How to pick the best photographer for your wedding
As a prevalent part of commercial photography, wedding photography encompasses several fertile branches of photography. It may include portrait photography, concept, documentary, and candid photography. An imaginative wedding photographer will not just document weddings and related events. She can also borrow conventions from landscape photography, architecture, interior design, event planning, and storytelling. A wedding photography assignment can include capturing records of elaborate ceremonies and bridal portraits before the wedding, including the preparation of announcements, thank you cards, etc. It may also include post-wedding activities such as the reception.
Choosing a wedding photographer and videographer is not something you do every day as it is normally once in a lifetime event and everyone desires to make the most out of it by creating some worthwhile moments and memories full of emotions and feelings. Since wedding photography and videography has now been transformed to a whole new level, couples from all across the globe are spending a lot of money on hiring top-quality Wedding Photography and videography experts for making their big day memorable.
Traditionally couples used to hire photographers or videographers for covering their wedding events, and that’s it. The whole point was just to cover the wedding and have some pictures and videos of the couple and the event. Now, wedding photography and videography has become one of the most important aspects of the wedding, and people intend to hire the best in the field for top-quality pictures and videos that can last forever. Well, not every photographer and videographer have to be expensive; there are countless cost-effective alternative options that can provide you with high-quality pictures and videos.
Prior to hiring the best wedding photography and videography expert, make sure to evaluate their portfolio and compare and contrast their traits before finalizing your option.
Here are the top-qualities, which every photographer and videographer must possess.
How to become a great wedding photographer
A good wedding photographer is comfortable around people and has a trustworthy personality. She/he has an eye for detail and practices discretion. Here are some of the best qualities that make for a great wedding photographer.
Dealing with Pressure
Since a couple wants their wedding day to be documented in the most comprehensive manner possible, they would want to invest in hiring a good wedding photographer. Because of this, there is pressure on the photographer to perform exceptionally well.
Photographers are expected to provide clients with visually creative images, which appear larger-than-life. Photographers need to be aware that there will not be second chances if something does go wrong. They, therefore, need to practice several photography skills and abilities to deal with issues in a short high-pressure environment. However, to insulate themselves from legal disputes, photographers should insist on a formal contract.
Delivering the Latest Look
A great wedding photographer has to keep up with the times and read up on ‘fashionable poses’, bridal hairstyles, makeup, and wedding gowns. Couples are allowed to demand specific looks they saw off bridal magazines. Bridal magazines are continuously pushing barriers, exotic advertising locales, extravagant dresses, dramatic and entertaining themes. A photographer is expected to be conversational with a throng of different magazine-style photos that clients are likely to demand.
A critical part of the wedding photographer’s job is to anticipate the fleeting moments and rare expressions that are likely to come up during the wedding. It is her job to make sure they become a beautiful part of family history. Because a wedding is an emotional and joyous occasion, there will be a lot of these special moments that photographers can latch on to. As the photographer gains inexperience, she will become better at predicting candid outpourings from emotional couples and their kin.
Observation would be useless if the photographer is not able to capture the moment. Photographers, therefore, have to be prepared and be present at the right place and time. Photographers must know the event schedule by heart so that they can prepare beforehand. Do your homework in terms of being in the right place before time. Get the right gear based on the type of shot that the situation requires.
Another skill that photographers must practice is to be able to react and not overthink. They will miss the shot if they wait too long. Emotional expressions or actions have peaks and lows, and a photographer has to try to capture those peak moments.
Seeing the Best in People
What differentiates a good photographer from a great one is the latter’s ability to see the best in a person. Instructing a person to pose and adjust the situation and lighting to capture that best side is an integral trait of a great wedding photographer.
Photographers should strive to conceal the imperfections that they notice in a person, especially in wedding photography. There may be clients who want to document themselves as they are and the event as it unfolds; photographers then may have to go for the documentary wedding photography approach.
Telling the Story
Photographers, through their pictures of the special day, chronicle the story of the wedding couple. They see a pattern and form a compelling narrative. When the client sees the final album, she should be able to recall the experience and emotions they went through, as well as connect to the event with the help of photographs.
