Choosing a PR Photographer – Pick a Peach Not a Lemon

PR PHOTOGRAPHY- Choosing a Photographer from London to InvernessFirstly, why bother with a professional photographer? With modern digital cameras and Photoshop, surely anyone can get decent pictures? NO! Most professional photographers will tell you that the equipment doesn’t do it all for you, no matter how much money you spend. Knowing exactly what all those buttons and gizmos do is secondary to an understanding of the rules of composition, years of experience in putting together setups that work, knowledge of relevant lighting techniques, and above all knowing when to just stand back and not fiddle too much. The gap between ‘fine art’ photography and commercial photography is a wider gulf than most amateurs assume. The skill of a good photographer is their creativity, speed, and consistent good quality.

As a disclaimer – I will say that as a photographer myself I am in no way saying that I tick all these boxes as to be honest, certain photographers will inevitably suit certain clients better than others

Aside from the technical and creative aspects of the work a good photographer should be presentable, approachable and easy to work with. Maybe the best way to think of a photographer is as someone representing not only you but also your client/customers. Will Uncle Jeff’s friend who happens to have a digital camera be happy gently cajoling your blue-chip’s CEO into standing just the right way while making them smile, and quite equally when faced with a group shot will they be assertive enough to get the shot just right without being too bossy?
It’s not just about the photography…’s the whole package.

Will Uncle Jeff’s friend who happens to have a digital camera be happy gently cajoling your blue-chip’s CEO into standing just the right way while making them smile, and quite equally when faced with a group shot will they be assertive enough to get the shot just right without being too bossy?
It’s not just about the photography

It doesn’t matter if you’re a small company looking for a photographer to take pictures to accompany the latest press release, or an established public relations and branding outfit looking for fresh ideas – choosing the right photographer is key to put the right message across in the right way.In the following article I intend to outline some of the things that I consider important when selecting a photographer. As a disclaimer – I will say that as a photographer myself I am in no way saying that I tick all these boxes as to be honest, certain photographers will inevitably suit certain clients better than others. But PR professionals may appreciate the view from the other side of the fence.Where to look:Referrals and contacts.

Avoid the inevitable referrals from friends and family unless you’re sure they have a proven track record

As with most staff and consultancy sourcing, referrals are a very useful way to scout the talent you’re after. If you want to commission a photographer to work in an area where you have no existing contacts, why not call someone who does? It’s often seen as poaching people’s staff, but bearing in mind that most photographers are freelance then why not speak to another PR professional in that area and get the information you need. It is worth keeping in mind however, that just because someone has been using a photographer for twenty years, doesn’t mean that they are necessarily the best choice for you. Avoid the inevitable referrals from friends and family unless you’re sure they have a proven track record.The ‘local paper’ technique.I have known many PR companies that have contacted the local paper to query if there are any photographers in that area who they can recommend. Press photographers tend to work with a minimum amount of equipment and this is provided by the newspaper they work for. Due to the woeful lack of investment in newspapers and their staff, this means they may not be willing or able to use creative light set-ups and may have quite dated and worn equipment. It’s for this reason that the local paper strategy can be successful if you’re only after a photographer to cover a simple job such as an event or a cheque presentation. The chances are that one of the staff photographers on the newspaper will do the job efficiently and cheaply. It’s worth bearing in mind that, in my experience at least, press photographers are generally of a high standard and used to working to deadlines, but often have their own ideas about how a brief should be covered so clear communication is needed. If you require something a bit more special, then maybe this is not the right approach.The internet.Use Google for what you want (PR photographer [your area]) and have a look at the websites on offer. You’ll probably have lots of sites coming up for wedding photographers and such so look out for relevant keywords in the listing such as ‘commercial’, ‘advertising’, ‘PR’, ‘public relations’ or ‘editorial’. If you struggle to find anything, then ‘freelance’ is quite a good catch-all search term.Ideally you want to see a nice website with lots of info about the person/people. Some kind of info showing a proven track record, such as a client list or blog is great. Most importantly there should be an online portfolio that displays the kind of work that you would happily put on your website and present to your client/customers. Having a photo of the photographer on the website is useful. I’m not saying they have to be Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie but they should look presentable and in some way vaguely human.EnquiriesIdeally you should now have a short list of photographers to choose from. If you are struggling to find a few in your particular target area then try a wider geographical search. I’ve worked from South London to Inverness in the last year so it just goes to show that if the photographer can do you a good deal on travel expenses you can choose someone from a little further afield.Email enquiries are the easy way but there is no substitute for a phone call. Don’t dismiss photographers who don’t pick up – would you want a photographer talking to other clients when he’s meant to be working for you? Do leave a message and number though, and the conscientious will call back. Speaking to someone will straight away give you an impression of the person and give you an opportunity to ask all the questions you need.FAQ:What is your availability on the relevant date?What are your rates, per hour, or part of day? (Don’t confuse price with value!)How far do you travel and what do you charge per mile/flat fee?What is your policy on copyright?How quickly can we get the pictures?How do you deliver the pictures?How do you accept payment?These are all pretty obvious but the best questions are often the ones that put the photographer on the spot. These could be something like: ‘We want some portraits of the Managing Director of a logistics company in a city centre location….what would your ideas for that shoot be?’A good photographer would say: ‘We could have them stationary with blurred crowds of people rushing around them, or have them on a traffic island with traffic zooming around them or sat in a nice coffee shop reading the FT……etc’.What I’m trying to say is that a photographer should be able to add to the brief as well as fulfill it. As a photographer I know only too well that a client can come up with an idea for a photograph which they think is wonderful, which in reality may be difficult or impractical to achieve. It’s worth getting the photographer involved at the concept stage for a shoot and bouncing ideas around.Make sure you get an agreed quote in writing. If it’s agreed over the phone then send a confirmation email too. This is for you and the photographer and it saves any misunderstanding later.The Brief: What to include?The brief is an essential part of any given job. It sets down in writing what you expect from that person. Even if you’re with the photographer on the day it’s still really good to work together from the same brief so everyone’s expectations are met.+ Job Information: What, where, when, who….. info and relevant telephone numbers. The usual pitfall is getting to reception and being told that there are twelve Bobs in the factory. Full names and job titles are always useful, along with any relevant schedule or timing details. Be specific about how you expect the photographer to be dressed. Is it smart casual or suited and booted?+ Must Have: Have a specific shot list of ‘must have’ things that you definitely need to have recorded as they happen and/or set-up.+ Additional: Have an extra list of ‘bonus’ photographs you would like if possible allowing for time, conditions etc.+ Style: Detail the overall look and feel of the image in terms of style. Do you want newsy pictures for the papers or more of a features brochure style?+ Deliverables: Explain how you would the pictures sent or emailed.+ Additional info: This may detail photography consent or parking.+ Press Release: This may not always be possible, but if relevant do try and show a planned press release to a photographer so that they can work to take relevant accompanying photographs.+ Plan B: Always try and make provision for poor weather or the person being photographed not to turn up because they’ve forgotten it’s happening!. You can’t plan for all eventualities, but having a plan B for the obvious ones may be wise.This is just the bare bones. I was sent a brilliant 4000 word, 19 page brief recently from one of my regular clients. It was detailing the visit of a celebrity to the region to promote the 2010 Olympics. It contained concise instructions, all the places they would be visiting that day, exactly what was hoped to be achieved in each area and a preliminary press release that will be sent with the images. It contained a lot of background information that will be very useful on the day.Feedback and organic growth.
All regular business relationships are about constructive communication. Although some jobs will occasionally be one-off type arrangements, it’s always nice to know that once you have found someone you trust, you could use them again. If for some reason you are unhappy with a photographer’s work, it’s important to be clear why and give them the opportunity to receive that feedback and comment on it. We’re not talking about an ‘eBay’ system of starred reviews, but do say what you liked most and least about commissioned work.Hopefully once you’ve found a PR photographer you enjoy working with it will become a mutually beneficial relationship. Some small companies like to deal with one photographer all the time, whereas some rotate the work amongst several, ensuring availability at short notice. Some businesses pay a premium and go through an agency to get the equivalent (or worse, in my opinion) service they would get from an individual.Apologies if this seems obvious to those who know…..Feel free to add to the discussion.

