5 Questions About Wedding Photography You Need To Know!
Choosing A Wedding Photographer Advice
By Jeffrey House Photography
Choosing a wedding photographer advice.
If you're looking to hire a professional wedding photographer; hopefully, you're looking to secure advice on how to choose a photographer that's right for your wedding. It's an important decision and I don't want you regretting it!
In this article, we are going to take a look at 5 questions about wedding photography you need to know. This information will be helpful in giving you insight into a photographer's work style and service philosophy.
5 questions about wedding photography you need to know!
1. what's the difference between amateur and professional photographers?
Ask your photographer what they think the difference is between amateur and professional photographers. Their response can tell you a lot about how serious they take their own business. If their answer doesn't appear competent, genuine or valuable it could be a red flag. Obviously, you want a photographer that their business seriously. If they aren't serious about their business, how can they possibly be serious about you?
What are some examples of good responses?
Wedding photography is generally regarded as the most difficult genre of photography. A wedding day runs on a very strict and demanding timeline, and you get one chance to get everything right. A wedding is filled with once-in-a-lifetime moments and missing these moments is unacceptable.
We can't forget about the technical skills required to photograph weddings either. Photographers have to be extremely talented in several different types of photography - product (wedding dresses, rings, cakes, etc.), portraiture (individual, couples, and groups), event/action (dancing, cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc.), low-light, and storytelling.
Wedding photographers must be amazing problem-solvers and this is where experience truly pays off. Weddings are unique - the conditions and environments is always changing, and it's never the same. Photographers must be well adept at solving these evolving conditions in fractions of seconds.
As a professional wedding photographer myself, I'm vested in making sure my clients have an amazing experience. Wedding photographers are small businesses and positive customer reviews are essential. If a photographer doesn't clearly demonstrate their "vested interest," it's a potential sign of things to come.
Any person or entity operating a business should always demonstrate professionalism. That doesn't mean they have to be stiff and rigid. They can let their personality show and be personal, but they must also respect the boundaries too. As a consumer, I love doing business with people that have some personality, but if they become inappropriate and cross those boundaries, it turns me off.
2. how important is it to have a second shooter/photographer?
Most couples ask, "Do you bring a 2nd shooter with you on the wedding day?"
Just because you're photographer responds with "Yes," don't necessarily breathe a sigh of relief. There are still a couple questions you'll want to investigate further.
HOW OFTEN DOES YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER WORK WITH THEIR 2ND SHOOTER?
Most wedding photographers have several people they use to stand-in as their "2nd shooter." In most cases, your photographer has no idea who will be assisting them until a few weeks before your big day. The biggest issue with using a pool of "other" photographers is dealing with all the different photography styles. More specifically, the photos from both photographers should complement one another - not have obvious disparities. This is especially true for wedding albums and slideshows. Both are designed to tell a story, but when your photos don't work together in telling that story, everything looks disjointed and out of place.
IS THEIR 2ND SHOOTER AN ACTUAL PHOTOGRAPHER? MORE IMPORTANTLY, A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER?
Many photographers use 2nd shooters that are photographers, but they aren't wedding photographers. This might seem like a small detail, but there's a huge difference between a "photographer" and a "wedding photographer." Many times, the 2nd shooter is nothing more than a photography assistant. Assistants play a vital role, so this isn't meant to diminish their value, but their responsibilities generally include carrying equipment, working the lighting, etc. Do you want to rely on an inexperienced assistant taking your wedding photos?
3. HOW IMPORTANT IS PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE?
I talk about photography style a lot because it's one of those topics that drives me nuts!
Without question, photography style is important. The problem I have with photography style is how every wedding resource advises how to address it. Let me explain. If you Google "questions to ask a wedding photographer" or "how to choose a wedding photographer" or anything remotely close to this, you're going to find a ton of websites giving you the same advice.
"You need to ask your photographer about their photography style."
Now, go ahead and Google "photography styles" or "wedding photography style" and check out those results. Click on several different websites and see what they have to say.
Go ahead, I'll wait.
I will guarantee the information you find is completely inconsistent. One site will discuss 6 different styles, the next will talk about 8 photography styles, and another site is going to discuss 11 styles. If knowing how your photographer defines their style is so vitally important, shouldn't there be consistency between websites? For example, if there are 12 photography styles, why doesn't every website talk about 12 photography styles?
