In this two part blog, I’m going to give 10 tips on choosing a wedding photographer. This is part 1, part 2 coming soon.
1. How many photos will I get?
Some photographers boast about delivering 1000 photos and while this sounds great, it’ll soon become a chore when looking through your photographs for the first time. It will take you an age to go through them. You’ll have what I call repeat shots. The same shot but with your head facing the camera, the next shot with your head facing away, then with you looking beyond the camera etc.
I think it is a photographers job to choose the best photos to go onto your USB, so you aren’t sifting through countless images which are very similar. I think around 400-500 for a full days photography from the bridal preparations to the first dance would give a nice selection of images from each part of the day.
2. I love photos with blurry backgrounds. How can I get that look on my photos?
Photography is not always about having the latest and best equipment out there but to get those blurry backgrounds and an in focus subject then it certainly helps to have professional gear. If you want to go into the technical side of things, it’s called bokeh which is Japanese for out of focus and is achieved by using ‘fast’ lenses which have a very large aperture. The larger the aperture, the more blurry the background becomes.
3. How can I make sure I look good in my photos?
The million dollar question. Another common statement I hear from my couples is that they hate having their photos taken. If you are having an engagement shoot, then this will help you get over your fears. When I photograph an engagement shoot, we’ll have a wander around, a quick chat about what to do with your hands and how to position your body but we’ll keep it all very natural. If you’re relaxed, it’ll come across in the photos.
When it comes to your wedding day leave some room in your timings schedule. For the family and group shots, 10 shots will take me around 20-25 minutes. For the Bride and Groom portraits, try to factor in around 30 minutes for a good range of shots.
And finally, get lots of sleep and drink lots of water the night before the big day.
4. How far in advance should I book a wedding photographer?
The sooner the better. Not only will you have a better chance of making sure your date is free, many in demand wedding photographers take bookings over a year in advance. I am taking bookings for summer and autumn 2016.
As it gets closer to your wedding date, it will get harder to book your first choice wedding photographer. If your favourite photographer is not available on your date, ask them for a recommendation, they may know someone who photographs in a similar style and in the same price range.
5. “Uncle Bob has a big camera”
Maybe you know somebody who has done a photography course at college, or have an uncle who can produce great landscape photography and they have offered to photograph your wedding. While it might seem like a great money saving idea, you are going to put a lot of pressure on that person. What happens if their camera stops working during the ceremony, have they got a back up? Do they know how to light the first dance when the dance floor is pitch black?
I don’t think there is any other type of photography like wedding photography, it’s tough. No college or university course will prepare a photographer for what will happen on the day, all that comes through experience.
When your wedding day is over, the cake will have been eaten, the dress and shoes will sit in the wardrobe or end up on eBay! The only thing you’ll have left from the day, apart from memories are your photographs. The moral is, when choosing a wedding photographer, choose a professional wedding photographer.