How to Choose The Right Wedding Photographer and What To Expect
Tip # 1: Knowledge is Key
Arm yourself with some industry terminology, and know what the differences are in the Newcastle Wedding Photographer various styles of pictures. Do your research about photography ahead of time. Know the difference between a candid and a posed shot. Know what photojournalism is. Know what you like, and what you don’t like, and do not be afraid to communicate that to your prospective photographers. Make this statement: “We want a photographer who knows how to control the depth of field”. If he looks at you with a quizzical look that says “I have no idea what you are talking about”, it might be time to consider ending your meeting early.
Tip # 2: Ask The Right Questions
I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have been asked questions that must have been taken from outdated sources.
Here are some of the right questions to ask:
How long have you been shooting weddings? I would not have a photographer on my wedding that has been shooting weddings for less than 5 years. Reasons for that are many, but the bottom line is that you want somebody who really knows what they are doing, has an “eye” as well as technical knowledge to make things happen.
Have you worked at our venue before? If the photographer is local, and your wedding venue is local, chances are he has worked at your venue beforehand. Ask to see those pictures. If he has not worked there before, ask if he is willing to go there ahead of time to scout the location.
Our wedding photography commitment is X hours…do you have a plan that will accommodate that? Are your pricing plans negotiable? Most photographers have 3 or 4 plans to choose from (I personally have more than that) because I have not yet found one set of packages that will accommodate everyone. I have also learned that versatility is key.
Do you bring an assistant? I usually bring an assistant to help with lighting etc. My assistant can also double as a second photographer for a small fee. Check with your photographer…this is a very valuable asset.
What kind of equipment do you have? Professional photographers should have high end SLR cameras. In Nikon, those cameras include: the D3, D2X,D2XS, and D2H. In Canon, those cameras include: EOS1D, 1DS, 5D, and 5DS. Of course there are other brands and quality levels, but these camera make up the bulk of the professional wedding photographer’s lineup in today’s market. Be aware: Photographers who proudly say that they shoot with the Nikon D200 or the Canon 10d or 20d are not on the professional level. Those cameras are designed to be sold to consumers, not professionals, and while they are good cameras in their own right, they do not possess the characteristics of professional grade camera bodies.
Do you have backup equipment? Occasionally, a camera goes down, and without a backup, the perfect wedding can be ruined. Don’t leave your precious wedding memories in the hands of someone with low end, consumer grade equipment and without backup. It is a recipe for disaster. Most professionals carry at least 1 backup unit of the same quality as their main unit.
Do you have any professional affiliations? Most professional photographers with more than 5 years of experience will have some sort of Professional Affiliation. Those affiliations can include, but are not limited to: The Professional Photographer’s Association (Nationwide, State Level, and maybe even County Level memberships are available), the BBB (Better Business Bureau), Rotary Clubs, The Wedding Photojournalist Association, and others. Membership in any of these affiliations is not mandatory, but it says something positive about the photographer.