For samples of PR PHOTOGRAPHY follow this link Doug Jackson PR Photographer

Top 10 Wedding Photography Myths: Wedding Photographers and Brides, Oh My!

You might be getting married (congrats, by the way) and trying to decide whether or not to even hire a wedding photographer. You might be trying to decide now on which photography professional to choose for your wedding day. You might be a wedding photographer, trying to understand the delicate and confounding psyche of those who engage in wedding planning.

I want a photographer who does the latest post-processing fad, and proudly displays it

Whoever you are, for your reading pleasure, check out the top 10 myths of wedding photography as relayed by a photographer who still loves taking pictures. These are broken in to three categories: a. Myths about not hiring a professional at all; b. Myths about the selection process; and c. Myths about how the photography should be done.CATEGORY A: I don’t need/want a wedding photographer because:1. My cousin’s roommate from college just got the new Canon 999D and a plethora of ‘L ‘ professional series lenses; it will be great (and, did I mention, FREE!).Is it impossible to find a good free photographer? No.

When your arch enemy plans her wedding on the same day as you (out of spite), she will also try to wrap up the services of the best photographer in town

Is it likely? No. Is it a good idea? Almost never. But hey, it is your wedding day. You can chance it on the stranger who could very well be overly intrigued by the bridesmaid who has just a little bit too much to drink at the reception and starts to dance provocatively. That way, the bulk of your photos could be of her. Perfect, right? And free. In this situation, you can just point out to your kids, twenty years down the road, that the photographer did take these photos with really cutting edge technology, which is why you can see just so much detail of the lewd woman at your wedding with, how shall we say.

If you think we work a few hours for a single wedding, you are fooling yourself

.. ‘perky’ breasts. No, she isn’t the bride, but doesn’t she look like she is having fun?2. Why would I get a photographer? Everybody and their dog has a camera (even cell phones pictures are creeping up in the ‘megapixel’ race). The snapshots from guests will suffice.Yes, it is true to state that most of us now carry a camera on our body at all times (on our phone at the very least). Moreover, at a wedding, many if not most guests bring some type of additional camera to memorialize the event (particularly things that go wrong, if they don’t like you; tears from the groom if they do). However, rigorous double blind studies have been done on the data stream to which we are referring, and they all show one thing. These pictures have a 99.9982% chance of sucking. Really badly. There might be one great photo of the bunch, of a dog at the end of the aisle that meant so much to Great Aunt Esther. It will be perfectly exposed, focused, and display Sparky with a beautiful stance using great composition.3. Wedding photography is too expensive – why would I support an industry of so-called ‘professionals’ who really only work a few hours a week. I don’t know whether to be angry or jealous.You can be angry if you would like. You can even be jealous, since we have a job that (hopefully) we love, and take great pride in. If you think we work a few hours for a single wedding, you are fooling yourself. Those are the hours that you see us at the wedding; suffice it to say, many hours of preparation went in to that particular wedding, countless hours will proceed upon the end of wedding day in post-production. When done correctly, the work is extensive, fun, and pays decent.CATEGORY B: I do need/want a wedding photographer, but the selection process should be limited:4. I’ll hire my photographer after all the other planning is done. I’ll select the flowers, the venue, the dj or band, the bridesmaid dresses, the honeymoon hotel, and more. Then I’ll think photography.Of course you will wait till the last few months to hire a photographer. Why would you want a wedding professional like a great photographer to help you with smart referrals for all the other services you will be seeking? While a good photographer will have worked with a spectacular cake business in previous weddings and gladly suggest that you check them out, you can spend forty-seven hours pouring over brochures featuring batman shaped carrot cakes (a theme which will certainly to take off when new brides really stop and think about it). Really, though, consider this – waiting will only limit your choices. Photographers contract for specific dates. When your arch enemy plans her wedding on the same day as you (out of spite), she will also try to wrap up the services of the best photographer in town. Beat her to that photographer for years of bragging rights.5. I don’t want recommendations – why would I care what some other couple says about this photographer? I love her website; it is shiny, happy, and new. It makes me smile on the inside.Classy websites abound among wedding photographers, for all of the obvious reasons. You are considering paying them money for an art, so the designs they use for marketing and information delivery, then, should be equally artistic. However, take a quick look at the photographers in your location, and I’ll bet that you find one with an impressive website, with dramatic motion and animated vines growing out of the monitor and instant chat functionality with on demand videos… and other cool technological things I don’t even know about. However, you may also find that this particular photographer has acceptable photographs, and nothing more. Then, I hope, you will realize that you deserve more than acceptable photography from a marketing guru who dabbles in photography.6. I’m looking for a photographer who can take pictures – that is ALL. Give me the product, and then keep on your merry way, Mr. Camera Man.Well, it is not the case that I am going to suggest you develop a relationship with your photographer that you would develop with, say, the groom. However, the talent or skill of taking good photographs really is only part of the package. A photographer ought to also be able to show up on time, dressed appropriately, converse with the guests, corral the wedding party, and so on. Otherwise, you will have the photographer who shows up at the wrong location, late, wearing her parka in the Florida summer because of her ‘extreme anti-social’ nature and a desire to photograph only the frogs near the wading pool. Again, the frog photos might be great. But you will have to reminisce about your wedding without any visual evidence to support the memories.7. I want a photographer who does the latest post-processing fad, and proudly displays it. An absurdly heavy vignette with color spot and ‘double exposure’? Groovy.Some photographers, myself included, groan just a little bit on the inside when clients request a particular photographic fad that jeopardizes the timeless nature of photography. What we typically shoot for are photographs that will speak to the event itself, and not serve as an indication of the era. Granted, some of the content of the photo – the people and places photographed – will pick out clothing styles, automotive or architectural design, and the like. But the photography itself – the image – should fail to scream ‘This happened in 1984 – no one superimposes a ghost-like image of the grooms head over the bride praying anymore.’CATEGORY C: I’ve got a photographer, and here is what is going to happen:8. I want ONLY [formal or candid] shots. Any shots other than [formal or candid] are stupid, make me cry, and give me stomach pain.Use antacid and just stop it already! No, really. Virtually every wedding photography professional practices the craft in a way that utilizes the benefit of multiple ‘styles’ of wedding photography. Some photographers emphasize one over the other – mostly heavily posed fashion shots, say, with only a few candid shots from the ceremony and reception. However, understand that both styles, and so both sets of images, will tell the story of the day, whereas the absence of one of those sets would yield a collection that isn’t as rich or descriptive.As you select your photographer(s), you will take a look at the collection of photographs that he or she chooses to display prominently, and these will speak volumes about the style of photography that is most important to that person. However, it is perfectly reasonable to expect (dare I say, assume) a certain amount of variety in the final collection of images.9. I’ve got a shot list. It is important to me. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Deviation from this list will result in a world of pain. To the photographer who dares to cross me.Please understand, it is the opinion of this author that certain wedding planning resources overstate the rigid and unyielding nature of wedding planning, which can be far more organic and fun than you might otherwise believe. That is right, I just claimed that wedding planning can be fun. So that means that you don’t need to hang your head in shame when you haven’t selected the caterer by the 18th planning day when the moon is in decent. THERE AREN’T STRICT RULES ABOUT THIS STUFF.Nor is there a strict rule about the beloved (alternatively: dreaded) shot list. Such a list can be quite useful in many situations, particularly when family members in attendance are especially important (for whatever reason) and certain shots are needed of them prior to, say, their imminent demise. (This happens to photographers, unfortunately, with some regularity. The groom will pull us aside midway through the reception, and mention the fact the we should really try to get some great shots of the brides father who “will not be with us much longer.”)For those that can’t resist looking over typical shot lists, your best bet will be to print out one that you like, highlight a few that are especially important (‘a few’ in English means three or so; I didn’t write ‘highlight all of them’), and hand it to your photographer. Nicely state that, while you are sure that she would capture these regardless of the list, the highlighted shots are REALLY important to you. Message sent, right?10. I will direct my photographer throughout my wedding day like the pitiful waif that he is. (Alternatively, the photographer will direct me throughout my wedding day and I’ll obey every command.)Neither of these options will occur; no one should allow it. Your wedding day is YOURS in every sense, and you are given enormous powers to direct the vendors you hire. However, the vendors you hire, including your wedding photographer, are professionals and know what they are doing. While this may very well be your third wedding day, presumably your photographer has had even more.The service provided by wedding photographers is one best performed in the presence of open communication. There may be a situation where your photographer has an idea, pitches it to you, and you decline (nicely, of course, but firmly). “No,” you say. “I will not place that stuffed animal under my arm while humming the Battle Hymn of the Republic, gazing thoughtfully towards the east.” Similarly, there may be a case where you suggest a shot and your photographer says ‘no thanks.’ “No,” he says. “I will not take that photo; it makes me uncomfortable and I have never worked for Larry Flynt, so I don’t have that kind of training.” This type of open communication is the best (and only) way to conduct business for a photographer, and we expect it of our brides as well!And there you have it. 10 myths of wedding photography, laid plain in all of their deserved glory.

