Wedding photographs will be the most robust memory of your wedding day. Memories stored in mind tend to disappear, stories fade, testimonials change. However, photos, if kept well, can last and tell their subtle tales for generations.
Because of the importance of photographs, being mindful of who takes them is extremely important. Many professional services are available, and even some kind-hearted amateur from your social circle might offer their services. Shortly, we’ll discuss if this is a good idea, and what are some essential features you should keep in mind while seeking your perfect wedding photographer.
Should I ask an enthusiastic friend to take my wedding photos?
The simple answer to this question is – No!
The more detailed would be that, of course, you can ask your friend to photograph the wedding, but only as a “happy snapper”. A friend’s service shouldn’t be your primary option and shouldn’t exclude the presence of a professional photographer.
Why is that? Isn’t hiring a friend with a good camera a great way to save money? Great quality cameras are more available than ever. Many people own professional DSLRs to do photography. But that doesn’t make them professional photographers. A seasoned wedding photo expert will know all the tricks needed to complete this vital mission – from dealing with guests and “stealing away” the bride and the groom at just the right moments, to handling difficult-to-capture lights and spaces. Those technical skills are even more critical if you’re having a winter wedding, which already promises poor light. An amateur, no matter how enthusiastic, probably won’t be up to handling all these challenges well.
The confessions and laments about terrible-quality wedding photos taken by well-meaning, but inexperienced friends and cousins are multiplying over the web. It’s an experience you don’t want to share.
And what about professional photographers? What are the main elements to consider?
There are a lot of offers when it comes to photographing services at weddings. The first thing you should consider is are you getting a specialised professional wedding photographer or one who does a broader spectrum of work. While both might do well, getting a specialised photographer might be a better option since you can be confident that this professional will know all the ins and outs of wedding photography. Like any other photography branch, this one has its unique features. Skillfulness in working with people and doing a part of the work in “stealth mode” are two of these.
Each photographer has their own unique style. That style is represented and promoted by a photographer’s portfolio – the collection of the most representative work the artist has made over the years. The important fact is that portfolio content is chosen by the artist himself, so by looking at it, you will get a glimpse of what the photographer likes to emphasise about his craft, and through that their overall taste.
Besides the main portfolio, ask the photographer to provide a few full wedding albums that they produced to get the full picture of their work. For some stunning representative examples, you can check out the albums by Infokus, a wedding photography company from Ireland.
Meeting in person
Although today you can hire almost anyone with just a click online, it would be the best if you could actually meet the photographer sometime before the big day. Organise a meeting, and feel free to ask away – this is the best time to determine all the details about your collaboration. What style do you prefer? Do you care to capture interesting details that are not necessarily portraits of the couple and the guests? Do you want a discrete photographer or a charming proactive one?
Doing a pre-bridal photo shoot is an excellent option to see if you are really a fit and to test how well you can communicate and to examine all the aspects of the future cooperation.
A personality match
You don’t have to become best friends with your photographer, but some level of personal compatibility is recommended. This especially goes for communication. In any branch of work, there are people with whom you cannot find a common language; if your wedding photographer is one of them, that could make you a very dissatisfied customer at the end.
Choosing a photographer that suits your tastes will result in wedding photos you can be proud of. Remember that your grandchildren might be browsing through them one day, so a professional approach to wedding photography is something that is not significant just for you, but for generations to come. So make sure you have somebody who knows what they’re doing behind the camera. Choose wisely.