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.

What Your Wedding Photographer Wants to Tell You, But Can’t

It’s no secret that all couples are continuously on the lookout for a professional photographer, who is capable of taking the pinnacle in perfect wedding photos, and the chances are, your wedding photographer would like the opportunity in order to capture your special day and provide you with those perfect wedding photos too. The key to amazing photos is purely down to communication. And unfortunately, since not all professional wedding photographers may not want to tell you what they truly think (out of politeness), this article is here to do it for them.

Nevertheless, the need to be flexible is still there

Your wedding photographer doesn’t own a crystal ball.Although they wish that they did, your wedding photographer is unable to read your mind and anticipate what it is that you really want. This means it’s your responsibility to be upfront and tell them exactly what you want and the things that you don’t want. It’s recommended to provide your photographer with a short list of photographs that you would like from your special day.Photographers are not magicians.Your wedding photographer will do their best to get the shots that you want, but they are unlikely to make your wedding look like it’s come out of a high-end movie. You may have also seen something on Pinterest that you like, even though it’s great to have inspiration, your photographer is an artist and may be reluctant to copy another photographer’s work, so don’t expect your wedding photographs to be identical to someone else’s.You can just Photoshop that out, right?It all depends on what ‘that’ is. Your wedding photographer will want to get everything as perfect as physically possible on camera. Location scouting, posing, and camera settings are able to ‘fix’ most things before the click of the shutter.

Location scouting, posing, and camera settings are able to ‘fix’ most things before the click of the shutter

However, if a family member decides to inappropriately photo bomb you during your shoot, your photographer will want to retake the photograph again. It’s far easier to get your wedding photo right the first time than to fix it with Photoshop later. Many photographers will often charge for extensive levels of Photoshop editing, as the process can be extremely time-consuming.Allow your wedding photographer plenty of time.Timelines and plenty of planning will make your photographer very happy.

Nevertheless, your photographer should always make you feel comfortable and relaxed and suggest positions and poses that look and most importantly, feel natural to you and your partner

Nevertheless, the need to be flexible is still there. To get that perfect shot may require some time, which make take longer than you originally thought. For quality photographs, don’t rush your photographer! If you want your photographer to capture most of the coverage in Documentary, Candid style then any timeframe is fine.Don’t forget to clean up!When your wedding photographer is due to take photos of the bride and groom getting ready for their special day, don’t forget to clean up! Half eaten breakfast serial, spilt fresh orange and empty coffee cups aren’t something you want to spot on your photographs.It’s unlikely that you will see each and every single photo that was taken.The truth behind this matter is that you probably don’t want to see each and every single photograph. A wedding photographer’s job is to filter through all of your photographs and select only the best ones. These photos will then go through the painstaking task of finely editing them. Editing over a 1,000 (if not far more) photos will not happen.The importance of being flexible.Your wedding photographer understands that you most probably don’t wish to spend your entire day taking a multitude of different photos. But if there is a unique moment that presents itself, it’s highly recommended that you go with it.Make sure that you make me look good on my wedding photos.The truth of the matter is, sometimes couples discover that they absolutely despise their wedding photos, either it’s because of the position they are in, or the odd grimace smile that they held. Nevertheless, your photographer should always make you feel comfortable and relaxed and suggest positions and poses that look and most importantly, feel natural to you and your partner. If you are in a pose that feels unnatural, communicate with your photographer, (although you may have chosen wrong photographer), everybody must feel comfortable else it will show through on the photos. Remember to always relax and make sure that you leave extra time between your photo shoot and your next thing on your list so that you don’t feel rushed. Every wedding is different. Some prefer to have the shoot of the day in a Documentary candid way, some are OK to have some sort of setup photos, so how much time you need it’s really up to you, but also ask your photographer if their style of photography require more time or less. Make sure that you get plenty of sleep the night before your big day, drink plenty of water and avoid the hangovers so that you look full of energy, bright, and cheery for your photographs!Your service seems a little expensive. Can I get a discount?Unknown to many people, wedding photographers perform a LOT of work. It’s not all about pressing a finger on a button in order to gain the best photographs. There is all the pre-planning that is involved, getting the equipment, travel, editing, and much more.I want my wedding photos to look like my friend’s wedding photos; they look like they were taken on old film.It’s important to remember that each and every photographer has their own unique and personal way of editing their photographs using computer software. This is process is called “Post-Processing.” It’s not uncommon for photographers to do some form of basic lighting and colour adjustments. There are many great styles, not only ‘old film’ that look absolutely stunning on wedding photos, why not consider a clean, lightly processed photo in order to appear natural or how about a matte low-contrast appearance with muted pastel colours? You may even wish to go with high contrast photographs for rich colours that pop! Whatever style of photography you prefer, always remember they will never be identical to another photographer, each photographer has their own style! So be sure you like it before hiring them.Sorry, but can I book you last minute?Professional wedding photographers are always in high-demand and it’s very rare that they can just show up last minute to your wedding. It’s recommended to book your wedding photographer up to 6 to 12 months in advance to ensure that you book the photographer that you want. As your wedding date approaches, you’ll find it more and more difficult to book your first-choice wedding photographer. If your preferred wedding photographer is unavailable on the date of your wedding, don’t panic and don’t stress! Simply ask them for any recommendations. A photographer will no doubt know of someone who has a similar style for your day.

Professional photographer and web designer since 1992. Photography and web designs have been our passion for many years and after studying in Europe we have moved and open our business here in Melbourne Australia.Wedding Photographer MelbourneMelbourne Wedding Photographer

10 Tips On How To Make Sure Your Wedding Photographer Is A Professional

Wedding photography is an exciting field with many photographic hobbyists looking to make some extra money on the side providing cheap wedding photography.After paying hundreds for just the dress alone, never mind the church, the flowers, the reception and all of the food and drink. It’s very tempting to book a cheap wedding photographer; after all, the photography is probably the last thing you want to think about.Choosing your wedding photographer is the most important thing to do when planning your wedding.

This is to protect you from anything that can go wrong and also so you know exactly what you are getting

In fact it should be the first thing you do.First-class wedding photographers get booked up months in advance so don’t leave it to the last minute to book. However saying that, there could be a few dates not booked, so give them a ring and see if your date is free.Obviously everyone wishes for the dress to be beautiful, the flowers stunning, the food to be delicious and the reception to be charming. The wedding photographer, however, really should be one of the top things on your list of essential items.If you choose a poor quality wedding photographer, it will be felt in every photograph that you look at.Nothing is more significant than your wedding photography. Why’s that? Well, just think about it – what happens when your wedding is over? The flowers are dead, the dress gets freeze-dried (or whatever it is the cleaners do) and put in a box, the cake is eaten, and a year after your wedding you won’t even remember what you ate. All you’ll have left from this day are your memories – and your photos are the doorway to those memories.