Peter Hanowell is part of the photography duo that is Hanowell Photography, high end Tallahassee wedding photographers []. Proudly providing photography services in both the panhandle and across the state, Florida wedding photographers [] Hanowell Photography specializes in wedding photography and family portraits. Meaningful images with a modern artistic eye!

12 Wedding Photography Questions With Answers to Help Couples Choose the Right Wedding Photographer

Designed to offer you easy steps to making the right booking decision for your wedding photographer and indeed videographer, this article covers all of the pros and cons of wedding photography services and offers you helpful simple advice on choosing the right wedding photographer for you.
Q. How much should I pay for my wedding photography? A. This often depends on what sort of album you want and how many pages are included.

The answer is yes, but the sensible answer is be careful not to make the album look too crowded

A storybook album can range from 15 pages to 40 pages. THe cost price of these albums range from £150 to £400. That is the cost to the photographer, everything else you pay on top of that is for their services on the day.
Q. I have been quoted £3000 for my Wedding Photography, am I being ripped off? A. In a word, most likely. I suppose it depends on what you see to be fair value. A wedding album that costs £400 which is then being sold for 600% profit isn’t great value. I would suggest that you look around and see what is in the £1000 to £1500 market.

Make sure you have done the deal in question 11 above

Very often it is the same album that is being used and the same company that is printing it. Be wary, it is not always sensible to assume that you get what you pay for.
Q. My photographer only stays until the cutting of the cake, is this normal? A.

But be aware many photographers can make their own testimonials up

In many cases this is the case. Your wedding day is exactly what it says, “Wedding Day” not half a wedding day. Aim to choose a photographer who will stay until after your first 5 dances. This way you are covering your speeches which can offer some great emotions and photo opportunities for your photographer and it also allows for your first dances to be included in your album. If you are paying over £1250 for your wedding album and photography package this should be included as standard. In these hard times of economic recession it is essential that you get value for money. Make the photographer work for it, they are offering you a service. Make sure you get your value.
Q. How many pictures should be in my album? A. Again the answer to the question could be how long is a piece of string? However in today’s modern storybook album it is a fact there is more room for photographs than there was in the older more traditional style of album. Previously the photographer would have taken approx 50 photos on your wedding day and you would have been asked to choose 30 for your album. Now the photographer should be taking between 250 and 500 photos on the day with you being able to choose between 100 and 130 for your album.
Q. Can I get all the pictures in my album? A. The answer is yes, but the sensible answer is be careful not to make the album look too crowded. Otherwise it will look like a scrapbook rather than your wedding album. Have a mixture of large one page images with pages containing 6 to 10 photographs. Any more than 12 photographs can look very cluttered.
Q. Where should I go to find my photographer? A. Check out the latest bridal magazines in your area. Then loot at the photographers website from the advert in the magazine. If the website is well structured and looks good, and shows you some work, including a FULL ALBUM from one wedding, then give the photographer a call and arrange to go and see their work. When you are there make sure you see a full album and ask him/her to show you one that was taken in very poor weather conditions. This will help to sort out the pretenders from the professionals. It is much more straightforward to taking photographs in fine conditions than it is in humid, rainy dull weather conditions.
Q. I’m worried I might make the wrong decision, what should I do? A. Well, look for testimonials. But be aware many photographers can make their own testimonials up. Check out a review websites which offer independently verified reviews. It is a much safer and more reliable way to review your photographer from other brides and grooms who have already used them.
Q. The photographers work is excellent but I don’t really gel with him / her what should I do? A. Simple answer, forget about them. There are plenty of photographers who offer excellent work and have a friendly and helping attitude. Remember you will be spending most of your day with them, so you want to enjoy yourself and not be under pressure or displeased with the photographers personality. You can find out a lot about their personality by meeting them. Never book your photography over the telephone without meeting the photographer first.
Q. I have booked an “Award Winning Studio” to do my photographs, but the photographer is sending out his assistant which is slightly cheaper, should I book them and will the quality be as good? A. Well that question should answer itself. If you book an “Award Winning Studio” that is fine. If you went to a restaurant to “fine dine” would you prefer the head chef to send his assistant down to McDonald’s to bring back your gourmet burger and fries? I didn’t think so. Make sure the photographer or studio you booked sends out the photographer who took the pictures you like. If he is not available dont book them, if you have already booked them, cancel. It is better to lose a small deposit than have an album that wasn’t what you thought you were going to be getting.
Q. I want an “Award Winning Photographer” to take my photographs, is this sensible? A. Firstly, let me introduce you to the world of wedding awards. Wedding awards are given by photographers to photographers! Professional bodies who critique individual pieces of work which are taken out of context when compared to an “entire” piece of work. I have never seen a Wedding Album full of “Award Winning Pictures”, I have only seen albums with one or two “Award Winning Photographs” in them. Be very careful of this. Also be very careful of readers awards. Readers awards in magazines are voted by wedding couples who have been asked to vote by their photographers! A wedding photographer who had charged £300 to 90 couples will have a much better chance of being “Wedding Photographer of the Year”, than someone who charges £1250, does excellent work, but has only done 30 quality weddings that year and hasn’t asked his wedding couples to vote for them. In my opinion stay away from awards. Awards should come from word of mouth. Ask your friends, look at their albums and when in a studio looking at albums, stay away from albums that show 20 different brides in them. Remember anyone can get a lucky shot at a wedding. Only a seasoned professional can get a wedding album full of professional images.
Q. I want all the photographs the photographer takes on the day of the wedding but he has asked me for an additional £500, should I pay him for these? A. The answer is no. Look for a wedding photographer who will give you the photographs in High Resolution on a disc as included in the package. You pay them enough for their days work. Get the value out of it. Believe me, if it comes down to giving you the pictures in Hi Res on disc or not getting the booking, they will give you them, but you must agree this with them at the start and get it built into the contract.
Q. I am looking for reprints from my photographer, but they are looking £25 per 10″ x 8″ reprint. I need 50 reprints but don’t want to spend an extra £1250 what should I do? A. Make sure you have done the deal in question 11 above. This is why it is important to get your Hi Res images included on disc. If you have them, you can take them to your local photo processing lab, who will print them for between £1 and £1.99 each. Now why would you spend £1250 when you could spend £100 at the most and get exactly the same thing! Be aware. Be sensible. Don’t get ripped off.
You can see from above there are a number of pitfalls when choosing the right photographer for your wedding day. There is also an abundance of photographers keen to grab your business. Take the steps above and you will be on the right track to making the right decision for your wedding media package.Of course if you are a millionaire with unlimited funds then don’t worry about any of the questions and answers above, call the most expensive photographer with the biggest window in the high street and he will happily take your money and laugh rubbing his hands as you walk out the door just having spent a fortune.

