So, last week I wrote about the different styles of wedding photography. But I warned you there is more to think about :)
Here goes my imaginatively worded second instalment: The other tips :) and my top five things I would watch out for. Insider knowledge edition :)
1) Who is going to shoot my wedding? You may think this is an obvious one. Not so. Well, if you go for a one-man band, that's what you get. But in bigger studios, there are usually a few photographers, and they may get randomly assigned to weddings. I had a friend who was burnt by this big time, because they sent a trainee to photograph her wedding. Make sure you know who you get, and tip number 2), which is:
2) Do I like the photographer? This is key. Your photographer may produce the most amazing pictures, but if he/she ruins the whole experience of photo taking for you (and therefore a big part of your wedding) by being bossy, rude to your guests, arrogant etc. you will always look back at it with disappointment. Apart from the fact that a photographer can only really photograph you at your best when you are happy and relaxed! I would recommend sussing them out by firstly having a look how they write on their website (are they talking about themselves in the third person? Not a good sign. Do they sound friendly and chatty, or do they only talk about their awards etc). How do they reply to your enquiry? Does it look like a standard reply? Do they have a video on their site showing them, so you can get a bit of an impression? If you are still unsure, it can also be a good idea to meet up (if you're nearby) or chat by Skype.
3) Can I afford them? Let's face it. We all love a good deal. I shop around for absolutely everything. But even at the risk of sounding cliched, good quality wedding photography has its price. If you see a really cheap offer, it's usually down to the fact that the photographer is only just starting out or not relying on photography for their income. And in the end, it's a bit like this: a great photographer can make your £200 dress look worth a fortune. A rubbish photographer can make your Vera Wang look like a potato sack. I would put my money on the amazing photos, every time. Amazing photos mean amazing memories.
4) Do they have a safety net? This one was a biggie for me as a bride. I was an uber-planner. I thought about everything that could possibly go disastriously wrong, and had a backup plan for it. And I'm not just talking about having a "wedding umbrella". Don't believe me? I bought some curling irons and practised how to curl my hair, in case my hairdresser didn't turn up. I went to an in-store make up consultation and bought a truckload of expensive make up, in case my make up artist didn't turn up. (They all turned up, by the way. I made sure, by sending them two emails ahead of the day :)). Anyway. For a wedding photographer, the following backup measures are vital in my opinion: - They have backup equipment. At least one camera, better two, of the same quality than the one they are shooting with most. More than one flash, more than one lens. - They have insurance. - They have a network of other wedding photographers, who can take their place in case of an absolute emergency. To have this, you need to be networking. Which brings us neatly to my last tip:
5) Are they a professional? Most of my tips really sum up into this. I really wouldn't recommend choosing Uncle Bob who does great landscapes, or Cousin Chloe who has taken great snaps of her kids. Apart from the fact they wouldn't fulfil my safety criteria :) Wedding photography is a difficult game to fake. A big part of the job description is not crumbling under pressure. When the bride is 50 minutes late, a guest passes out just before the ceremony begins, the heel of the mother of the bride's shoe breaks off, the bride and groom have an argument during their photo shoot.... these things may or may not have happened at weddings I photographed :) In the end, regardless of what happens, the couple still want and deserve the most stunning images. A wedding photographer has to be creative on demand, regardless of what happens. They have to know their equipment, they need to be able to anticipate issues. They build up knowledge on how to react in certain situations. It's a skill which you learn over time.
I really hope these tips were helpful! Here's to stunning images of your wedding day :)
If you enjoyed reading these tips, visit my blog again next week - I am starting a series of posts on how to make the most of your wedding day by being present in the moment. Intrigued? :)
And, if after reading all of these tips today, you are thinking I might be the perfect photographer for you (Yay!!) let's get to know each other!