First Hand Advise From Wedding Photographers
January 5, 2018
Some photographers, me included, groan just a little bit on the inside when clients request a particular photographic fad that jeopardizes the timeless nature of photography. The photography itself – the image – should fail to scream ‘This happened in 1984 – no one superimposes a ghost-like image of the groom’s heads over the bride praying anymore.’ Virtually every wedding photography professional practices the craft in a way that utilizes the benefit of multiple ‘styles’ of wedding photography. Some photographers emphasize one over the other – mostly heavily posed fashion shots, say, with only a few candid shots from the ceremony and reception.
As you select your photographer(s), you will take a look at the collection of photographs that he or she chooses to display prominently, and these will speak volumes about the style of photography that is most important to that person. It is perfectly reasonable to expect (dare I say, assume) a certain amount of variety in the final collection of images. I’ve got a shot list. There are many like it, but this one is mine. To the photographer who dares to cross me.
Please understand, it is the opinion of this author that certain wedding planning resources overstate the rigid and unyielding nature of wedding planning, which can be far more organic and fun than you might otherwise believe. That is right; I just claimed that wedding planning could be fun. (This happens to photographers, unfortunately, with some regularity. The groom will pull us aside midway through the reception, and mention the fact we should try to get some great shots of the bride’s father who “will not be with us much longer.”). For those that can’t resist looking over typical shot lists, your best bet will be to print out one that you like, highlight a few that are especially important (‘ a few’ in English means three or so; I didn’t write ‘highlight all of them’), and hand it to your photographer. Nicely state that, while you are sure that she would capture these regardless of the list, the highlighted shots are REALLY important to you. Message sent?
Customers will direct my photographer throughout my wedding day like the pitiful waif that he is. (Alternatively, the photographer will direct me throughout my wedding day, and I’ll obey every command.). The vendors you hire, including your wedding photographer, are professionals and know what they are doing. While this may very well be your third wedding day, presumably your photographer has had even more. The service provided by wedding photographers is one best performed in the presence of open communication. There may be a situation where your photographer has an idea, pitches it to you, and you decline (nicely, of course, but firmly). This type of open communication is the best (and only) way to conduct business for a photographer, and we expect it of our brides.
Myths of Wedding Photography Specials
January 4, 2018
You might be getting married (congrats, by the way) and trying to decide whether or not even to hire a wedding photographer. You might be trying to decide now on which photography professional to choose for your wedding day. You might be a wedding photographer, trying to understand the delicate and confounding psyche of those who engage in wedding planning.
Whoever you are, for your reading pleasure, check out the top myths of wedding photography as relayed by a photographer who still loves taking pictures. These are broken into three categories: a. Myths about not hiring a professional at all; b. Myths about the selection process; and c. Myths about how the photography should be done.
Is it impossible to find a good free photographer? Hey, it is your wedding day. In this situation, you can just point out to your kids, twenty years down the road, that the photographer did take these photos with really cutting edge technology, which is why you can see just so much detail of the lewd woman at your wedding with, how shall we say ‘perky’ breasts. Why would I get a photographer? Everybody and their dog has a camera (even cell phones pictures are creeping up in the ‘megapixel’ race).
At a wedding, many if not most guests bring some type of additional camera to memorialize the event (particularly things that go wrong, if they don’t like you; tears from the groom if they do). Rigorous double-blind studies have been done on the data stream to which we are referring, and they all show one thing. There might be one great photo of the bunch, of a dog at the end of the aisle that meant so much to Great Aunt Esther. Wedding photography is too expensive – why would I support an industry of so-called ‘professionals’ who only work a few hours a week. I don’t know whether to be angry or jealous.
If you think we work a few hours for a single wedding, you are fooling yourself. Those are the hours that you see us at the wedding; suffice it to say, many hours of preparation went into that particular wedding, countless hours will proceed upon the end of the wedding day in post-production. Why would you want a wedding professional like a great photographer to help you with smart referrals for all the other services you will be seeking?
While a good photographer will have worked with a spectacular cake business in previous weddings and gladly suggest that you check them out, you can spend forty-seven hours pouring over brochures featuring batman shaped carrot cakes (a theme which will certainly to take off when new brides stop and think about it). Classy websites abound among wedding photographers, for all of the obvious reasons.
Take a quick look at the photographers in your location, and I’ll bet that you find one with an impressive website, with dramatic motion and animated vines growing out of the monitor and instant chat functionality with on-demand videos and other cool technological things I don’t even know.
