5 Fears All Couples Have When It Comes To Their Wedding Photography
What Makes A Good Wedding Photographer
By Jeffrey House Photography
What makes a good wedding photographer?
I will give you a hint. It has very little, if anything to do with their photographs. Do you find the surprising? If you do, you're definitely not alone! While this article isn't going to specifically address how to choose a wedding photographer, it's going to focus on 5 fears all couples have when it comes to their wedding photography.
By the end of this article, I think you're going to walk away with some great tips for choosing a wedding photographer that's right for your wedding!
5 fears all couples have when it comes to their wedding photography
1. The Disappearing Photographer
Let's face it, there are more and more stories popping up about photographers that don't show up on the wedding day or they disappear after photographing the big day, and never deliver a single photo. These stories seemingly appear in the news on a weekly basis.
When it comes to the "disappearing photographer," I place a lot of blame on social media.
It's what we refer to as the "Facebook" photographer. They create a free Facebook business page and they posture themselves a "professional wedding photographer." They may even create free profiles on other social media sites too, but they usually avoid platforms that require a financial investment.
For example, a lot of the Facebook photographers don't have professional business websites. Only having a Facebook profile doesn't automatically make a photographer a fraud, but it's certainly a red flag. Look at this from this perspective. On average, a professional website will cost $200-$300 per year. If you're running a business and can't invest a couple $200-$300 in yourself, why should clients invest thousands?
Professional Tip: When hiring a professional photographer, be sure they have a professional website and be sure they have several social media profiles as well. Bear in mind, just having a a few social media profiles is not enough. You want to see consistent and current activity on them. If the photographer has a Twitter and Pinterest profile, but they never post anything on them, it's another huge red flag! They should have least one post every 1-2 weeks for a consistent period of time.
Any wedding professional that you choose to work with, should always provide you with a professional business contract that clearly spells out their responsibilities, your responsibilities, the price you are paying, and the exact products/services you are getting in exchange for this price. If there is something you don't understand in the contact or something you're not comfortable with, speak with your photographer. In most cases, they will adjust the contract to resolve your concern.
2. My Photographer Will Lose My Photos
This is something every professional wedding photographer has to deal with. Camera's use "memory cards" to store the images captured on the wedding day. Unfortunately, memory cards do fail and the images can be lost. Obviously, this is not a situation that any couple or wedding photographer wants to experience. However, there are steps that can be taken to lessen the chances of this disaster from happening. Let's take a look at the process I use and why I do it this way.
1. I always have a 2nd professional photographer (and it's always the same person) photographing your wedding with me. If one of our memory cards fails, the other person is also capturing images of these moments.
2. We use small "gigabyte" memory cards. Depending on the camera we are using at the time, this could be 16gb, 32gb or 64 gb as opposed to the larger card sizes - 128gb or 256gb. Yes, using smaller "GB" card sizes means we will have to change our cards more often, but if a card fails, it's also limits the number of images that are lost. I'd much rather put safety over convenience.
3. Following your wedding, I upload all of your photos to multiple hard drives to ensure there is a backup. I also use a cloud based service that backs up all of your photos just in case of a catastrophe and every hard drive was somehow damaged.
Professional Tip: When interviewing potential photographers for your wedding day, ask them what size memory cards they generally use and how they backup your photos. This will give you some insight into how they approach protecting your images. While it's impossible to completely guard against something failing, there are steps that can be taken to limit it.
3. Taking Too Long To Capture Family Portraits
Most of the couples I work with want to spend as much time as possible with their wedding guests. They don't want to spend 3 hours capturing those family and wedding party portraits. Unfortunately, many photographers have their own agenda when it comes to capturing your wedding celebration, so it's vital to communicate your wishes.
Professional Tip: Prior to the wedding, be sure to clearly communicate with your photographer how much time you want to dedicate to family and wedding party portraits. Depending on the size of your families and wedding party, and depending on how many photos you want, it might require you to be a little flexible. You may have to add a little more time for the photos or you can decide to reduce your "shot list."
When planning your photos, it typically takes 2-3 minutes per photo. They accounts for "setting up" the shot, arranging the people in the photo, and capturing it from a couple different perspectives.
4. No Getting The Photos You Want
If you're like most couples, you probably have a pretty good idea of the types of photos that are really matter to you. For example, you may have a few people on your "VIP" list and you want to ensure you have at least 2-3 good images of them. Or maybe you want to have a lot of detail shots - wedding dress, jewelry, decorations, etc.
Again, many photographers forget you're the client and they focus on their own agenda - they may be trying to get featured in a magazine or beef up their portfolio, and they focus on their needs, not yours.
Professional Tip: Communication, communication, communication. A lot of photographers are very poor with communication. In fact, poor communication is a common complaint among many couples. Their photographers didn't answer their questions timely, if at all, and they rarely communicated or explained the process. You definitely want a good photographer that is an excellent communicator - they respond timely and their communication is clear.
When it comes to getting the photos you want, your thoughts might immediately turn to a detailed "shot list." If they do, proceed with caution. Good wedding photographers already know they need to capture images of the dress, rings, parents, etc. If you give your photographer a shot list noting every last picture you want taken, this can cause some issues. If your photographer has their nose buried in a shot list, it's very likely they are going to miss those spontaneous moments that unfold on a wedding day. Make a list for your photographer of the very important people (VIP's) you want images of or really important details you're including.
5. Not Looking Beautiful In Your Photos
This is your wedding day and, of course, you want to look as beautiful as possible in your photos. This is why is it's important to hire a photographer that has the following attributes:
- Amazing personality that is friendly, outgoing, fun, and inspiring as this will bring out the best of everyone - even your photographer!
- Understands how to use lighting and camera angles to reduce flaws
Not only should your photographer compose their images to make them interesting and creative, but one of their priorities should always include enhancing your natural beauty.
Professional Tip: Ask your photographer what goes through their mind as they compose their images. What are they ultimately trying to achieve. When you look at their portfolio, how do the people in their photographs look? Do their images look flattering? Do they seem to use light well? Do the people in their photos look distorted?
Camera angles and lighting play a major role in making you look your very best in photographs. They can either minimize or accentuate your flaws. It's surprising how many amateur photographers use the flash built into the camera or place a flash on top of the camera pointing directly at you. This is light, but it's not quality light or flattering light.
Another key point to ensuring you look your best in photos has to do with posing. The word "posing" is often considered to be a bad word, but it's really "bad posing" that's to blame. Posing, when done correctly, makes your photos look natural, relaxed, and stunning!
Do you have any other fears when it comes to your wedding photography? Share your thoughts and don't forget to share this article!