Who are you going to trust to capture your once-in-a-lifetime event ? Choosing the right photographer is not an easy task now that we find ourselves in the age of digital photography. In the days of film, it was relatively safe to assume that your photographer had a significant amount of formal training and experience under their belt before they launched their wedding business. This is no longer a safe assumption. How many careers do you think have begun in the following manner:
Step 1: Purchase a fancy new digital SLR camera.
Step 2: Snap a few photos at cousin’s wedding.
Step 3: “Fix” images in PhotoShop.
Step 4: Post photos on FaceBook.
Step 5: Receive comments such as “Wow ! Great photos. You should be a wedding photographer.”
Step 6: Purchase ready-made photography Web site and post a dozen images.
Step 7: Order business cards. Done !!
That’s it - you’re a “professional” photographer !! And you can probably skip Step 7…
This may sound tongue-in-cheek but I have heard this story many times over. There is no government agency handing out permits to shoot weddings and tools are available (such as PhotoShop) that can rescue mediocre photos and create the illusion of talent. It’s quite possible that you have talked to some “professional” photographers that don’t even know what SLR means. Ouch.
So what should you do ??
I think the best approach is to ask questions – lots of questions !! Once you find a photographer with a fantastic portfolio, make an appointment to talk about your wedding – preferably in-person. Here are some questions to help you separate the “pros” from the pretenders:
How long have you been shooting weddings ?
How many weddings have you photographed ?
What do you enjoy the most about shooting weddings ?
What type of equipment do you use ?
Do you have back-up gear ?
Describe your photographic style. (Technically not a question...)
Describe your general approach to shooting weddings.
How do you handle shooting in a dark room ? (Receptions frequently take place in poorly lit rooms.)
Do you do any post-production ?
You don’t have to know anything about photography to evaluate the answers. An experienced professional will address all your questions, inspire confidence with their answers, and leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling. All kidding aside, it shouldn’t be hard to tell if the photographer is properly qualified to document your special event. You should also get a good sense of their people-skills which are equally as important as technical ability when it comes to shooting weddings. Lots of photographers can create beautiful images but that doesn’t mean you will enjoy spending the entire day with them !! Your photographer should be able to put everybody (especially you...) at ease so beautiful and spontaneous moments can be captured.
What’s the moral of the story ? Ask questions - lots of questions !! A few pretty pictures on a Web site doesn’t tell the whole story. Do your homework and you will find the right photographer to capture the magic of your once-in-a-lifetime wedding.
I LOVE the PASSION and BEAUTY in your Photography! The QUALITY and DETAIL in your work is SO extraordinary! You truly are an AMAZING Photographer! Thank you!
BEAUTIFUL, MODERN, AND SAVVY!! I LOVE Your Photography!