. Albums come in a range of styles. I will cover this at a later date – but you will have an idea of what you like and loathe. Ask to see examples. Do you want to get extra albums as gifts for family members.
Oh, and when do you get it? You don’t want to be waiting half a year for your wedding photographs. A lot of photographers state around four weeks – but really this is a worst case scenario and they will want to get them to you whilst the post wedding excitement is still in the air.
7. The pre-wedding shoot
Some photographers will offer a pre-wedding or engagement shoot – if you are camera shy this can help with your nerves before the wedding as well as give you material for wedding stationary or your website.
Simon Dewey is a Derby based Wedding Photographerhttp://www.simondewey.co.uk Emotive storytelling photography for the midlands
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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