Eddie McDowell is Northern Ireland’s premiere wedding photographer and videographer. A master in Photoshop techniques and a Lecturer in Information Technology and Graphic Arts, eddie offers wedding photography and videography to clients throuhout Ireland, from Spain to Poland, and as far as Hong Kong to Las Vegas. Eddie specialises in quality storybook wedding albums at an affordable price. You can see more articles and check out his work at []

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

Obviously your wedding is one of, if not the biggest day of your life. Getting the right photographer is so important, as they will provide (if they are doing their job properly that is!) the only formal, lasting, and best record of your day. There are many other details that need to be sorted out for a wedding, but the photographer will be providing the only tangible, lasting record of the day, which should contain within it all those details you have worked so hard to get as you want them on the day.

They may be able to, but there is a chance that they may not! How many non-professional photographers know how to custom white balance to ensure that the brides dress is actually the correct colour? I say very few

Obviously now we all have digital cameras, mobile phones etc there will be a wealth of photographs taken on the day, but I can absolutely guarantee you that none will compare with the photographs taken by a professional photographer. In my writing today I am making the assumption that the professional photographer I am referring to is competent in their field, and is providing a professional service.So what do you need to consider when choosing your wedding photographer?A professional photographer should give you a written quotation, with terms and conditions, and exactly what you are going to be getting for your money. If you are paying for a professional service this is a must. Anything less than this is not acceptable.Your photographer should pretty much run the day for you, as along with potentially a wedding planner/ organiser, they will be the only people with you from first thing in the morning to the first dance – and after that you probably won’t care anyway!!In discussions with the photographer you should say what you want, might want and don’t want, such asStyle of photography,Specific shots you want,Formal shots,Informal shots,Group shots,Who gets on,Who doesn’t get on!!Album, DVD, prints, video.Any other additional products and services, such as a DVD slide show of the images included in the album, additional albums for parents, family members and guests, trash the dress on return from their honeymoon, editing of a pictures to specific requirements, etc.Once you have said what you want, listen to what else is available, and to what the photographer can provide for you. Remember the photographer may be attending, and working at, 50 weddings a year, which you surely won’t be, so their experience is invaluable to you.Timings on the day should be discussed, to ensure that there is enough time to achieve what you want to achieve, because I can assure you the time will go so quickly on the day.

Your wedding day is a day to be enjoyed, and a photographer can, believe it or not, pull together the parts of the day and help make things go smoothly

Be wary of “up selling”. Some photographers make their money by what is called in the trade “upselling”. They appear cheap at first, until you realise that they are not providing everything that you want. When you add in all the things that you do actually want, sometimes after the event, you would not have committed to that much money! An example of this is where a photographer charges you 400 for the images copyright free on DVD.

Getting the right photographer is so important, as they will provide (if they are doing their job properly that is!) the only formal, lasting, and best record of your day

Now there is nothing wrong with this, and it is a photographer’s right to charge what they think is appropriate, but surely you have already paid for this by engaging them in the first place?Expensive does not necessarily mean better by the way.But having a photographer you feel that you can get on has immense value. Your wedding day is a day to be enjoyed, and a photographer can, believe it or not, pull together the parts of the day and help make things go smoothly. If you think about it, how else are they going to record the day? A competent, professional, organised and most important in my opinion sociable wedding photographer will really make a difference on the day, and give you a few things less to worry about. If you let them take control of the day, to allow them to do their work, they will be happy and hopefully so will you!Examples of a photographer’s previous work are helpful, along with references from previous clients, and possibly venues as well. I know of photographers who are recommended by venues as being a dream to work with, but have also heard of tales of photographers being banned from venues for causing so many problems! If a photographer does not have previous wedding experience, but appears to know what they are doing and has worked in a professional capacity in a different photographic field then fine, but expect to pay a bit less than for a seasoned quality professional wedding photographer.After sales are important, when will you see the images, how do you get albums, how do guests buy pictures? A really great feature made possible by the internet is to have your wedding photographs online, so you can view them on your honeymoon. This can be password protected so only you as the married couple, or whoever you want, can view them.I will say it again – if you like your photographer this will help. You might be considering hiring the best photographer in the world, but how would you feel on the day if you did not actually like them?Friends
One final thought, and that is getting a friend to photograph your wedding. Lots of people think that they can take professional photographs by having a good quality camera. They may be able to, but there is a chance that they may not! How many non-professional photographers know how to custom white balance to ensure that the brides dress is actually the correct colour? I say very few. You might get a set of photographs that you are delighted with, but you might not. And if you don’t imagine how your friend would feel?It may be that you cannot afford to pay someone, and fair enough if that is the case – just don’t expect a friend, acting in your best interests, to produce professional results. Be kind to them as if they are a true friend they will be doing the very best that they can for you.Good luck, thanks for reading, and if you have any questions please contact me via the links in my resource box. is a Dorset based professional photographer. Based in the South-West of England, his work as a commercial photographer takes him further afield, with enquiries welcome nationally. Rick has two main areas of professional photographic work, which are commercial photography and wedding and portrait photography.Commercial work has been carried for a varied list of clients, including Architectural practises, construction companies, commercial property landlords, public bodies including Dorset Police and Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, The Co-operative Group, sports events promoters, major UK manufacturers, advertising agencies, as well as specific commercial commissions for numerous private clients.Specialist areas are the built environment, interior and exterior building and architectural photography, and major construction project photography. The other specialist area of commercial work is client specific commissions. As a successful commercial photographer, Rick can happily accommodate most commercial photographic requirements.Wedding and Portrait Photography. Rick is taking bookings now for weddings next year, but the weekends do tend to fill the quickly so do contact him as soon as you have fixed a date for your special day. See the wedding page for more information on the affordable wedding photography packages available, and also information on portrait photography. Landscape photography provides an additional source of images which are proving popular in the stock photography and advertising markets, with selected images being sold as fine art photography. Examples of his work are available to view by clicking on the gallery links, and these images can be purchased directly from within the galleries.Rick is an award winning member of the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers, and also the Bureau of Freelance Photographers.

7 Reasons to Pay a Professional Photographer

There are many good reasons to employ a professional photographer to capture your wedding, event or special occasion rather than relying on a friend or relative to do so, even if they have a sophisticated camera.Here are just seven of them:1. TimeTime is a key ingredient in producing good images and when you pay a professional photographer, one thing you can almost be certain of is that you will get more of their time than you would from a friend or relative.

