Choosing your Photographer
The best feeling of happiness is when you are happy because you have made someone else happy
If, like many people, you are having difficulty in choosing your wedding photographer let me assist you a little with some helpful advice.
I thought I would speak to you about why I love wedding photography. Quite simply its the best job in the world. Witnessing two people pledge themselves to each other in front of their family and friends and recording the emotions of the day for them is one of the most satisfying feelings I have ever encountered.
For me it is not about sharing their day, It's not about becoming part of their day, It's about delivering a timeless record of the bride and grooms day so that family and friends can relive the day time and time again. It's about showcasing the couples day in one of my wedding albums so the day can be shared with future generations, children and grandchildren. And who doesn't love looking at old photographs? One day your children and grandchildren may laugh at the "old fashioned way" but hopefully they will also "ooh and ahhh" at granny in her wedding dress. And then I will be part of a future happiness. Something I created many years ago will be giving someone in the future pleasure. And that's worthwhile.
Read on for tips on choosing your wedding photographer
Part 1 - Professionalism
First and foremost, ensure you choose an experienced photographer. Yes I know we all started somewhere but a wedding is a one off event and you need to be confident that your photographer knows what to do in all eventualities. Trust me. A wedding is no place for beginners.
Do they carry professional level equipment? There is a reason they buy high quality. That reason is reliability.
Do they offer online wedding galleries? Can they be password protected if required? Do they offer iconic high quality award winning wedding albums that display your cherished images with dignity? Have you seen images from an entire wedding, not just the best from several weddings? You need to have confidence that they will capture your special day in a consistent manner.
Part 2 - Peronality
Just like weddings, no two photographers are alike. We all have different personalities and styles. It is important that there are no personality clashes between the couple and the photographer, also make sure you are comfortable with the photographers style. After all you can spend a significant number of hours with your photographer on your special day, best make sure you get on with each other.
I want my couples to enjoy their special day. I like my couples to be relaxed and natural. I spend time teasing their personalities out. Why? Because if you are being yourself you are happy, if you are happy then you are relaxed. Happy, relaxed people make for natural fun photographs.
I talk a lot on wedding days. I enjoy a bit of fun, I like to have a laugh, I guide you through the photography. I'll even demonstrate the poses, you will love that bit. All the fun, laughs and banter help you relax and look natural. Working together we will create timeless images.
I feel it is important for brides and grooms to meet me before making a booking, I know this is not always possible but it is desirable from both our points of view. Even if it is not possible at the time of booking then I would welcome the opportunity at some point before the wedding.
A great way to see if we fit would be to book an engagement session. That is a great way to see how I work, we could build up a rapport and you would get to know how it feels to be photographed professionally. Use the Contact button for more information.
Part 3 - Style and Posing
Photography styles and posing. Another aspect of wedding photography is the style of your photographer. I touched briefly on the topic in part 2. What you want from your photography? I often ask this question at the initial consultation and the responses have varied from "just want photo's of my wedding mate" to "here is my trunk full of Bride magazine clippings I have kept since aged 6" Ok I made that last one up.
I fall somewhere in between two categories; Photo Journalistic and Formal. There are times when I will interact with you informally and shoot candid images that capture the fun of the day. On the other hand I do feel it is important to have some formals done, trust me, the bride and grooms mothers will practically insist on this, as well as grandparents. By formal I mean group shots of the bridal party.
I like to keep the group shots to a minimum but will always discuss this with the couple beforehand and shoot exactly what they want. The Bridal Portraits, as they are called, is where the posing comes in. I will direct the bride and groom on how to stand and look at the camera. I want your images to look and feel like they were taken informally. If you want mug shots there is a very nice policeman down the local station who will oblige.
Hopefully you are buying into my idea of what wedding photography is about, and trust me to produce the images that you want. Having said that I do encourage my couples to participate with ideas of their own , after all it is your wedding day, and the more you interact with me the more unique your images will be.
Part 4 - Must have's
Photographers often ask what are your must have images?
Now when I have asked that I frequently get a list that starts with "Bride & Groom". That's not what I mean. What I am looking for is an indication of images that I might not have thought of. Are there any relations that have made a long journey to share your day, overseas maybe? Your photographer needs to know. I need to know you might want a photograph with them.
Are there any locations within your venue that you absolutely must have your photograph taken? Is there a place that has some sentimental significance to you? Let me know.
Any special moments planned? Let me know.
Talk to me about the details. Communication is key. That way we miss nothing.
Part 5 - Copyright
Now onto the subject of Copyright . I have had brides ask for full copyright of their wedding images. My answer is always no. I feel strongly that no photographer should ever give away the copyright to their images. I suspect that people who ask for the copyright do not understand what they asking for.
I have spent years honing my craft. I have attended workshops with some of the finest wedding photographers in the country. I have spent countless hours analysing other photographers techniques. I practice my shots. Learning, always learning. Always improving. My cameras are some of the best available. All professional quality. Same as my lenses, flashguns, reflectors, computers, software. All cost money. Money that is spent to ensure my couples wedding images are the best I can make them.
Therefore I feel that while it is your wedding, in a sense they are my images. My skill, talent and technique makes those images, my expertise with digital manipulation enhances those images. Nothing happens in Photoshop that didn't happen in a traditional darkroom. I like to think that I give a part of me with every wedding I shoot. What I do give is full licence to print and use the high resolution jpeg images supplied on USB for your own personal non-commercial use. I accept that you may share this with your family and friends. I retain the copyright for commercial use.
I explain it like this; You are free to do whatever you like with my images for non commercial purposes but if OK magazine come calling I retain the copyright therefore I get the money.