Wedding is all about choices ! From wedding attire to venue, color theme , wedding planners , florist, food , wedding gift, cinematographers and last but not least photographers are some of the common stuff each couples has to go though before saying 'I do' . Here are 6 simple tips which I would like to share with all the soon-to-wed couple out there hoping to help you find your perfect photographer for your big day !
1. Style of photography
I guess this would the main deciding factor for most clients. There are basically a few genre of photography style in the market if you actually do some research in the world the wide web. The style of photography usually determines the working style for the photographers too. Casual journalistic or lifestyle ( candid ) photographers usually takes the more relax approach when working with their clients while the fine art or dramatic high fashion would require more posing and styling. Some photographers shoot mostly with natural lighting while some prefer to use flash lighting and this will impact the the out come of the images too. Another area is to look for is the style of editing. Some photographers prefer the more punchy and vibrant colors while some prefer the more softer pastel film look. All these factors will impact the photo outcome. There are no right or wrong ...just which one appeals to you more and how you would like your wedding to be documented. If you are not sure, you may always check with your photographers and they will be more than happy to share their working and photography style with you.
2. Find a photographer that you can click with
It's always good to find a photographer that you can connect with from the start and have similar styling taste. Imagine having a perfect stranger roaming around with a camera on the most intimate day of your life from early morning till after party. The connection is important to ensure good photos and the photo session experience as well . Hence it's best to meet the photographer personally before signing up to take the time to know him better. If you are based overseas, you can always set up skype or facetime meeting with the photographer. Nothing too difficult in these digital age now days. Also it's good to check if the photographer does consecutive back to back shoot as you wouldn't want to have your photographer feeling exhausted on your wedding day after he / she just covered a 15 hours wedding the day before.
Having done my own wedding, it is always important to have a budget for everything. The range of price for photographers is huge ! It can start from a few hundreds to a whooping 30 plus thousand ringgit. What sets them apart is the amount of experience, does the photographer operates alone or in a team, the gears they are using, back up system, photo editors as well as the deliverables such album and print quality. All these comes into the expenses. An experienced photographer can provide valuable insight in styling, lighting and planning of your wedding and also have the ability to react faster should there be any hiccups during the day. Backup of data and photographic requirements is also important as cameras , flashes , lenses and hard disk can really go wrong at critical moments. Hence it's good to check with your photographer.
I can never stress how important this is for both yourself as well as the photographer. The contract from the photographer should cover all the details from the package deliverables to stuff which most clients over looked. Items such as absenteeism in case the photographer is sick, back up plans, cancellation, timed required for editing, scope of work and payment terms should all be listed in black and white for the ease of both parties.
5. Speed of response
It's always important to have your photographer who is fast in responding to your emails and massages. Fast as in not 5 mins fast but reasonable within a day. Photographers sometimes are hard to catch as they travel for assignmentshence it might be good find someone who is attentive. A person who shots 100 weddings in a year would be hard to catch for sure as he / she is always on the go ! Hence the the speed of response is a good indication of the service level they are providing.
6. Beware of imitation
I kid you not ! You might be wondering how on earth can this be ? Do allow me to give you an insight on this. There are new photographers out there that uses images of other photographers and claim as their owns. After all, how hard would it be to save images of other photographers from their website or facebook pages, replaces the watermark and claim as their own ? We have a case where a bride called me in distress asking me if I actually shot those images of this couple X that was being featured in Wedding Notebook last couple of months back. She claimed that her photographer showed her the same images / portfolios from the photographer's tablet claiming it was his work. The couple got excited and paid the deposit and later found out that it's actually a scam! The photographer doesn't have a gallery or a studio hence the meet up was just at one of this fancy cafes in town. Hence it is important to find a reputable photographer that has been in the industry for years and best of all to have a permanent address. Of course if you have referrals from friends who has used the photographer service prior that would be ideal and the safest bet.