If it’s good then they can be trusted, if not then don’t trust them, think of it as a confidence rating

Down to the tips:1. Does the photographer have many different photographs from the same wedding to show you?I’d be concerned if they were all from the same wedding. Proper professional photographers have taken wedding photographs for many different brides and that should reflect in their work.On the other hand if you only see one photograph from each wedding I would suspect that the photographer only gets one good picture from the whole day.You need to know that they are consistent and have taken photographs at many different weddings with at least three different pictures from each wedding in their gallery or book.

Why’s that? Well, just think about it – what happens when your wedding is over? The flowers are dead, the dress gets freeze-dried (or whatever it is the cleaners do) and put in a box, the cake is eaten, and a year after your wedding you won’t even remember what you ate

As an average guide, photographs from three recent weddings are appropriate.2. Does the photographer listen to you? A photographer that talks all the time about how great they are is someone you should be wary of. If a professional is not prepared to listen to you then they are not very professional, I mean how do they know what you are looking for? 3. Do you actually like this person? You will be spending the most important day of your life with a stranger, make sure you like them. If the photographer’s personality clashes with yours, you could be in for an unhappy day – or at least an awkward one.Why risk being unhappy on the most important day of your life? That’s why reading the photographer’s personality is, in my opinion, more important than analyzing their portfolio. Will they be officious? Offensive? Aloof? When you talk with a prospective photographer, get a feel for them and see if they are someone you’d want to be friends with.
If the answer is “yes”, then put them high on your list!A Professional has style. A professional photographer will have a distinct style and taste. The photographs may be in black and white or in colour; you may see lots of manipulation in the images or none.An amateur photographer posing as a professional will not have much of a style. Their images will look uninteresting and vulgar. If their style is all over the place then you can bet your life that they are not professionals.What are the images like?
Are the images flat?
Too dark or too light?
Can you see the details on the wedding dress or is it just a white blob?
Do the people in the pictures look awkward or distracted?
Do the group photographs look messy?
Are the backgrounds in the pictures cluttered?
Do the backgrounds compete for attention for the people in the picture?
Are the people looking at the camera?
Do they still have their heads?If you answer yes to these questions then I would say that the photographer is not a professional.
There are exceptions though; with the Photojournalistic style, most people in the pictures are not looking at the camera and the backgrounds can be a little distracting.Also ask the photographer where the photograph was taken; sometimes they have done the best that they can do. This is especially true with registrar weddings, where the registry offices are usually situated in or near industrial areas where the backgrounds are not very pretty anyway.4. Does the photographer seem professional?This is the most difficult one to gauge as many people know to dress smartly and it’s easy to learn the technicality of the camera, the terminology to explain the photographs and sell their presentation.You can never know for sure but there are a few pointers:5. Ask them if they do photography as a full time career?
i. If they answer yes then it’s one point in their favour.
ii. If they say no, then ask them what else they do. If it’s a completely different field, like building or office work, then they aren’t a professional photographer, they will have nothing to lose if they mess up the photographs of your wedding.6. How long have they been in business?i. Anything under a year is suspect, mainly because they will probably not have enough experience with professionally covering weddings outside the seminars and courses.ii. Two to three years is good, the photographer has probably had enough wedding experience to know what to expect and how to deal with any situations that may arise.iii. Anything over three years is very good (as long as it is their full time employment) as it shows that they are doing pretty well and they should have a good reputation.Ask about the photographer with your friends and acquaintances; see what reputation they have achieved. If it’s good then they can be trusted, if not then don’t trust them, think of it as a confidence rating.7. How many weddings have they photographed?i. This is important, if they give you a figure under 20 then be on your guard and take all of the other answers into account when finally deciding on whether to book them or not, especially take into account how many years they have been in business. If they have only done 20 weddings in two years, then perhaps you shouldn’t book them. 20 is a very low number of weddings for two years; you can expect an expert photographer on average to photograph at least 20 weddings per year.ii. If they give you a figure over 200 and they’ve been in business for only a couple of years then they are blatantly lying. There is no possible way for them to have covered so many weddings in two years.iii. For a business that has been operating for two years, a reasonable figure for weddings covered is 60.8. Does the photographer go on seminars and courses if so which ones?i. If they haven’t been on any courses or to seminars and say that they are completely self-taught, then they are definitely amateur photographers. Professional photographers frequently attend seminars and courses to keep fresh, and their skills honed to a fine point.ii. If they have been on a few courses when they started up then they are not committed to quality and excellence within their photography and probably cut corners a lot. Be wary of these.iii. If they attend general courses, not specific to wedding photography then question their commitment to their craft.iv. If they go on specialist courses on wedding photography quite often, then excellent! This proves that they are committed and focused on their craft.I frequently attend specialist courses on specific styles of wedding photography. This is to keep me fresh and at the peak of my profession. I do learn from books and practise often but you can only get so far learning by yourself and there is absolutely no substitute for hands on experience and training.9. Does the photographer have a contract?A photographer who doesn’t have a contract is not to be trusted. If you purchase any kind of service, from plumbing to photography there must be a contract. This is to protect you from anything that can go wrong and also so you know exactly what you are getting. The contract can either be long and complicated or short and sweet.The photography contract guards against a photographer not completing their end of the bargain. It also protects you from them taking your money and running. It also allows you a legal entitlement to the service you have paid for and also tells you what you are allowed to do with the photographs. The contract should also have a section attached which tells the photographer all of the details of the wedding.10. Does the photographer ask you about the photographs that you would like taken on the day, do they ask you about family relationships and family politics?The photographer should ask you about the photographs that you would like on the day, a wedding is a great event that gathers together many estranged family members and there is usually only this day to photograph them all together. Many relatives will be coming from far flung places and the photographer must know to get these important people.A wedding is a very emotionally charged event and the photographer should ask and know about any potential problems between family members so they don’t start any fights.As well as knowing all of this, the photographer should ask for a liaison within the wedding party, it’s usually an usher from both sides of the family, some one who knows all of the family members by sight. Remember the photographer has probably never met your family before so appointing them someone who knows everyone that will be there is paramount to getting everyone you would like photographed in the right place at the right time.Price: “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!”I honestly wouldn’t look at your photography budget the same way I would look at the budget for example; your wedding dress.
You might get lucky and find a cheap and talented photographer for under £500 for a whole day coverage, but like most things in life you get what you pay for and you will most likely end up with nothing like you asked for, poor quality, badly composed photographs or no photographs at all!
If you can find the budget to move out of the bottom range and into the next level (say, £500 to £1,000 for half day coverage) you will expand your choices of truly professional photographers greatly and you will no doubt end up with gorgeous photographs that last a lifetime.
If you move to the next level (say, £2,000 – £4,000) your choices expand exponentially, because now you’re not limited to the photographers in your local market, you can begin to source from photographers that are willing to travel nationwide.
The price of the service is obviously important to you, as you have probably already spent thousands on the wedding itself. There is no point scrimping on the photography. As mentioned above, everything else gets eaten, forgotten or put into storage, the photography pretty much the only thing you will have from your day to show everyone.Everyone has a budget, try your best to stretch that budget and book a professional photographer for as long as you can get them, you won’t regret it.