It is important to know exactly what you are getting when you instruct someone to take photographs for you, irrespective of whether you are paying them

The photographer will, before the photo shoot, spend time at a pre-shoot, meeting or client interview, visit the location if he or she does not already know it, and then in final preparation take time to select, clean and check the equipment needed. After the shoot the professional photographer will take the time to check, help you choose, process and then present your images. At the end of this process, the discerning photographer will take the time to ensure the client is happy with the finished result.Like good do-it-yourself, consistently good photography relies on good preparation. Hence the professional photographer will have taken considerable time of many years to perfect their:-2. CraftsmanshipIt is often tempting to think of photography as a simple skill. After all, anyone can take a photograph, right? This maybe true and sure enough, with automatic cameras that handle the focusing of the lens and exposure settings for you, even the most inexperienced person will be able to take good photographs.A professional photographer will not rely on a camera’s automatic settings to take the photographs unless they know the conditions are favourable to using them, and even then they are most likely to use one of the camera’s automatic semi-automatic modes. Why is this important? Simply because automatic cameras can easily assess the amount of light being reflected by a scene and set their own exposure, but the camera doesn’t really know how much how bright the scene should be, hence a camera can produce a lighter image when photographing a dark scene and a darker image when photographing a light scene.

The camera on automatic settings will average the scene and generate an exposure that does not allow for the fact the church setting is darker than normal

The averaging that the camera uses can easily lead to subjects being underexposed or overexposed.The cameras metering will be adequate for most situations, but consider a bride in a white dress set against a dark church setting. The camera on automatic settings will average the scene and generate an exposure that does not allow for the fact the church setting is darker than normal. This results in the detail on the brides dress being over exposed and therefore not visible in the final pictures.This is why I say, choosing a friend or relative to take pictures of a special occasion or an important event is a gamble.

This on one hand means having dependable equipment and on the other contingency plans for transport to a venue and illness

And that’s without mentioning image composition or lighting technique! An area where the difference between inexperienced and professional photographers is even more significant.3. EquipmentA consumer dSLR camera – good enough in it’s own right for a hobbyist, not built for a demanding professional. It is often said, when taking good photographs, that the most important thing is the person taking the pictures. After all, a good understanding of photography and a good level of creativity are the main assets when consistently creating good photographs. That is not to say, however, that the equipment a photographer uses is unimportant. In fact, when hiring a professional photographer, some peace of mind should surely come with the fact that they have the right kit to get the job done, even in the most adverse conditions.Professional cameras and professional lenses are manufactured to higher standards than their consumer counterparts. This not only means they deliver better results, especially in low light conditions, but it also means they are more resilient to an every day work load. Professional photographers will carry a wider range of equipment in order to create a wider range of images in a wider range of conditions. They will also know how to better maintain their equipment in order that it should remain in optimum condition such that image quality is never compromised.4. ReliabilityDiscussing professional photography equipment leads nicely onto reliability. This on one hand means having dependable equipment and on the other contingency plans for transport to a venue and illness.When discussing reliability, we are skirting around a small minefield when it comes to asking a friend or relative to photograph your wedding, celebration, event or special occasion. The professional photographer would not entertain the idea of turning up at a wedding without at least one spare camera. In fact he or she will shoot continually throughout the day with two cameras and still have a third one with them in their luggage. Professional photographers will have a range of spare lenses so that they can continue to take the pictures you would expect in the case of their standard zoom developing a fault. This is one of the reasons I carry a set of prime lenses in varying focal lengths, although I rarely use them. Professional photographers will carry a significant number of spare batteries, spare flash guns, even a large number of spare memory cards. There’s not use filling one large memory card over the course of a day’s shooting only to find it has been corrupted by the end of the day. Professional photographers will regularly switch to a freshly formatted memory card at each key point during an event in order avoid this scenario. Professional photographers will ensure that they backup the pictures they have taken at the earliest opportunity so that they can always be recovered in the event of a failure or corruption. Many photographers will also keep those images archived resiliently for many years after an event, allowing the replacement of photo products supplied to clients if it becomes necessary.In planning their arrival for an event or shooting engagement, conscientious professional photographers will go the extra mile to ensure they arrive on time, setting off the day before if the engagement is a considerable distance away from their base. If a photographer experiences a sudden illness or bereavement when due to attend a special event such as a wedding, they will often have a network of photography contacts they can call upon in order to provide contingency. These contacts will often be with which your photographer has an arrangement making sure, as far as possible, that your special event is still covered and neither quality nor service level are compromised.5. ResponsibilityWorking in the capacity of ‘official’ photographer at an event like a wedding is quite a responsibility and, to an inexperienced person, can be quite nerve-wrecking. If the inexperienced photographer is not in the least slightly anxious, then it is possible they don’t realise the responsibility they have. There are many key moments throughout the day, running right from the bridal preparations through to the first dance at the evening reception. The photographer has to be on hand, poised and ready to capture all of these images with the correct settings already dialed into the camera. He or she has to remain fully alert throughout the entire day; when one eye is peering through the view finder, the other eye has to remain attentive to everything else that is going on in and around the scene in order to ensure that any unscheduled defining moments of the day are not missed.The professional photographer is aware the wedding day, for the couple getting married is both busy and emotional and often the pictures taken reveal the day to them through the eyes of an observer, allowing them to notice key details they were not able to see themselves. The same goes for the best man, the ushers, the brides maids and the immediate family of both the bride and groom who all have their part to play.The friend or relative asked to take pictures actually sacrifices their invitation to attend the wedding as a guest because their day will be spent undertaking what is, if executed properly, very demanding work.The same is true of many other events and special occasions. Often the hosts will spend a considerable sum on hiring and decorating a venue, putting money behind the bar and also providing refreshments in order to give all the attendees an enjoyable time. If you have invested to make an event special, why not consider paying a professional to record the occasion providing you with something unique to treasure it by?6. Perspective PresentationQuite often the family friend or relative put in the position of “professional photographer” will simply pass the pictures onto the the hosts or guests of honour at any given special event just as images on a CD. Contrarily, a professional will be able to offer a range of finished products ranging from Photo-DVDs featuring high resolution slide shows to large scale canvasses going via complete luxury albums and photo frames designed to preserve a prints quality over a long period of time.In fact, the experienced photographer will be able to recommend products based on their experience, steering you away from suppliers who are unreliable either quality or service wise. If you have requested an album, the photographer will be thinking about the album design even prior to the event framing shots that will complement each other when they appear on the same spread and arranging the photos so that they tell the casual observer a story.
If the special event is a christening or a wedding celebration, the photographer knows that the photo products have to stand the test of time in order to still be presentable in thirty, forty or even fifty years time. For that reason too many photographers will go for post-processing and presentation which truly is timeless, subject of course to consultation with the clients.There is no substitute for that experience a photographer gains when putting products together and the difference it makes shooting with them in mind. Better still, the photographer will be re-telling the story of your day through the eyes of an impartial observer.7. ProtectionIf it all goes wrong, what protection do you have? Professional photographers should not be operating without insurance. At the very least they should have third party liability cover so if there is an accident in which an injury or worse is sustained because of a photographer’s actions, for example a guest tripping over a tripod leg, their is suitable recourse for the injured party. This is not to say that photography is dangerous (it usually isn’t) and it’s not to say that photographers are careless, but it is never the less an important thing to have that peace of mind. Further more, the proprietors of many venues will insist that anyone working on behalf of their client has adequate third party liability insurance.The second type of insurance a photographer should have is professional indemnity insurance. This type of insurance provides protection to the photographer in case of a client suing them as a result of a failure to meet professional obligations.Finally, a professional photographer will have drafted up a set of terms and conditions making it clear on what basis he or she is working for you.The should also layout the photographer’s obligations to the client and also the clients obligations to the photographer. It is important to know exactly what you are getting when you instruct someone to take photographs for you, irrespective of whether you are paying them. If a photographer fails to to fulfill their obligation, the terms and conditions can be of immense value in any potential litigation. Finally, if any electronic image files are to change hands, you will know in advance what you can and can’t do with them in-terms of copyright and rights to reproduction.In ConclusionWhen considering whether or not to hire a professional to capture your special occasion, there are many many good reasons to do so. If your budget will not stretch to it, then go ahead and ask a friend, relative to take pictures. However if you can afford a professional, it’s important to understand what you get in return for the fee to pay. And that should be something which enhances the experience and the memory of your special occasion, both in the preparation, the event itself and finally in terms of receiving something afterwards that is striking and enduring by which to remember the occasion.

