Wedding Help © Peter Anslow Photography 2016
Tip #1: Photos… Photos… Photos
First of all choose the photographers to interview by the photos they produce. You will find a wide range of descriptive terms attached to today’s wedding photography. For example: documentary, traditional, photojournalistic and contemporary are all terms used to describe style and approach. Do the research, look at as many wedding photos as you can and see what you like!
Today that’s quick and easy research because most wedding photographers have web sites you can visit. Use them to study their style and abilities. In this way, you can save time doing personal interviews by narrowing the selection before you start making appointments.
Tip #2: Personality matters
We are all unique individuals and as humans we get along better with certain types of people. When you interview photographers ask yourself a few basic questions:
Do I like this person?
Is he or she comfortable to be around?
Would I choose to spend the day with this person in a close professional situation?
A photographer is hired to photograph the event, not to direct it or command more attention than the Bride and Groom. My approach to wedding photography is more photojournalistic in that sense. I believe that a wedding photographer should blend into the event, look for and capture the magic of the day and direct only the creative portraits of the bride and groom, wedding party and family grouping.
Some portion of the day should be devoted to personal portraits and if you want the best work out of your photographer, give him the time and space he needs to produce for you. Photographs are among a very few items that you will have in hand after the day has passed.
Tip #3: Performance
As a professional I love it when I get personal referrals. It means someone was very pleased with my services. Don’t hesitate to ask a photographer for personal references.
An excellent photographer will have any number of couples that are willing to field questions about their wedding photography experience. Other wedding professionals such as the florist, or the event coordinator may have valuable input, but I suggest that you go to the source, talk to the couple.
Tip #4: Experience counts
To be an excellent wedding photographer takes a tremendous amount of technical and personal skills (as well as the willingness to be lassoed by a bride!) . Skills that are learned from both formal education and real time experience.
Dealing with every detail of a wedding and interacting with the Bride & Groom, their families and at times hundreds of people and still maintaining the highest level of technical application possible; that takes experience.
Tip #5: Price
The old adage “You get what you pay for,” is usually true for wedding photography. There are only so many weekends in the year and the number of weddings a single photographer can book is limited. Therefore as a photographer comes into greater demand by developing his artistry and experience the price will most likely reflect that fact.
So, as you are planning your budget, if excellent photos are important to you don’t scrimp in this area. Ten years from now, the photos you bought will be there on your table to remind you of the other details that might otherwise be forgotten.
Tip #6: Communication
Finally, once the decision is made and you’ve booked your photographer it is very important to communicate what you like, what you imagine and what you expect.
As a photographer it’s difficult to get inside someone’s head and understand their particular sense of style. Obviously, if you’ve decided to hire a particular photographer you must like their style. I think you should go one step further to insure that you get the best possible photos. Communicate visually.
I encourage clients to share their Pinterest Boards or other samples of what they like. Visual communication from my client feeds the creative process and helps me to make the photos a very personal collection of images from their wedding day.
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