Michelle Jones an expert photographer who also works and owns works for Ludlow Photographer, specialising in Portraiture, B2B and PR event editorial photographyShe has been taking professional Photographs for over 10 years and is highly commended for her work. Michelle takes photographs in both classical and contemporary style.[] – Website

The Seven Biggest Mistakes Brides Make When Choosing Their Wedding Photographer

1. THEY DON’T REALIZE HOW IMPORTANT THEIR PHOTOS WILL BECOME (By not realizing this, they make wrong choices to begin with)Why Your Wedding Photographs are The MOST IMPORTANT part of your wedding day (after saying I do!)Years from now you will look back on your wedding day and hopefully have lots of photographs to remind you of not only what happened, but also the feelings you may have had. A good photographer will capture the moments, expressions, and situations that reveal thoughts and feelings that will be triggered for years to come through photos.As the years go by it is most likely you won’t have anything but your photos to remember the day by.

Don’t be turned away because your budget doesn’t match their published prices

(You may have your dress and maybe a trinket or two, but most likely, even your dress will probably be in a box or covered up somewhere in a closet.!Consider this: When faced with eminent disaster that destroys homes or the possibility of such a disaster, everyone grabs their most prized possessions, which ALWAYS includes their photographs. They don’t reach for their wedding dress, or frozen cake or even copies of their wedding invitations, they take all of their photographs, if they are lucky and if they can.The reception center, the cake, the flowers, the bridesmaid’s dresses, all of it will be gone!Fortunately, most of us never have to try to save our photographs from a flood, fire or hurricane, but as time passes we will still treasure them and count them among our most cherished possessions.In most cases, ALL that will be left will be your wedding album, full of the most precious moments, images of moments, friends, family and the irreplaceable memories from one of the most important days of your life!Now you have a feeling of how important your images will be to you and your family. Now you can see why it is so important to make sure you know how to not only choose the right photographer, but also insure that you end up with what you will be happy with.IT IS CRITICAL TO MAKE SOME GOOD DECISIONS WHENWHO AND HOW YOUR WEDDING WILL BE PHOTOGRAPHED.2.

THEY DON’T GET ALONG WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHER**REMEMBER THIS EVEN IF YOU DON’T REMEMBER ANYTHING ELSE (OFTEN IGNORED BY MOST BRIDE AND GROOMS)Once you have determined the photographer(s) you are considering (by their work and the samples they show you) you must now think of the actual day and how close you will be working with this individual

THEY CHOOSE THEIR PHOTOGRAPHER BASED ON SOMEONE’S ELSE’S OPINION ALONEThis is YOUR wedding. While it is good to have help and recommendations, make sure that the photographer you choose is the one YOU want. Take time to talk to them, see their work, and understand who they are and how they work.Consider your friend’s or someone whose wedding photos and albums that really made an impression on you.Call the photographer and plan a time to talk one on one with them (phone or in person). Ask around.

Talk the photographer of your choice and let them know EXACTLY what you want – even if you don’t see the exact thing on their price sheet or website