Daniel CaddenProfessional PhotographerManchester based, UK widewebsite []twitter

Choosing a Photographer – Two Most Important Factors

Your wedding photographs will be the only lasting reminder of your wedding day when it’s all said and done. You’ll hear this more that once when looking for a photographer, but it’s true. There is no “do over” with wedding photography so you need to get it right the first time. With so much as stake, you might ask what’s really important when looking for a wedding photographer? There are two factors to consider above all else.

but your wedding photographs allow your wedding day to live forever

1. Do I like their photography?2. Do I like the photographer personally?Seems pretty obvious but often times those two factors get lost in the list of other considerations such as the photography cost and the advice of others. Ultimately, this is a decision for you, because these photographs will become your first family heirlooms.You’ve probably had a mental picture of your ideal wedding for years and possibly since childhood. This is your opportunity to make those pictures in your head a reality. Now ask yourself “What do I really want my wedding photos to look like?” Do you want documentary photos of you and your guests having the time of their lives? Do you want photos of you and your new spouse interacting naturally and romantically? Do you crave those fashion forward high-impact artistic poses? Do you want more traditional family portraits that serve as historical record of your family at this specific place in time? More than likely you want a little bit of everything and most photographers offer a blend of photographic compositions.

Her award winning photography has received international praise from photographer peers and wedding professionals

You just need to find a photographer you love who offers the right mix you’re after.Another less obvious factor in wedding photography is the post-processing of your photographs. This includes basic edits such as color correction all the way to beauty retouching. You’ll want to know if your photographer retouches your photos especially if [god forbid] you have a breakout. Will all your images receive some level of adjusting or will they be left untouched out of camera? Many digital photographers also add artistic treatments to your photographs such as black white photo conversions, desaturated vintage like color treatments, and other fine art textures. Remember, you’ll be looking at these photos with your grandchildren so try to think outside what is trendy in wedding photography today.

With so much as stake, you might ask what’s really important when looking for a wedding photographer? There are two factors to consider above all else

Most couples want their wedding photos to be timeless. Think about what timeless photography means to you.Once you have a better idea of what type of wedding photography you’re looking for it is time to do some research. Don’t just do a Google search for “[your city] wedding photographer” and click on the top three listings. Check out some photographer directories like ISPWP, WPJA, and Best of Wedding Photography. These professional associations are invitation only so you are more likely to find a skilled and artful photographer here. Once you’ve narrowed your search to a handful of photographers you like, you’ll want to look at more than just their wedding portfolio. It’s important to see more than just the highlights of a photographer’s body of work. Make sure to see at least 50-100 photographs of a wedding from beginning to end. The photographer’s photo blog is a good place to see a full body of work from each individual event. You might also want to look at their Facebook Twitter pages to see how they interact with their clients. Search for reviews from past brides and read about their experiences with them. Now that you’ve complied all your research and have a short list of the photographers you’re most excited about, it’s time to set up consultations with them to see who they are in real life.Now it’s time to get to that second most important factor when selecting your wedding photographer, “Do I like them personally?” Don’t underestimate the importance of liking your photographer because most likely, they’ll be spending the bulk of your wedding day right beside you. The last thing any bride or groom wants on their wedding day is to feel tense or annoyed, especially due to a vendor. A good part of your wedding day will take place behind the scenes as you get ready and spend time with your family and bridal party. Weddings can be stressful so it’s always best to be surrounded by people who relax and support you. This goes for your wedding vendors too. If you really like your photographer and feel a personal connection with them it will be easier to let your guard down and let the day unfold naturally. On the flip side, a photographer who sees you as friend and more than just a paycheck is going to work much harder to get you amazing images. Your relationship with your photographer will also last much longer than just your wedding day because after the wedding is over, the photographer’s work has just begun. They will not only be working on the editing your photographs but working closely with you to create a wedding album that tells the story of your day. It’s not uncommon for the relationship between the wedding client and photographer to last a couple years from the first meeting to the delivery of the final products. Imagine being forced to spend two years with someone you don’t like. Sounds pretty awful!So here’s the bottom line. If the photography featured on a wedding photographer’s website and blog are not what you want, chances are you will be disappointed with the final results. Each photographer see’s the world in a unique way and has a specific creative vision. It’s unfair to ask a photographer to change for you so pick a photographer that is already a good fit for you creatively. Also, chances are if you don’t like the photographer in the first meeting then you probably won’t like them on your wedding day and it will be reflected in your pictures. Trust your instincts and pick a photographer that makes you feel comfortable.If you love your wedding photographer’s imagery and think they are a pretty swell person, you can be confident you’ll get the wedding photographs of your dreams. That’s all that really matters! Flowers will die, food will get eaten, the last song will play… but your wedding photographs allow your wedding day to live forever.

Melissa Mitchell of Continuum Wedding Photography is a San Diego Wedding Photographer with over five years of professional photography experience in Southern California and the greater United States. Her award winning photography has received international praise from photographer peers and wedding professionals.

How To Choose A Wedding Photographer For Your Wedding

How to Choose Your Wedding PhotographerAs your wedding day is booked, the venue, the car, and all those good things that make your wedding day a day to remember, and in that list one of the most important things to remember to do is to book the photographer. It is his or her duty to capture those precious moments on in your wedding photographs that you will have for the rest of your life. But when it comes to choosing your photographer how can you be sure you have found the right one?Interview Your Wedding PhotographersA good photographer will know how to get the best from the wedded couple and their guests and will be able to select the best light and backgrounds for the photographs. When you meet a photographer who may potentially be the photographer for your wedding, ask about creativity and his or her suggestion for creating the wedding album in terms of style of images.

However, it is what they wanted and I was happy to go along with the show

The photographer you choose has a role that goes beyond simply taking pictures. A good photographer will know how to create opportunities and scenarios that will create interesting and fun images. Remember, your idea of fun may not be the same as your photographer. For example, at a recent wedding I photographed the Bride was picked up and held by the Groom and the Groom’s Men and the Father’s of the Bride and Groom while she reclined in their arms. This is a common image, but not one that I personally would ever suggest as it is just not my idea of either a nice image or a fun thing to do. However, it is what they wanted and I was happy to go along with the show.Your Photographer’s PersonalityThis brings me to the next important thing to remember, the wedding is your day, not the photographers, this is a day for you to have fun and have a good time.

A good photographer will only book one wedding on any one day, as he or she will know that things can go wrong and the photographer may need to stay a little longer

People relate differently various personality types. Choose a friendly wedding photographer that can make you smile, one who can sense the mood of the guests and allow things to flow naturally and with a sense of joy for the occasion. This will make photographs look more natural and relaxed.Try to have a pre-wedding photo shoot, this will help you to understand your photographer and more importantly him to understand you and how you feel in front of the camera. With the exception of your partner you will spend more time with the photographer than with any one else on the day of your wedding, so make sure you can get on well with him or her.Evaluate PortfoliosWhat is the most beautiful picture in the world? You may have an answer, but another person may disagree with you because the answer is subjective.