Here's the second problem I have with it. Let's assume you find 5 photographers and they ALL define themselves with the exact same style. In theory, the should produce very similar looking images then, right? Absolutely not! How this can be? Because every photographer, regardless of photography style, has grown up experiencing the world differently - different circumstances and different experiences. Our experiences play a large roll in shaping the people we are today - they shape how we perceive the world - they shape our artistic vision. If you asked these 5 photographers to photograph the exact same scene, you would get 5 very different looking images. How a photographer defines their style does very little, if anything, to show you what your photos will look like.
If you want to truly understand and assess a photographer's style, look at the photographs they make create and maybe even ask them questions about their photographs - "What's the story behind this image?" or "What was most challenging when taking this photo?"
Viewing images and asking questions about them will be so much more valuable when determining whether you like their style or not. As you view their images, answer these questions for yourself:
- Do they seem to use light well?
- Do I like the coloring of their images?
- How do the people in their photos look? Are they happy? Sad? Do they look scared or natural?
- Are their images nicely composed? Do their images look interesting?
- Do their photos demonstrate their ability to handle varying conditions well?
- Are their images creative?
4. HOW DO YOU APPROACH THE WEDDING DAY?
In my opinion, this is one of the most important questions you can ask a photographer. When I'm asked this question, my response is something along these lines:
I generally arrive a half hour prior to my scheduled start time. This allows me to do a quick walk through of the property to see what's happening that day (i.e. other events, renovations, etc.). Shortly after that, equipment is set up and I'm ready to photography your day no later than our start time.
I will let you know when I arrive so you know I'm there, but just continue to do what your doing. I typically won't need anything from you other than your wedding attire and accessories so they can be photographed while you get ready. Following that, I will look to capture "getting ready" moments. Once your done with the getting ready, we will spend a few minutes capturing your individual portraits and any portraits you want with your wedding party and family.
I will look to build in a few minutes of downtime for you prior to the ceremony so you can relax and apply any last minute hair/makeup touches. Once the ceremony concludes, I will photograph your families, your wedding party, and then I will capture the creative portraits of you and your partner. I will work quickly to create a nice array of different photographs and get you to your reception as quickly as possible, so you can enjoy time with your guests. I will the capture the important reception moments - introductions, first-dances, toasts, cake cutting, and any other special events you include. If you like, we can do a "sneak away" session during your reception. This is a 15-20 mini session in which I capture some of those creative and dramatic night shots.
Throughout the night, I will be capturing photos of as many guests as possible. Generally speaking, you will not even know I am there because I like to take an unobtrusive approach.
After hearing or reading this, you should have a pretty good idea of my work-style and how I'm going to approach your wedding day. You can tell the types of photos I'm going to capture, how I'm thinking ahead, and the plan I have for the day. I'm not looking to annoy your guests or family by being in their face all day or stepping on their toes. How your photographer responds may or may not align with your needs.
5. what's your editing/retouching style?
Many couples overlook the importance of this question. They like the photos they see on a photographer's website and assume this is what their photos will look like too. But, don't assume anything! Unfortunately, a lot of photographers don't edit your photos the same way they edit the images in their portfolio. They meticulously edit their portfolio images, while only applying a 2 second basic color correction to yours. By the time you realize the difference, it's too late.
When it comes to photo editing, it's critical to look at each photo on an individual basis. Personally, these are your wedding photos and I want every image looking as perfect as possible. Take tuxedos for example. Hair and lint show up on them like a neon sign. There is no way I'm going to deliver any client photos where you can visibly see these imperfections. Many photographers take a minimalistic approach with editing because they don't like it, they're not good at it or they are cutting corners. Every image I put on my website is the exact image I delivered my client.
Some photographers may try to give you a fancy sounding answer if you ask them about their minimal editing. They say, "I don't need to do a lot of editing because I get right in camera." It sounds impressive, but don't fall for it. Most professionals are perfectly capable of "getting it right in camera." All this really means is the photo is well exposed and has a proper white balance. When you get it right in camera, it simply makes editing easier, it doesn't eliminate the need for it altogether. No matter how perfect an image is in camera, it will always require post-production retouching to bring it to the next level.
what do you think about this? please share your comments, I'd love to hear from you! if you like this article, please be sure to share it!