Look on the Internet (type in, “wedding photographers California, for example if you live in California).Look at the photographer’s work and portfolios of other weddings they have done. Look for examples of work that best reflects what you like and want. You will know it when you see it.Most important make sure you are happy with your choice, remember this is YOUR wedding!3. THEY ARE MIS-MATCHED WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHERMatch your style with theirs. Please don’t expect or ask a photographer to do or be something other than what they are or what you see in their work….Ask the photographer what their style is. Are they traditional? Are they photojournalistic? Important to know, so you can match what you want with who they are.NOTE: If your wants (and your style) doesn’t match what they do, then politely thank them and go find one who is a better match. In the long run, you’ll be glad you did.You can tell a lot by looking at their work from their previous weddings.That’s not to say they can’t do what you want, but your chances of getting something other than what you really want to begin with, will be slim. It’s better to start with a photographer who matches closely in style and temperament what you have in mind.For example: being a good wedding photojournalist (documentary style) takes a certain discipline and expertise. If you choose a more traditional photographer, one not trained in documentary style and you expect him to do your wedding journalistic style, you will not be happy. It takes a certain mindset to focus on a specialty. That goes for any style you choose.You will be happier if you match your style with theirs. If a photographer can see that your styles don’t match, most will politely bow out or suggest another photographer that more closely matches your wants.Ask any question that you want. You’ll be glad you did. If you don’t, you may end up wishing you had. And, remember there are no questions too silly or naïve to ask.Be patient if you end up talking to several before you make your final decision. If you feel pressured at all, perhaps you should step back for a day or two and decide if this is really the person for you.IMPORTANT NOTE: Find a photographer who specializes in weddings only. This is not to say other photographers won’t or can’t do a good job; it just reasons that since this is such an important job, you’d want a specialist. (Remember number one above).4. THEY DON’T GET ALONG WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHER**REMEMBER THIS EVEN IF YOU DON’T REMEMBER ANYTHING ELSE (OFTEN IGNORED BY MOST BRIDE AND GROOMS)Once you have determined the photographer(s) you are considering (by their work and the samples they show you) you must now think of the actual day and how close you will be working with this individual. The personality of the photographer should match you and your party. Hey, do you like the person?It may sound kind of simple and ridiculous to put so much weight on this, but if you have never worked closely with a photographer for any length of time (most people haven’t), you’ll quickly learn otherwise.If you love their work but don’t really “gel” with them, forget it. Choose someone else. If you are not comfortable with who you work with, you will not be comfortable when the photos are taken and as a result, you will not get the best photographs. Why take a chance? It is not worth it.You are inviting this individual into one of the most intimate and special days of your life. They will witness (and professionally capture) some of the most tender and special, moments of your life. They will glimpse into the innermost part of your life. You will feel more comfortable with someone you like and trust and get better images because of it.Hopefully once you have established a comfortable feeling and relationship with them, you will have the opportunity to spend some time getting to know them a little before the big day. Most photographers worth their salt will also insist on getting to know you before hand.You are going to trust this person(s) with an event that is so special, the images and feelings will last forever. Great wedding photographers will see things, do things and witness things that average photographers will often miss.If the photographer is not in sync with you and your groom, he will most likely miss the shots that make the difference. Remember you want a photographer that will capture “the special moments”. There are no “perfect” photographs, only “perfect’ moments.IMPORTANT NOTE: Find a photographer who specializes in weddings only. This is not to say other photographers won’t or can’t do a good job; it just reasons that since this is such an important job, you’d want a specialist.**Most brides are happier if they go with their instinct and intuition on this one.5. THEY ASSUME THE PHOTOGRAPHER CAN READ MINDSAfter you have established that you are compatible with the photographer and happy with his style of work and are excited to see him (or her) do their magic!Make sure you sit down with the photographer and let them in on who is coming and who is important and who you want in. Most professionals will make a point of doing this. You wouldn’t want to have a gung-ho photographer who might know the groom and his family and end up with tons of photos of them and only a few of your family. (OUCH).Make sure they know who is coming. When choosing your style make sure you all understand what will happen and when. You would hate to get to the end and find out that no formal shots were taken of family (your 90 year old grandma included), only to discover that your photographer “rarely or never” takes traditional shots, when that’s what you want……Remember:a). Don’t assume anything.b). Talk about what you want and what your expectations are.c). If you want it included, ask for it! (Usually best to discuss it before hand, if possible).Talk about the timing of the wedding day, when everything starts, when each event is scheduled to begin and end. Including who is going to where and when. If Aunt Susie is only going to be at the ceremony and not the reception, you should let the photographer know, so that she can be included (if that is what you want)Ask how long the photographer is planning on staying (unfortunately some packages only include so many hours) That’s not how I think it should be done, that doesn’t make it bad or good, just be aware, so you get what you want.Everyone will be happier if they are on the same page as far as what to expect and when. Find out how long is typical after the wedding to see proofs and expect an album or DVD or whatever it is you have agreed upon.Communication is critical – DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS AT ANY STAGE OF THE PROCESS6. THEY CHOOSE A PHOTOGRAPHER ON PRICE ALONELETS TALK BUDGET AND MONEY (How much should I pay?)The internet makes it so easy to shop by price…..REMEMBER, while budget is important, price shopping makes the thing you are shopping for a commodity. And commodities fall into a category that says “all things are the same, find the best price – which makes sense when you are shopping for a car or a certain brand name item…..Not all wedding photographers are the same, not even close! WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT A COMMODITY.IF QUALITY IS IMPORTANT TO YOU AND PRICE ALONE IS YOUR CONSIDERATION YOU WILL REGRET GOING WITH THE CHEAPEST. (RE-READ NUMBER ONE ABOVE).Establish a budget range to start with (have one in mind).Realize that “insisting on a specific price” at least at first, may limit what you get. Talk the photographer of your choice and let them know EXACTLY what you want – even if you don’t see the exact thing on their price sheet or website.Let them know you love their work and what range of budget you are working with. Don’t be turned away because your budget doesn’t match their published prices.The better photographers will seldom come down on their prices, but they may offer additional items, terms or considerations that will make the difference in it being affordable to you. It never hurts to ask.REMEMBER THE PRICE WILL LONG BE FORGOTTEN WHEN YOU CHERISH YOUR WEDDING ALBUMS IN THE FUTURE……….ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE HAPPY WITH THEM.I can’t tell you how many brides regret not figuring out a way to pay for the photographer they really want. They usually don’t feel this until after they agree on a “cheaper photographer” and then when they see what they get, they regret it big time. Years later (sometimes even days after the wedding) they say, “I wish I would have gone with so and so. But, then it’s too late. Please don’t make that mistake! There are no “do-overs”.MAKE SURE YOU TALK TO THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND FIGURE OUT A WAY TO SAY YES!DON’T FALL INTO THE TRAP OF USING THAT “SAVING MONEY” MENTALITY WHEN CHOOSING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER – this is a definite example of (in most cases) YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!THIS IS NOT AN AREA TO GO CHEAP ON! (Don’t believe me? Ask around, sadly, it is not that uncommon).BE AWARE: There are plenty of inexpensive wedding photographers out there…and (surprise) most are NOT GOOD and you will NOT BE HAPPYTIP MOST OFTEN GIVEN FROM BRIDES(After the wedding):”When you think about who is going to do your wedding photography, think “VALUE” not price. Don’t focus on what it “costs”, Focus on what it’s “worth”, you’ll regret it if you don’t”.(As we all know, a wedding done well, will be priceless!) Oh ya, and don’t forget number one above.7. THEY ARE “SOLD” THE WRONG “PACKAGE”Were you “sold” a certain package or did you “buy” a certain package?In some cases you are “sold” a package you don’t really want. Remember you are the customer and you are the one trying to find the right and perfect match in a photographer. Don’t let anyone “sell” you a package your not happy with.Find out if the photographer offers packages (Most offer packages as a starting place) and how they might fit in with your budget ideas.Also find out if you can “add” or “customize” your package. Often there are images you may want, that aren’t “in the budget” and you want the choice to have them if you can. Don’t forget that parents, grandparents, kids and often siblings, want images (even guest do sometimes-especially if the photographer took their picture).Some options may include figuring out the final price based on the images you choose AFTER you see what they are. You are in control with this option, you can choose as many or few as you want. (I like this option). Then you can spend as much (or as little) as you want and it’s okay, because you are getting what you want and it’s entirely your choice.Some photographers charge a flat fee to shoot and then charge depending on what albums and the number of images you choose (which makes it easier for most people and you don’t feel like you were sold a predetermined package or number of images, before they were even taken-which has never made sense to me). This way you are the one who determines what you end up with. Some also include only the images you choose, regardless of number.Remember, you may choose to have an album or two made up for parents, grandparents or friends….you may want to consider these options after you see the final products, don’t be afraid to ask at anytime.Explore options with your photographer, the good ones will bend over backwards to please you. This is their craft, their profession. They take great pride in happy results. They are artists and want their customers to LOVE the images AND the experience.Remember that whoever you choose, they are choosing you too. The better photographers will turn down a request to film a wedding if they can see that their style is not in sync with yours.Don’t be afraid to look around and talk to several different photographers, remember this is YOUR DAY and you are in charge and you have the final say!Have a great wedding experience and cherish it forever with great images captured by the professional wedding photographer you choose. Chances are, you will form a friendship with the photographer, that will last a lifetime!

Written by Marty Collins, a US based fine-art wedding photographer who travels worldwide filming brides and their special events. He can be reached at:

Selecting Your Wedding Photographer

You’ve set the date, booked the Church and the Reception Hall, and now it’s time to select your photographer. Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap that some unfortunate Bride and Grooms do by enlisting a friend or relative to take their wedding photographs. Remember, this is a once in a lifetime event that can’t be repeated, and unless the person you’ve selected to capture your special memories is photographing weddings every week, chances are pretty good they simply don’t have the expertise or equipment to do the job properly.

