As I sat in the office this morning, looking out of the window across the fields - birds chirping and thinking about nesting, buds on the plants beginning to swell in anticipation of the warmer weather and longer days ahead...and a mole trashing my lawn by tunneling all over the place and throwing soil everywhere - I started to think about the year ahead. Early Spring is normally a relatively quiet time for actual wedding photography, but there's usually a lot going on behind the scenes, with wedding fayres to arrange, websites to update, the never-ending paperwork pile to tackle, possible rebranding, wedding enquiries etc. It's a time where many couples are planning their Big Day, usually for the following year, but you very often get a few less well-organised couples frantically trying to book everything at the last minute!
Choosing the right photographer for you, Dear bride-to-be, can be a daunting process, so here are a few pointers from a little piece I wrote all the way back in 2014 for KL Magazine, that I hope will go some way towards helping you on your quest for the perfect photographer for your wedding.
I think it still holds true for the most part, but you may want to ignore the mention of DVD slideshows! Seriously, do people still have those?!
NB: I've removed the photos originally in the article because they weren't mine, and I don't have permission to use them. I've also pasted the text at the bottom of the page in case the image isn't clear enough. And I've left the Twilight Bars ad in the image because I took the photos in it and Ryan is a mate (even if he's too cheap to pay for photography these days!) :D
"Choosing A Wedding Photographer
Your wedding won't only be a long, fantastic, enjoyable day - it will also be one you'll remember for years, and among the most important elements of that will be your wedding photographs. There's nothing more wonderful - for you and for all your friends and family - than a beautiful wedding album or photobook, and there are few things more disappointing than photos that don't do the big day justice. Che Ballard offers some great advice on getting the best from your wedding photographer:
PERSONALITY Ensure you meet your photographer before booking; this is helpful to get a first-hand look at prints and products and discuss your requirements face-to-face, as well as making sure you and your potential photographer have compatible personalities. They may take amazing photos, but if they're going to make your day even more stressful by yelling at everyone, they may not be the right photographer for you.
STYLE Have a clear idea of the type of photography you want. Do you want lots of formal shots or do you prefer the more natural, 'reportage' style? How does the photographer process their images? Some effects may look great today, but will they look badly dated in a couple of years' time?
BACK UP Check your photographer has back-up equipment! What happens if a camera or lens breaks during your wedding? Also, more megapixels doesn't necessarily mean better photographs. If that were the case, professional photographers would all be using mobile phones! Your photographer should also hold valid insurance.
PRE-WEDDING SHOOT Does the photographer offer a complementary shoot prior to the wedding? This is a great way to build rapport with your photographer and can help to make you feel more comfortable in front of the camera on your big day.
CONTRACT If there isn't one, ask for one! This protects you as well as the photographer. Some bookings are months. even years, in advance. What happens if your photographer is ill. or (heaven forbid) does a runner with your money - or fails to provide you with any photos?
PAYMENT The industry standard for wedding photography tends to be something along the fines of a 50% deposit, with the remainder due 30 days prior to the wedding. If you're unhappy with paying 100% of the photographer's fees in advance, don't be afraid to negotiate! Perhaps the photographer will take the remainder once the proofs are online, or maybe when the album is delivered.
EXAMPLES Does the photographer have a full wedding album you can browse, either online or in print? If not, why not?
EXPERIENCE Having a qualification in photography isn't everything, but it does indicate your photographer has studied the technical aspects of the craft. Far more important is experience. How long has the photographer been shooting for? Ideally your photographer will have been referred to you by a satisfied customer. but if not, is it possible to speak to a previous client? Don't put too much store in online reviews, as they are easy to fabricate.
QUALITY Obviously weddings can be tricky to shoot. even for photographers with many years' experience. Not every image will be as crisp as a studio shot, and it's worth bearing in mind that an image that looks fine in a 6x4 print may not work as a large print to hang above your fireplace. Do the photographer's prints stand up to close scrutiny?