Picking a marriage photographer can reasonably prove a very daunting and hard decision for many brides to be, mainly if like most people you’ve never truly had the chance to hire a trained photographer before. Much rides upon this choice as not only is wedding photography expensive, you can ill manage to waste money at this costly time, but you will also need to look at those photographs for the rest of your life.
Directors of diplomacy and tact the marriage photographer must work with high speed, confidence and of major technical support. A great one will quietly and effortlessly fit into your day without without creating a scene, a poor one will obsess, embroil you in their anxiety and even upset your wedding guests. Thankfully out of the various marriages that I’ve been lucky sufficient to attend or have a part in, almost all of the cameramen have fallen into the ‘good’ level.
Sadly though there have been one or two exceptions in new times. At these marriages the photographers showed all the negative attributes discussed above, but worst still the results were pretty poor and completely unacceptable from a so-called expert photographer.
Notice the word ‘marriage’ and everybody eyes start following dollar signs like cash tills. In recent times few other industries have seen such a huge boom in consumer spends and as a result, several photographers both good and bad have been moved into the industry. This combined with the invasion of cheap plus easy to use digital cameras and the apparent allure of the photographic profession has seen the world of wedding photography swell and bloat with photographers. Here is a list of items that I would seriously think when trying to weed out the good ones from the bad.
Style. First, I would shortlist your photographers by ignoring those who don’t offer a photographic technique that appeals to you. Each photographer will have their individual approach, but finally there are three very distinct forms of wedding photography: traditional and formal, traditional but more casual and the trendy photo journal or documentary style. There are also a few of contemporary wedding photographers who have their own very unique and quirky approaches. What style you choose is down to your own taste but I would be wary of supporting any fads too closely; trends come and go very quickly, but you wedding photos will be on display for many years to come!
Finances. How much cash can you realistically manage? Only you can say that one but try to set a budget and stick to it. There will always be appeals to up the spends, especially if your friend hired the chief photographer for her wedding day, but try to avoid this. There are thousands of wedding photographers out there each one with a different fee structure, so there will be one that both caters to your budget and artistic sensibilities.
The Photographers Portfolio. This is your chance to become the the art expert you’ve always fancied yourself as being. Things to look out for include: awkward compositions where arms, legs or wedding dress trains are brutally cut-off, unnatural or over posed facial emotions, unpleasant colour castes especially on the photographs that might have been shot inside, minor detail in the highlights such as the brides dress or harsh contrasty skin tones, and poor shadow detail with nasty muddy dark tones. If the photography stands up to such close scrutiny, then the chances are you’ve found a good photographer who exhibits all the technical abilities that you’d expect from a professional.