You’ll see how the gardens will be planted and what flowers are out

You’ve already spent a fortune on your dress, the flowers, the banquet hall, and everything else that makes the day so special, so it simply does not make sense to not get a professional photographer to look after your photographic needs for the day. If a friend or relative offers their services to you as their photographer, and unless they have wedding photography experience, it is best to use them only as a “second photographer” on the day of the wedding. By “second photographer”, I mean a photographer that stays in the background and simply shoots candid shots throughout the day. That way you won’t be ruining a friendship if the shots don’t turn out as you had hoped. By hiring a professional, one who does wedding photography for a living, you know you’ll get great keepsakes of your wedding day. Plus, the pressure will be off your friend or relative to “deliver the goods”.If you haven’t started looking around for a photographer at least a year in advance of your wedding day, you should do so as soon as possible. As a general rule, you should begin your search anywhere from ten to sixteen months prior to the date.

And don’t forget to shop around

Why so early? The best photographers book up early, and since they can only shoot one wedding a day, once they are booked, that day is gone.Before visiting a photographer, it’s a good idea to sit down with your better half and decide on what you would like in the way of photographs on your wedding day.One of the first things to consider is the style of photography. Do you prefer candid shots (completely unposed with no direction from the photographer), the more traditional photography (where the photographer controls everything from posing to lighting), the uncandid candid (where the photographer has made the pose look natural, so that it looks completely unposed, or almost candid), or a combination of all styles? It is very important that you are clear with your photographer about which style of photography that you prefer, otherwise you may be disappointed in the results. When visiting various photographers, be sure to see works from a complete wedding, rather than samples from many weddings. This will give you a good idea of the style of photography that the photographer prefers, as well as a good indication of the photographer’s talents and expertise in lighting.

If a friend or relative offers their services to you as their photographer, and unless they have wedding photography experience, it is best to use them only as a “second photographer” on the day of the wedding

The next step in your journey of selecting a photographer is to know how much you would like to spend on the photography coverage of your wedding. Questions that you should ask yourself are: How long will I need the photographer for on the day of the wedding (often times you can save money by not having the photographer stay for the full reception coverage)? Would I like one or two photographers providing coverage (a second photographer usually concentrates on candid moments alone, so if you like candid photography, you should definitely consider having a second photographer—one photographer, no matter how experienced, simply can’t be in two places at the same time)? What would I like included in my photography package in the way of prints, wall portraits, albums, thank you cards? Would I like the negatives or digital negatives (high resolution image files) so that I can do all the printing myself? In photography, as with any other product or service, you generally get what you pay for. There is usually a good reason why one photographer will charge more for what appears to basically be the same thing. There may be hidden costs involved, such as mileage, or number of hours coverage, or limits on the number of photos taken that day. One photographer may have considerably less experience and expertise in photographing weddings. Some photographers simply charge less because they take wedding photographs as a part time hobby and work full time at another unrelated job. Ask yourself, do you really want to trust your memories to someone who does not make their livelihood and stake their reputation on photographing weddings? Decide in advance how important your wedding photographs are to you, and budget accordingly. When calling photographers to make viewing appointments of their work, be sure to ask their price ranges. A reputable photographer will tell you up front their price ranges. There is no sense in wasting your time, or the photographer’s time for that matter, if their price range is beyond your budget.When meeting with the various photographers, it is important that both you and your fiance attend. Since you both will be working with the photographer for the good part of the day, it is vitally important that you feel relaxed with the person and you both like their work. Be sure to ask about their experience in photographing weddings. Just like any line of work, it can take a wedding photographer several years of shooting weddings before they have mastered the art. Keep in mind that a photographer can only shoot one wedding a day, and since the majority of weddings take place on a Saturday, and most weddings occur over the same six month period, a photographer with a year of two of experience may have actually only shot a handful of weddings over a one or two year period. Be sure to ask them how many weddings they have photographed over the years. If you are planning to have a lot of your photographs taken indoors, ask the photographer what type of lighting they will use. A good photographer will be able to set up portable studio strobe lighting for any formal shots indoors throughout the day. On camera flash for indoor formal shots will not provide the results that you would expect when hiring a professional.Ask if the photographer is a member of any professional photographic organizations. This can tell you right away if the photographer that you are dealing with is reputable. Most photographic organizations that professional photographers are members of will require the photographer pass a stringent test and adhere to guidelines in order to become a member. They also require that the photographer abide to a list of proper business practices. Reputable photographic organizations include the PPA (Professional Photographers of America), WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International), PPOC (Professional Photographers of Canada). And don’t forget, just because a photographer may specialize in commercial or fashion photography, it does not mean that they can handle the riggers and stress of a wedding shoot. It is important that the photographer that you select is a specialist in weddings.An experienced photographer will have backup equipment for every piece of gear that they own. This includes cameras, lenses, flashes, strobe lighting. The last thing that you want to hear on your wedding day is that there is something wrong with the camera and they don’t have another one with them!If your photographer works with an assistant, it will save you time and energy on your wedding day. A good assistant will fix dresses, speed things up with lighting setups, and even help the Bride with her dress and flowers when moving from location to location.If you are dealing with a large photo studio, they may have several different photographers on staff who shoot weddings. Be sure to see the work of the photographer that will be shooting your wedding and meet with that person prior to booking. You don’t want any surprises on the day of the wedding!Depending upon the type of wedding that you are having, you may want to check on how the photographer that will be shooting your wedding will be attired. Some photographers may feel that they can shoot your wedding in shorts and a T-shirt! This might be fine for some types of weddings, but if you are planning a formal affair, do you really want your photographer dressed casually?Unless you have a specific location in mind for wedding pictures, it is always a good idea to ask the various photographers you visit about the venues they prefer for photos. Since this location will be used as the backdrop for the majority of your photos, it is very important that you love the setting. Look at samples of the spot in the photographer’s sample book, then visit the location in person. It is an excellent idea to visit the recommended site about a year in advance of your wedding date. Why so early? The answer is simple. It will give you a good idea of how your outdoor location will look on your wedding day. You’ll see how the gardens will be planted and what flowers are out. And if you are able to visit the location on the same day of the week as your wedding will be, you’ll see how busy the venue is, especially if you visit at about the same time as you’ll be arriving for your photos. Some spots are very popular, so it might be common to see ten or more Brides and their entourages at the same location, at the same time. While some venues can accommodate large Bridal crowds, others are simply too small. If your park is crowded, you may want to consider another location for pictures.And don’t forget about parking. While finding a parking place may not be a problem for the Bride and Groom in their chauffeur driven limo, it may pose a problem for family members, the bridal party, and even the photographer. And last but not least, be sure to get the appropriate permits for use of the park.If your photographs are important to you, then be sure to give your photographer sufficient time throughout the day. This is one day in your life that you don’t want to be rushed. A good photographer will work with any time frame that they are given, however, the more time you are able to give the photographer, the better the results will be. Things that can easily put you behind schedule on your wedding day are: hair and makeup appointments (can put you an hour behind schedule at the start of the day), service at the Church (it will always start a little late and run a little long), a receiving line (remember, the line only moves as fast as the most talkative guest), traffic congestion and construction (when travelling from location to location), and trying to find missing relatives or members of the bridal party for photos.Perhaps the best way to find out about the various photographers is to ask friends and acquaintances, who have recently been married, who they used. Look at their albums and proofs. If you like their photos, then get the name of the photographer who did the work. A recommendation from someone you trust is always a good starting point when looking for a photographer.Be sure to visit several different photographers and take a good look at samples of their work. A good photographer will take an interest in your wedding and be asking you a variety of questions about your plans for the day, and offering suggestions to make your day go smoothly for you and save you time. And don’t forget to shop around. Selecting a photographer is not something you should do in a last minute rush. And remember, like any product or service, you generally get what you pay for, nothing more and nothing less!