Well, it is not the case that I am going to suggest you develop a relationship with your photographer that you would develop with, say, the groom. A photographer ought to also be able to show up on time, dressed appropriately, converse with the guests, corral the wedding party, and so on. Otherwise, you will have the photographer who shows up at the wrong location, late, wearing her parka in the Florida summer because of her ‘extreme anti-social’ nature and a desire to photograph only the frogs near the wading pool. Check out the best build it specials.
Film Development By Wedding Photographers
November 28, 2017
The photographer or his assistant would spend hours in the darkroom developing films and making photographic prints by hand. The photographer would usually turn up at the end of your wedding service and meet you at the church door. A talented photographer might offer you hand-tinted or colored pictures which he would make from black and white originals, but these would be an expensive option. It was not uncommon to take a trip to the photographer’s studio either on your wedding day or shortly afterward. It was the only way to get photographs of a reasonable quality. In those days the professional photographer still had a mysterious quality; part artist, part chemist and part magician.
Photography has been turned on its head. Film based photography has been replaced almost entirely by digital technology, the quality of which improves dramatically year by year. Today you don’t have to worry about shutter speed, and ‘f’ stops to get a reasonable picture. Look in any Yellow Pages or any other directory, Google ‘wedding photographer’ for any town or city, and you will find an ever-increasing number of entries under the listing. Why is this? It is because technology has improved to such an extent that even the most modest and affordable camera is capable of producing great images. Sadly you will discover that not every so-called photographer is a professional photographer. Some work at it on a part-time basis and might be a cleaner, taxi driver or office worker from Monday to Friday and a wedding photographer at the weekend. It has become a part-time occupation for many keen amateurs looking to make some extra cash at the weekend.
The current fashion in wedding photography can be described by the terms ‘documentary’, ‘reportage,’ and ‘lifestyle.’ In a nutshell, today it is cool and fashionable to have wedding photographs that look like snap-shots! It is assumed that to achieve this ‘documentary’ or ‘reportage’ look, all you need to do is to take an inordinate number of pictures and the chances are that you will get some suitable ones in the mix. Snap away is the mentality of many inexperienced photographers. Your wedding photographer should have multiple photographers on staff in case someone get sick, or God forbid injured. A lone photographer cannot be in enough places at once to possibly cover a wedding day adequately. For all but the smallest weddings, your wedding photographer should have at a minimum a photographer and assistant/second shooter.
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Basic Requirements Of Wedding Photographers
November 28, 2017
It might sound strange, but not all wedding photographers are the same and not all photographers are a good fit for every client. If your wedding photographer meets you and finds out about what you are looking for and then tells you that they don’t think they would be a good fit for you, it might be surprising, but it’s nothing personal. Photographers don’t want to make you unhappy, and if a wedding photographer thinks you might be happier with a different style of photography or with a different situation, we will tell you before you book, so you are not disappointed later. A good wedding photographer should help make your day go more smoothly. Aside from a dedicated wedding planner, your photographer is the only vendor who is going to be spending the entire day with you. A good wedding photographer should make things easier for you.
Your wedding photographer should have backup equipment and a backup plan. If your photographer only has one camera, it’s not enough. Camera equipment is expensive and you should make sure your photographer is fully insured by a reputable insurance company to make sure you are protected. Many photographers are just individuals with cameras and maybe a slick website. Make sure your photographer is backed by a legal, legitimate business. Price is NOT the most important factor when choosing a wedding photographer: You get what you pay. Photographers who charge more are usually backed by their reputation, their brand, and their experience. You will look at your wedding photographs regularly – perhaps even every day – for the rest of your life. Your wedding photographer should be knowledgeable and helpful. A good photographer is big in planning. Your photographer should work with you before an engagement session to select clothing and location.
Your wedding photographer should provide value-add services and products after your wedding day – for example, photo books or albums, photo prints, and wall art. A photographer that shoots photos for a disc is going to give you a result that is a completely different set of photos than a photographer who is shooting with an album in mind or creating artwork. Make sure your photographer provides you with personal usage rights for the images, but you do not need raw files or ultra-high resolution photos if your wedding photographer designs for you an amazing photo album, gives you a disc of JPG digital negatives, and offers print, artwork, and design options after the wedding. If you choose a wedding photographer who you get along with, whose portfolio or example photographs you enjoy, who offers products you want, and whom you feel you can trust, your wedding photography experience should be a positive one.
Photography is one of the most important decisions you will make for your wedding, and you owe it to yourself and your future legacy to invest in selecting a good wedding photographer instead of just the cheapest photographer you can find. It is very important that you make your selection of photographer early on in your wedding plans. Once you have set your date and arranged the wedding venue, the next thing on your list should be your photographer.