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Choose the right

 

photographer for

 

your special day

 

 

 

This one is pretty simple – do you like the type of work the photographer produces? These days wedding photographers use a plethora of styles to market themselves. From classical to reportage; journalism to fine art. Does it matter that you know the ins and outs of how these styles are defined? Personally, I don’t think so. Does it matter that you find a photographer that shoots in a style you find appealing? Absolutely. What is the best style to choose?  Well, there is no “best” style per se, but here are some considerations to take into account.

 

Obviously style is subjective and what attracts you to a particular photographer’s style may not be someone else’s cup of tea. As confusing as it sounds – the photographer who produces your favorite work still may not be the right photographer for you. The important thing is that while looking over the photographers portfolio can you imagine yourself in the same photos you’re viewing? The photographs may be absolutely stunning, but if you get cringy at the idea of yourself in the same type of photos, it may be a good idea to consider looking for something that suits your own personal style better.

 

Another thing to consider when choosing your desired style is the time investment that each style will require from you on your big day. For example, a purist photojournalist will require very little if any of your time during the day, leaving you to mingle with guests, have a drink and eat canapes to your heart’s content. Of course this extra time comes at a trade-off. While you get a beautiful selection of natural moments captured, you may not get set-piece shots, the family shots, the group shots, the beautiful posed bridal party shots, the location photography, etc. that a traditional photographer gets while he takes you away for the customary afternoon photo shoot. It’s always a good idea to ask photographers how much of your time they will require to produce their work. Are family photographs important to you? …… some portraits of the bridal party? ….. photographs with special friends? …..  If so, then a traditional photographer with an eye for candid shots is what you need. It is always wise to invest some time on the day to taking some nice posed location photographs. After all, you are investing good money into your wedding photography so get the most from the experience. 

 

In order to make a sound decision on a photographer’s style and consistency within that style, make sure you have the opportunity to view the work already produced by that photographer, not just a selection on a web site. I make it a point to offer prospective clients a heap of photograph samples to view in order to help their decision. There are samples on my website, I have an extensive print portfolio on show at consultations and complete wedding galleries for review. In a nutshell, if your photographer is shy with samples, there could be a reason why.

 

Always visit the Photographers Studio. Ensure that they have a place of business and have an established track record. Satisfy yourself that an actual business exists. One thing that the Celtic Tiger brought with it were a small number of con artists with elaborate web sites. stunning photography displayed therein, a mobile telephone number and no business address. If a photographer does not wish his or her clients to visit their place of business then beware ............. there is usually something to hide.

 

As a final point, don’t forget that the photographer’s style also extends into the albums they offer and the design and layout of the albums. Be careful about album layouts that seem over-designed, and that have elements that might be out of fashion by your first anniversary.

 

 

 

 

 

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There’s a wedding photographer for every budget these days, from €300 to well over €10,000 for the superstars in the industry. Sometimes it’s not clear why one photographer is more expensive then the other, but just like any investment be wary of photographers who are offering you the world for very little money. There is good value to be had, but remember the photography is a very important aspect of your wedding day with a lot of responsibility. For peace of mind, if your budget allows for it, it’s worth considering paying more for someone with experience and a positive track record. As they say, once the cake is eaten and the dress is back in the wardrobe, your photographs will be there for generations.

 

In general it’s a good idea to list all the bits you expect to pay for on your wedding day and put them in order of priority. If photography comes high on your list then budget accordingly.

 

The wedding album plays a significant part of the investment with professional photographers and for a good reason. Higher end albums are built to last a lifetime and beyond. A cheap album could start to discolor, warp or even lose pages over time. Getting a quality wedding album at the start can save additional costs and possible grief in the long run. If your budget can’t stretch to include the album at the time of the wedding, ask your photographer about the option to purchase one after the wedding. Photographers will often offer a discount if you agree to purchase an album within 12 months of the wedding date.

 

You’ll be seeing a good bit of your photographer on the wedding day so you want someone who will complement the atmosphere. You also want someone whom you feel you will get along with and should be able to make you laugh along the way as well. If you get a feeling that the photographer is all about themselves or will be overbearing on the day, it may be a good idea to keep looking. Having said that, you also want to be confident that the photographer has it in them to command a situation when required. Believe me, organizing 150 guests for a group shot does require a degree of assertiveness.

 

The personality of the photographer will have a impact on how at ease you & your guests feel. We’ve all heard stories about photographers angrily ordering guests to get out of their shots. First of all, this does not work. Make sure you don’t get one of those. A good wedding photographer has an arsenal of techniques to get the best out of people in a situation where they are naturally uneasy or insecure. This in turn has a positive effect on the naturalness & quality of the photographs.

 

As I mentioned earlier, an experienced wedding photographer brings an element of calmness with them to the wedding. They know how to make people feel at ease, as well as deal with situations that may arise in ways that a novice may not. They’ve had time to perfect the skills required;  to work their equipment and know the development of the day and how it runs like the back of their hands. An experienced photographer will have a sense of timing and an ability to see opportunities that an amateur may miss. An experienced wedding photographer will know exactly where to position themselves for the important moments and capture them in creative ways. Experience can be expensive, but under the wrong conditions, could prove to be priceless.

 

Of course we all have to start somewhere, every wedding photographer has to shoot their first wedding sometime. There isn’t a photographer worth their salt that would walk into a wedding unprepared and risk making a mess of someone’s special day  ……….. or are there?. If you happen to ask a friend or relative, or go for a photographer with little or no wedding experience make sure you’ve discussed your expectations thoroughly. Make a list of shots you want (particularly groups and family shots) and give this NOT to your photographer but to a good organiser that you know well and totally trust well in advance of the wedding. This will help ensure that the shots you want most of all are captured. It would also be a  good idea to visit the locations with your photographer before the wedding day to talk about what you want and where you may want to take these shots.

 

 

 

Good luck & congratulations!

 

 

Gerry