John Smith is the Senior Photographer at Creative Visions Photography. John has been shooting weddings for over twenty-eight years, and has photographed over 1,000 weddings. John also teaches numerous Photography Courses, including the ever popular Wedding and Portrait Photography course to aspiring photographers at several Toronto area Schools. []

Top Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

Getting married is an amazing experience. It is a day filled with emotion, joy, happiness and sometimes a little sadness when a family member or friend who is no longer with us is not there to share our special day.As professional wedding photographers we know how stressful arranging your wedding day can be.

This is not a definitive guide, merely a general overview of what to look for

With so many photographers around, where do you start? What do you need to know when looking for a wedding photographer? With prices ranging from a few hundred pounds to many thousands, how do you know if they are right for you?It is a simple fact of life that with the arrival of digital cameras, many people now call themselves a “photographer”. Over recent years there has been an explosion of people offering their services as wedding photographers, many of who have never received any training, have no insurance, do not use professional equipment and do not have sufficient backups in place to cater for any eventuality.A professional photographer will have all of the above and this post is a quick “Help Guide” to the things to look for and the questions we recommend you ask when choosing a wedding photographer. Grab yourself a cuppa and get comfy. This is not a definitive guide, merely a general overview of what to look for.Looking for a Photographer:Personal Recommendations: Have you been to a wedding recently? What did your friends think of their photographer? As a Yorkshire wedding photographer the majority of our clients come from personal recommendations from either Bride and Grooms who have used us, or from Venues that know the quality of the work we produce and the fantastic value for money we offer.Google And Other Search Engines: A quick search on any of the major search engines will produce a mind numbing amount of choices. For example, if you type into Google the search terms “Wedding Photographer” it will return millions results. Simply going through each result would take you years, so as a general rule of thumb, stick with those on page 1 or page 2.

Chances are that your wedding photographer will spend more time with you than any of your other suppliers

The reason for this is simple: If they are on page 1 or 2 then they have taken the time to ensure that their website is well designed, optimised and placed, to ensure that their products or services are easy to find for prospective Bride and Grooms.Choosing A PhotographerAs soon as you have decided on a date, have booked your wedding venue and received confirmation then book all other services required for your wedding day as quickly as possible. Leaving it to the last minute to book your wedding photographer is not a good idea.Many Bride and Grooms start looking for their photographer the day they get engaged.Websites: The first thing to do is look at a photographers website but do NOT be fooled into thinking this is the be all and end all. Always concentrate on the images and not the website design.

It is a day filled with emotion, joy, happiness and sometimes a little sadness when a family member or friend who is no longer with us is not there to share our special day