For example, at a recent wedding I photographed the Bride was picked up and held by the Groom and the Groom’s Men and the Father’s of the Bride and Groom while she reclined in their arms

The old saying is true ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’ The portfolio of any good wedding photographer will look good to most people; you must make sure it looks good to you. Look at their portfolio to make sure that the photographer’s style reflects your own style and creativity. If a set of images or a sample album looks good, ask to see all the photographs from that wedding. If the photographer has visited you at your home and this requires a seconded visit, then so be it.Get EstimatesMost wedding photographers suggest different “packages”, allowing you to select a deal that will best suit your budget. Compare the pricing packages of several photographers to find your best option for evaluating the price along with all the other factors, including quality of their work, reviews by other clients, their flexibility and personality. Don’t just go for the cheep and cheerful option either; you are paying for talent and ability.A Flexible Approach A photographer should be flexible with their timetable for the day. Make sure that they will be around through both wedding and reception if you need them to be. A good photographer will only book one wedding on any one day, as he or she will know that things can go wrong and the photographer may need to stay a little longer.As a photographer I have taken guests to the reception because the taxi has not arrived. Gone and collected gas and balloons to decorate the hall, stayed later than anticipated (recently by six hours) because there has been a problem with guests or family and the photos would not have been taken if we had stuck to the original agreement. For all of these things there was no extra charge, as it is all part of the service that a photographer should provide if he or she is both flexible and personable.Check The PaperworkThere are three or possibly four things it is worth checking with your photographer, and dare I say you should ask to see the evidence of. I can only speak from a British Photographers Point of view on this as other countries will have different organisation and rules, but still check!First, check the photographer’s Public Liability Insurance Policy, if Great Aunt Agnes trips on the tripod and fractures her hip is the photographer covered?Second, check the photographer’s Professional Indemnity Insurance; if the photographer looses all your photos can you get compensation?Third, is the photographer a member of a professional body like the British Institute of Professional Photographers? Ask to see his or her IDFourth, is the photographer’s car covered adequately with breakdown cover? If his or her car does not start will they get to your wedding?Finally, if you do find you need help with those little extras like taking guests to the reception venue, ask if the photographer’s car insurance covers business, because if not, then your guests will not be insured to travel in the car.

William Johnston is a professional photographer providing wedding photography and portrait photography throughout Bristol, Wedding Photographer Bath and Somerset, the South West, Birmingham and the West Midlands, Leicester and Leicestershire, London and the Home CountiesPlease visit Wedding Photographer Bristol

What To Look For When Selecting Your Wedding Photographer

Picking the perfect photographer for your special day is important. If you want your photographs to bring back pleasant memories of your wedding day. It’s important to make sure you pick the right photographer. There are several steps in choosing the right photographer.

Running off to beat traffic to the next wedding is unacceptable

These are the most important steps that you should follow when choosing your wedding photographer.Picking the right style that fits what you are looking for. Ask friends and family if they can recommend a photographer. This can be a starting point in trying to pick that special photographer. Trying to use a traditional style photographer to get photo journalistic results won’t work. Traditional photography is not considered a modern style. It may have been popular when your parents and grand parents got married. Traditional style is more posed with friends and family standing shoulder to shoulder.Photo journalistic photographers capture you special day as a story.

You may have a wedding party that’s so large that you need to have a second photographer

With each detail being preserved as it happens. You’ll find that some photographers have great imagination, but lack the skill to cover your wedding day properly. It takes a great eye along with the ability to the little details and stay invisible at the same time.Catching the emotion and expression is a skill that most photographers take years to master.

Ask the photographer if they took the photos

Unlike, traditional photography where you line up and take a shot. Your capturing real events and not staging them with fake smile and fake tears. So, make sure they understand exactly what you are looking for. You can also ask for a mixture of these two styles. You may want traditional shots with a formal feel. You may also want a majority of your photographs to be photo journalistic. It’s OK to mix the styles if that’s what you truly want.Early in the 20th century black and white images were the norm. You now have options of digital enhanced photos to choose from. These are images captured on a disk and then edited. A good photographer will edit your images. If you find a photographer that gives you the raw photos. Cross them off your list. A good photographer will take the time to edit and crop the images.Take the time to review each photographer’s portfolio. Set a time and schedule an appointment to look at their work. Make sure and ask for a complete wedding. Have a few shots from various wedding isn’t going to give you a true feel of exactly how they cover an entire wedding. Make sure the wedding covers from getting ready shot to the couple leaving the reception. This way you will get an idea of the quality of their work as well how the cover the day. It’s pretty easy to put a few good photos together for display. It’s quite different to hide flaws when showing a full wedding day coverage. If your potential photographer has any weakness in quality or ability it will show here.You’ll also get a sense of your photographer’s personality. If he has the ability to connect with his clients it will show in the pictures. If the couple looks uptight or uncomfortable then it could be an issue with the photographer’s personality. Ask the photographer if they took the photos. Many studios will use a name brand, but send other photographers out working under the studio name. If you want a specific photographer you need to make sure you request them. Some studios even use freelance photographers and select these photographers with out reviewing their work.You may not have chemistry with a photographer you’ve never met. So, why risk it with a studio that rents out their name. Go over exactly what you expect and want from the photographer. This includes time frame and options if they offer packages. Determine if you’ll need more than one photographer. You may have a wedding party that’s so large that you need to have a second photographer. Make sure they don’t shoot more than one wedding per day. You may find your photographer rushing you if they need to get to their next wedding. A true professional photographer should focus on you and your special day. Running off to beat traffic to the next wedding is unacceptable.Check to make sure the photographer carries at least two cameras. While this may not sound important. It’s important to realize that if they don’t carry one and theirs breaks or malfunctions. You won’t have the opportunity to redo your wedding.Have a budget in mind and try not to go over it. You may find that the photographer you really want is just way out of your budget. The are really a lot of good photographers that charge reasonable rates and produce high quality photos. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices and picked the perfect photographer for your wedding. Make sure and put a contract together as soon as possible. If your wedding is in a period where there are lots of weddings. The photographer may book the date before you even have a chance to sign a contract. You would then have to start the process all over from scratch. It’s a good idea to book your photographer 12 to 24 months in advance. Check the photographers deposit policies and if they offer cancellations. Most photographers don’t reimburse a deposit.Keeping these steps in mind and staying on track with a proper planning schedule. Will help ensure that your wedding day will be the special day that you envisioned growing up. Picking the right photographer will allow you to relive your wedding day over and over again.

Chi Photography a top Buckhead Newborn Photographer located in Atlanta Georgia.Atlanta Newborn Photography

6 Steps to Choosing a Wedding Photographer

After the dress is worn, the flowers die, the food is eaten, and the guests leave, the photographs are the only thing remaining to document your wedding day. Choosing your wedding photographer is one of the hardest wedding decisions because you can’t see the photographs you’re buying until you’ve already made the decision. This article will help you choose the best photographer to ensure you get the wedding photographs you want.

Check the listings of professional organizations like PPA – Professional Photographers of America or WPPI – Wedding Portrait Photographers International

1. Price. Choosing a photographer based on price may not be the wisest decision. A photographer’s price not only reflects the quality of their work (generally), it also reflects how that photographer values their own work. You may be able to find a photographer advertising weddings for $299, but do you really believe that photographer places a high value on artistic quality? Do you really think they will spend hours culling, sorting, editing and retouching your wedding images? Chances are they will shoot and burn straight to a disk because, frankly, they’re not getting paid enough. Do you feel that you will get beautiful photos of you and your spouse to have for the rest of your life – to show your kids and grandkids? As far as wedding photography goes, you get what you pay for.Note: Just because you have a smaller budget does not mean you have to sacrifice on your wedding photographer. Before you go asking your cousin’s boyfriend to shoot the wedding (because he has a nice camera), know this; there are many new wedding photographers who may be very talented, but do not have a lot of wedding experience. This does not mean they are horrible photographers, it just means they haven’t shot a lot of weddings. Because of this, you may be able to get reduced pricing, sometimes called “portfolio building” discounts or “introductory” pricing, etc.

This does not mean they are horrible photographers, it just means they haven’t shot a lot of weddings

. It may be difficult finding these photographers because they may not be listed yet on search engines, as their websites may be brand new. So, you’ll have to do some digging.2.