These days for a few hundred pounds you can have a real classy looking website designed. Never forget that a website only shows the content that the photographer WANTS you to see. You will only generally see the best images, the ones they want to use to showcase their abilities so take a good look around the website. Have a look and see how many different weddings you can see. If there is only one or two, have they only photographed a few weddings? Also how much information does the photographer give you? Are they up front about their prices or do you have to go in and see them to find out how much they charge? Do they give you specific detailed information about their services?Also be VERY wary if they say they are a member of a “Professional Trade Organisation”. Some trade organisations only require photographers to pay an annual subscription fee to join then allow the photographer to use the Organisations logos on their website. Indeed some organisations have absolutely no joining requirements, you do not even have to own a camera and your Granny, who has no idea about photography, could join if she wanted. Do your homework and check out Trade Organisations carefully as they are not all the same.Some are for full time professionals only and Members are required to undergo evaluation, inspection and have insurance documents checked, others simply let you pay a nominal amount and declare you to be a “Professional Photographer”. Remember that the photography industry is not regulated and anyone can claim to be a “photographer”.Price: If it seems too good to be true, chances are it is! Many photographers just starting out tend to charge really low prices and only cover their costs. Many see your wedding as a way of building a portfolio of wedding images. Now this will not apply to all budget priced photographers but as a general rule of thumb, if the price seems really low, then there is a reason for it, so try and find out what it is.For many Bride and Grooms, price ends up being the determining factor. You spend hundreds, if not thousands on the dress, the venue charges a small fortune, then there are the cars, the Grooms attire, Bridesmaids dresses, the cake, the flowers – cutting costs on your wedding photography can result in poor wedding photographs resulting in huge disappointment and photographs of the day that you simply do not want to look at.Remember it is a one shot event – to get everyone back to retake the photographs will be time consuming and very expensive.Make An Appointment: Until you go meet the photographer, you will not be fully informed if they are the right person for the job. At the meeting ask to see photographs from AT LEAST five recent weddings. Ask if the photographer has worked at your venue before and if so ask if you can see some images from that wedding. Ask to see the demo albums – is there a good range to choose from? Does the photographer have letters of recommendation from previous clients, if so ask to see them. Does the photographer work from home or from a Studio?During this meeting there are some really important questions to ask, a few are detailed below:Q. How long have you been trading and how many weddings have you photographed? If the answer is “6 months and 2 weddings, both of them friends of the family who I did not charge because I need the experience and the images for my portfolio” – is this the right photographer for you?Q. Are you insured? All professional photographers should carry Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance. If they do not then tread carefully.Q. What are your prices, and what do I get in my package? Seems a silly question to ask right? Well no! There is nothing worse than handing over your hard earned cash only to find that after the wedding you are not getting what you thought you were. Is there an album in the package? How many hours coverage do you get? What additional products are included in the price? Does the price include image editing? Do you have an overtime fee if we run over?Q. Do you contract out your wedding photography service? Picture this scene….. you spend months researching photographers, finally decide on one, get them booked then on the wedding day, someone you have never met before turns up to photograph your big day. How are you going to feel? Angry?Make sure that the person you book with is the person who will attend and take your wedding photographs. Sounds simple I know but you will be surprised just how many photographers sub contract out their work to other, often inexperienced and uninsured, photographers.Q. Is this your full time job? Many photographers have full time jobs and photograph weddings on a part time basis so may not necessarily be available to answer your questions or emails during normal working hours. If you have a last minute question, it may take some time to get a response or you may not be able to schedule meeting times that are convenient to you.Q. Do you provide a written contract? It is absolutely critical that you receive a written contract detailing your exact expenditure and what products/services you are getting.Q. How many weddings do you cover per day? If the answer is anything other than ONE – be careful. Many photographers will cover more than one wedding a day and this can lead to problems at YOUR wedding. What if the first wedding runs late? This will mean that the photographer may be late to yours.Q. Can I see some of your work / view the demo albums? Make sure you have a good look at the photographers work. Look at image quality, look at album quality. Looking at images of babies, sunsets, buildings or family portraits will not give you any idea of their abilities as a wedding photographer. Also ask the question “Is this from a real wedding?”. You will be amazed just how many photographers use images taken on training days in their portfolios. They attend a training session where a Trainer sets up the shot then tells the photographer how to take it. The image may be amazing but can they reproduce it during a real wedding with all the pressure and stresses involved?Q. What backup equipment do you bring to the wedding?It never fails to amaze me that photographers still attend a wedding with only ONE camera! If that camera breaks down what are they going to do? Pop out their mobile phone and carry on shooting?Q. Do you do a pre-wedding site visit? Have you ever been to a wedding and when it comes to having the photographs taken, it is absolute chaos? Uncle John has gone to check in, Aunty Flo has nipped to the loo, your Best Man has popped to the bar. Surely the Bride and Groom should have been a bit more organised shouldn’t they? Well actually no!This is down to the photographer and not the happy couple. Site visits allows photographers to create a plan for the day and are a critical component to the overall planning of the day.Q. What “style” do you photograph in? There are different styles such as Traditional, Reportage, Photojournalistic, Fashion, Glamour – does the photographer photograph in the style YOU are wanting? Do they do it weekend in, weekend out, or are they trying to photograph in a way they may not necessarily do on a regular basis. Get this bit right and you will love your wedding photographs as you will receive what you expected. Get it wrong and you could end up hating them.Q. Will you put my wedding photographs online for our guests to see? The majority of photographers now do this as standard though some still do charge extra for it. Check if there any additional costs involved.Q. Do you do a pre-wedding meeting?A professional photographer will prefer to sit down with each and every Bride and Groom at some point before the big day to discuss the day itself. Topics covered may include things like what photographs are to be taken and where, any special requests by the Bride and Groom etc. This helps ensure that the day runs as smoothly as possible.Q. What will you wear when photographing my wedding?Again seems a silly question right? You will be surprised how many “professional” photographers turn up to photograph a wedding dressed in jeans, t-shirts and trainers. Smart business attire is the norm but do check!Booking Your Photographer:As soon as you have decided on the photographer who is going to cover your big day… PHONE THEM! It is not unusual for photographers to work on a “first come, first served” basis and there is nothing worse than doing all the hard work only to find that someone booked your date 2 hours earlier.Many photographers will require you to pay a retainer to secure the date. This will be either a fixed amount or a percentage of the total package price and will be deducted from your total photography costs.Remember: Make sure you get a written contract which details the amount you are paying and what you are getting.One final thing to think about: Personality. Chances are that your wedding photographer will spend more time with you than any of your other suppliers. Can you spend a whole day with them? Can you work with them for an extended period of time? This is a point that is often forgotten about!Hope this has helped and if you are getting married in the near future, I hope you have a wonderful day!Mark

Mark Pearson is a professional wedding photographer from Leeds, West Yorkshire. Trading since 1991, Mark offers a bespoke wedding photography service from his Studio. Further details may be viewed on his website: Wedding Photographer Yorkshire Mark Pearson or via his Yorkshire Wedding Photography blog

20 Tips on How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

How to choose a wedding photographerWith so many wedding photographers, so many prices, and styles choosing the right wedding photographer can become quite a big and unwieldy task for the modern coupleTo begin with, the internet makes things easier, because you can see lots of work side by side, but this does not immediately let you know the most important bits of information, which will in the end determine the best choice for you20 top tips for choosing a photographer#1 Who ever you choose, you must click with themA website will only go part of the way of finding out about attitude and the person.You will be with your wedding photographer, on your special day from dawn to dusk in some cases, inviting them into your dressing room, while you are getting ready. The photographer will then work with you and your family through the day. You need to find someone you trust, and get on with#2 Who ever you choose, you must click with themYes that’s point one! But it is point 2 as well.

Are there any surprises, or inconsistencies? Look at the quality of the work, does it match the website? Do you click with the photographer? Does the studio and business look efficient and organised?If the photographer is coming to you, ask them to bring a few complete albums, but remember they take up a lot of space and are bulky

Anyone shooting your wedding needs to get the best out of you, and this ultimately is a mix of communication, and camera craft. You need to be confident your wedding photographer can guide and instruct you and your family during the poses and group shots. If they make you smile, put you at your ease, the job is half done#3 Know that wedding photography is both a business and a vocationWedding photography is a business, and professional wedding photography is one of the hardest and stressful disciplines in the photography game. You need to choose a photographer, who is a good in business and photography. I am not talking about profits here; I am talking about the way they run the business. You need to look at the business and think – will they be here in 5 -10 years time, when I have lost my disk, and I want a re-print.#4 Can you communicate with them easilyLike all wedding suppliers, you need to know – can you communicate with them easily. A hotmail account and a mobile phone number are a giveaway. Look for a landline number, open in office hours.

Ask yourself – how quickly do they reply to e-mails, and at what time of the day

Ask yourself – how quickly do they reply to e-mails, and at what time of the day. However, remember we don’t work 7 days a week, and we don’t answer the phone if we are shooting a wedding. It is not uncommon for busy wedding photographers to take off a day in the weekWith a wedding photographer, you need to be clear on this issue, because unlike nearly all of the other vendors, you will be communicating a lot with the photographer a long time after the wedding#5 Choose what style you likeThere are a number of different styles of wedding photography ranging between stiff and formal, through to totally documentary (nothing at all set up). There are also photographers that pull in aspects of other photographic disciplines such as fashion, fine art, avant-garde etc.