Do some research: Ask your friends and family for referrals. People who love their wedding photos love to talk about their photographer! Search the internet. Go several pages back – don’t just look at the first page of search results. Check the listings of professional organizations like PPA – Professional Photographers of America or WPPI – Wedding Portrait Photographers International.3. Make a List: Once you’ve found 5-10 photographers that you like, make a list. Go to each photographer’s website and thoroughly review their portfolio. I cannot stress enough; the photographs you see in the photographer’s portfolio are the same types of photographs you will have of your wedding. How do you know if the photographer is any good? Follow these guidelines:

Are the images too light? Too dark? If the some images are too light and others too dark, or if they seem all over the place, that could indicate inconsistent quality.
How are the photographer’s Photoshop skills? Do the photos seem “over-photoshopped”? Do you see a lot of plastic looking skin or alien eyes? A good rule to follow; if you can’t tell the images are Photoshopped, then the photographer has excellent photoshopping skills. It’s like make-up – the best make-up is the kind that doesn’t look like you’re wearing any make-up at all.
Do you feel emotionally moved by the photographer’s images? Do they make you stop and stare? Gasp? Do you feel a connection with the images? This is the most important aspect of choosing a wedding photographer. You can spend all the money in the world on the most famous photographer, but if you don’t feel a connection with their images, you will most likely not love your wedding photos.
4. Check for Availability: After you’ve narrowed down the list, email or call your top 5 or so photographers. Check to see if each photographer is available on your wedding date, and get a quote or estimate. Emailing or calling each photographer will also give you a little insight into their personality. More on that later.5. Ask for a Consultation: Your list should now be narrowed down to 2-3 photographers. Ask to meet each photographer – or at the very least, ask for a phone consultation. Talking with your photographer either in person or on the phone will also give you insight into their personality. Are they easy to get along with? Do you feel good about them? The photographer will be a big part of your wedding day and it’s important that you are comfortable with them. Some questions to ask:

What do you include in your wedding photography package?
When can I expect to receive my photos?
Can I review a copy of your contract?
Are you licensed?
Do you provide a second shooter?
Note: Be sure the photographer you hire is the same one who will shoot your wedding. Some photographers send their assistant or contract another photographer to shoot their weddings. Make sure you know who is actually photographing your wedding and ask to view their portfolio.
6. Make your Final Decision: Once you’ve talked with each photographer, you will now be armed with all sorts of information to be able to choose your wedding photographer. Remember, money comes and goes, but you can’t re-do your wedding day.

For more information about wedding photography, visit our website, Mad Love Wedding Photography [].

Creative Photography: 10 Things A Successful Photographer Will Never Do To Stay Creative

IntroductionCreative photography is a special type of photography that strives to discover new patterns, color, adventure and beauty among many other things. This makes creative photography very exciting. It awakens all the senses of a photographer adding a very artistic touch to their final work.

Leave the camera at homeCreative photography is all about capturing unrehearsed moments anywhere anytime

Many amateur photographers dream of becoming creative photography pros. There are however very few who actually master it although creativity is an inborn aspect of life in everyone.Successful photographers have already learned to keep their creative juices flowing which is why they enjoy tremendous success in their trade. They also know much more on every aspect of photography. Most importantly, they know what they shouldn’t do as professional photographers. If you are interested in knowing what you shouldn’t do as a professional photographer in order to stay creative, you are in the right place. Below are 10 things a successful photographer will never do to stay creative.1. Waste time thinking about gearThis is one of the most important things a successful photographer will avoid at all costs. Photography gear may be important for enhancing shots however it’s not as important as core photography when taking creative photos.

This is precisely why successful photographers don’t ignore the importance of copyrighting

Successful photographers know this especially in regards to creative photography which is why they don’t waste too much time thinking about gear. In fact, most creative shots come out better when they are taken naturally without gear.2. Leave the camera at homeCreative photography is all about capturing unrehearsed moments anywhere anytime.

The best photographers offer variety which can only be offered by using many techniques and being open to new ideas

Successful photographers know the pain of missing great opportunities because of simple mistakes like leaving the camera at home. They therefore make a point of having a camera anywhere they go. This enables them to capture interesting moments regular photographers miss. This is part of what makes them stand out.3. Use the same technique over and over againThere is nothing creative about using the same photography technique all the time. Successful photographers stay away from stagnant photography techniques which hinder them from growing their skill and experimenting. The best photographers offer variety which can only be offered by using many techniques and being open to new ideas. Successful photographers avoid monotony at all costs.4. Ignore the importance of copyrighting workCopyrighting original work is advisable for obvious reasons i.e. you get recognition among other benefits i.e. money from people interested in using your work. Any experienced photographer know the importance of protecting their valuable work especially if it falls under the creative photography docket. Photographers become successful by receiving recognition and financial returns from their work. Copyrighting safeguards a photographers future earnings on past work and also keeps a record of their creative efforts avoiding duplication. This is precisely why successful photographers don’t ignore the importance of copyrighting.5. Share technical problems with clientsThis is another thing successful photographers will never do to stay focused, creative and maintain their reputation. Although it is important to be honest with your clients at all times, successful photographers know the dangers of sharing technical problems with their clients. Being honest when faced with technical problems does more harm than good from a professional photographer’s point of view. For instance, clients can start viewing you as unprofessional which can hurt your reputation denying you referral business. Successful photographers have learned to stay mute about technical problems when dealing with clients. They go as far as planning ahead to avoid occurrences where they will be forced to share technical problems. Dealing with technical problems internally also helps to maintain focus which is important to stay creative.6. Take each and every assignment they getYou can’t jump at each and every photography opportunity and expect to be remain creative. Creative photography is about inspiration. Successful creative photographers know inspiration is hard to come by which is why they choose their assignments carefully. For instance, they never take assignments just to make money. This is because they understand the importance of being in the right mind frame when working. This explains why they successful photographers don’t take assignments just to please clients. They have to feel inspired which doesn’t happen all the time.7. Create friction with event plannersSuccessful photographers also avoid creating friction with event planners at all cost. This has something to do with staying focused and being able to explore. Successful photographers understand the important role event planners play in their success. They provide photographers with the necessary support they need to do a great job. For instance, event planners obviously have a lot of influence in things like venue setup which can affect the final outcome of creative photography. In order to increase the chances of doing a perfect job, successful photographers will do everything they can to maintain good rapport with event planners.8. Try to be the life of an eventThis is another mistake successful photographers never make. Successful photographers understand exactly what their job is in any event. They know their work is simply capturing memorable times. This explains why they never go overboard trying to interact too much with guests. Amateur photographers always make this mistake which shifts their concentration affecting their creativity. Events are not held for photographers. You shouldn’t therefore try to network, entertain guests or do anything outside your job description because you will end up losing focus and affecting your creativity.9. Doing everything themselvesSuccessful photographers have also learned to concentrate on their core work which explains why they don’t do everything themselves. As mentioned above, creative photography is all about concentration and focus. When these two ingredients are missing, it is very hard for a photographer to remain creative. Doing too much at once definitely shifts focus and concentration.10. Ignore the internetFinally, successful photographers never underestimate the power of the internet. Part of the reason successful photographers become so successful is recognizing what works and what doesn’t. The internet can be very great source of inspiration for photographers looking for new creative ideas. Although creative photography is more about originality, successful photographers know how important the internet is in offering creative ideas which is why they never ignore it.ConclusionIn summary, the above information should help aspiring photographers avoid common pitfalls that can easily stall their creative photography careers. Although there may be many other professional photography taboos, the above information is adequate enough to guide amateur photographer in the right direction.

For more valuable information about a host of other types of special effects and trick photography that can easily be performed, you may join my mailing list ([]) or you can visit my photography blog ([]).A mailing list will keep you up to date with the latest techniques and equipment that is used in creating all types of photography from around the world.