If you see this, go to the website, and find out how the photographer joins, and find out if it is merely a commercial organisation that promotes photographers, or a genuinely educative organisation promoting excellent photography

. On top of that, there are a number of ways the photographs are processed, ranging from standard colour, black and white to totally gimmicky processing.Before you seriously look at choosing a photographer, choose the style you want first#6 Matching a photographer to the style you wantThis is obvious, but more often than not, the photographer is chosen for another reason, and their style is foisted on the couple. You need to know that good professional photographers can change the style they shoot a little from shoot to shoot. However you do not want to choose a formal photographer to shoot a reportage style etc. Most of us are in the middle, and lean one way or the other.Look at the photographers work, try and look at whole weddings if they are available, and if many weddings are available to view, look to see that the photographer does shoot in the way you want.#7 Portfolio shots are different to general wedding photographsPhotographers choose images for their portfolios because they are either the best of the best, or they fit a certain format, or both. They tend to be dramatic, show stopping images. The 99.9% of the images the wedding photographer shoots are the ones you need to be interested in..#8 RecommendationsNothing is better than a recommendation, but nothing is worse than an unqualified recommendation. If someone recommends any wedding supplier or wedding photographer to you, then you need to know: have they actually shot the wedding yet? What is the relationship between the photographer and the person doing the recommending? I am often approached by venues, wanting a 10% cut, so that they can recommend me. I always say no. This goes on a lotIf you get a recommendation from a happy couple, who have had the album, and enjoyed the service provided from start to finish, then go with it, but still ensure you like the person and style.#9 DeliverablesGetting the wedding photographs shot is the most important thing. If you have little money, invest in getting the day covered before investing in products.All other products – albums, canvases, prints – need to be considered separately. What is the photographer’s attitude to longevity, and quality in the products? Your wedding album should last generations if it is made properly, and will last a few years if poor quality materials are used. Consider this to be an investment.Do a little research first – find out about acid free materials and pigments, and why using them is important.On the subject of deliverables, find out how reprints, albums and products are delivered, and if online galleries are provided, and if reprints can be purchased online.#10 Get a short list and have a meetingIf you can get a very short list of photographers, and go and meet them at their studio. At the meeting you need to cover a few key things. Look at complete wedding albums. Are there any surprises, or inconsistencies? Look at the quality of the work, does it match the website? Do you click with the photographer? Does the studio and business look efficient and organised?If the photographer is coming to you, ask them to bring a few complete albums, but remember they take up a lot of space and are bulky.With sample albums, expect to see fingerprints, dings and the like, they tend to get carted from pillar to post, and lots of people thumb through them.#11 Make sure the photographer shooting your wedding is the photographer you are booking There are a number of industry practices you need to be aware of: Firstly there are networks of photographers, run from a head office. You may look at the website and see stunning images, but that doesn’t mean the local chap they send is any good.Secondly, A small number of unscrupulous photographers actually use stock images or copy images from other photographers sites. This is done to defeat the chicken and egg problem that photographers have when they are starting out and have no portfolio.Thirdly, a number of the better photographers actually run their businesses like hairdressing salons – i.e. the name on the door is the award winning hairdresser, you can pay so much for the junior, and a little more for the executive, and the full rate for the owner – however the style book contains only the best work from whoever.#12 Award winning photographersThere are 1000’s of awards, and nowadays all photographers seem to be award winning. If they are saying this – find out what award, what photograph, and when. Don’t be too swayed by awards, look at results – real wedding photographs in albums, and use your own eyes and judgment.#13 Professional qualifications / letters after namesBe very clear to find out exactly what the letters mean. In most instances, the photographer sends in 12 mediocre images with a “joining” fee, and all of a sudden they have flashy letters after the name. If you see this, go to the website, and find out how the photographer joins, and find out if it is merely a commercial organisation that promotes photographers, or a genuinely educative organisation promoting excellent photography.#14 Contracts, deposits, copyright, pricingGood professional photographers have this sorted, and have an immediate view. No contract – alarm bells. Discuss releasing the wedding photographs on disk, and what the copyright issues are. Discuss the pricing, and pricing for things that are sold afterward like re-prints, and copies of disks.#15 Attitudes to backupsFilm used to last for ages, decades. Digital has issues, disks degenerate, hard drives crash. A photographer’s attitude to backup is vitally important. As a minimum, the images shot at the wedding, and the photographs produced after editing need to be properly backed up, on and off site. If the wedding photographer can’t immediately tell you his or her process for backing up then an alarm bell should be ringing.#16 Do not be swayed by today’s fashionsDo look at your mums wedding photographs – some things done 20-30 years ago, look cheesy now – faces in champagne glasses, spot colouring etc. We can all do these tricks, but do not let the fizz and polish sway you between one photographer and another. The most important thing they can do is shoot the wedding photographs properly in the first place.#17 You do have to pay for qualityIf the price is stupidly lower than al of the others, corners will be cut. This will be in equipment, processing time, quality of materials. Often people who have full time jobs doing something else, view shooting weddings not as a full time job, but a s a way of earning cash on the weekend, so the price is set low to attract anyone who wants to pay. While this works for a few weddings a year, you need more commitment than this, because as they get busier, something needs to give, and it isn’t normally the day job.#18 Ask what backup kit / contingency plans they haveAny professional wedding photographer worth hiring will be able to immediately tell you this. You need to cover – what if a camera breaks or stops working? What happens if the photographer gets ill on the day? What happens if the weather is bad?The correct answers are – I have a full duplicate kit (and some), I have a network of professionals I can call on at the drop of a hat to cover for me, I know the venue, I have a plan, I will do XYZ.#19 What to look for in the photographsWhen you look at wedding photographs, and you are comparing photographers ask: Has the photographer got the attention of the subject? (Ignore if the photograph is purposefully a candid). Are the eyes, and face sharp? Is the background distracting? Are the poses natural or awkward looking? Do the photographs work well as a set in terms of colour, skin tones and lighting? Are there annoying traits like every background blurred, or every image heavily tilted? On the straight images – are the key parts of the shot straight and parallel to the edges of the photograph?#20 Get the balance rightThe relationship, meeting and conversation you have with your wedding photographer needs to be two way. In other words the best place to be is where you bounce off of each other creatively. If it feels like your potential wedding photographer is telling you what he will do and need to the point where you feel you are changing what you want, or if you feel you have to spoon-feed the photographer with ideas – then you have the wrong photographer.Again this is just like the hairdresser. You won’t go in the hairdresser and be bullied into having a perm and a colour, but on the other hand you expect your hairdresser to react to what you say constructively, and come up with ideas. In the hairdresser, when you find the right one, you know it – there is a balance between what you want, and the creative input the hairdresser brings to the table. Dealing with wedding photographers is the same; you don’t want a mouse or a prima-donna.

Richard KingKING wedding photography Lincolnshire wedding photographer, based in the UK 0115 845 8953 Lincoln wedding photographer