Creativity and Imagination
It is almost impossible to look back and smile fondly at wedding shots that were not taken with a touch of creativity. Wedding photography is an art, and the photographer is an artist – not merely your typical guy behind the camera. A good wedding photographer uses imagination and admirable creativity to give life to ordinary moments.
An Eye for Detail
Wedding photography is all about capturing the beautiful moments that other people might be oblivious to. A wedding photographer should decipher the tiniest of details and turn an ordinary photograph into a work of art. Every element of the photo must tick the right boxes. Be it the subjects, lighting to composition, everything must be perfect.
Patience and Flexibility
The best international wedding photographers understand that patience and flexibility are priceless virtues. In an instant, everything is not going according to plan, and a good wedding photographer should remain calm and confidently come up with an alternative solution. Let’s say lighting is not adding up, and a good photographer will patiently wait instead of going ahead to take poor quality pics.
A photographer who panics or wants out if things go wrong is not worth your money or time.
Wedding photography is largely about interacting with people from all walks of life. Professional wedding photographers can painlessly work with people, even those that are hard to work with. They must have admirable people skills that enable them to interact with the couple freely and those present.
A photographer with good social skills elicits more cooperation and emotions from the subjects and make them be at ease.
Passion for the job sets a good wedding photographer apart from those just trying to pay the bills. It is the passion that will ensure that all of the other above qualities are triggered. In fact, without passion, it is impossible to have any of the other qualities of a good wedding photographer.
Photography and videography is a creative profession that requires a brilliant amount of skills and talent. This is something not every person possess. Those individuals who are passionate about photography and videography can create better pictures and/or cover wedding events better than those people who consider it a work that has to be done every second. Well, wedding photography and video making is a competitive field where only the best one survives, and rest are pushed out of the market. So, hire a wedding photographer and videographer who loves his work and is passionate about everything.
Well, it is the job of every wedding photographer and videographer to care about small details at a wedding reception. S/he needs to focus on tiny details that matter that can eventually end up saving a lot of beautiful moments and memories. So, hire a wedding photographer and videographer who is detailed-oriented and true to his/her work.
Modern photography requires a wedding photographer and videographer to be a tech-savvy person. When s/he has the latest equipment, tools, and software, along with right wedding photographer and videographer knowledge and skills, then you can expect to have wonderful yet memorable wedding pictures and videos. So, hiring a person with the relevant skillset, coupled with the latest equipment can produce quality images.
A wedding photographer and videographer having a creative touch can shoot better pictures and videos, ultimately resulting in creating beautiful memories. A creative person would make the best use of his/her skills and talent to help you get the most desirable pictures and videos that can be remembered and acknowledged for long. No matter how far or unique your wedding photography destination maybe, a creative wedding photographer will help you get the right pictures and videos.
Wedding Photography Styles
Different wedding photographers have different styles of shooting, and photographers can even craft an identity around their unique styles. Many of these styles overlap with each other as there are no strict standards followed by wedding photographers. Also, the client can demand that you shoot their wedding photos in a specific style, or they may choose photographers whose style matches what they want. Here are some common wedding photography styles that you need to know:
Traditional Wedding Photography
If you notice the photos of your parent’s wedding album, it might probably have been shot in the traditional wedding photography style. In this style, photographers have to take full control of the occasion by making people pose and take their shots. Those shots would include group photos, shots of the cake, wine toasting, first kiss of the couple, and so on. This way of photographing the ceremony has been prevalent for a long time. People opt for the classic wedding photography style to get all the main shots of everything that is going on.
Photojournalistic Wedding Photography
Along with the traditional style, couples are most attracted to the photojournalistic style as it resembles documentary and reportage shooting. Photographers have to be skilled to pull this off nicely. They need to be able to quickly change the settings of their camera and frame the moments perfectly. Wedding photojournalism also requires that the photographer blends in with the crowd and be able to capture the candid moments easily. This style of photography will give the clients more natural-looking photographs, which will recreate the exact sequence of events.
Illustrative Wedding Photography
Illustrative wedding photography makes use of the environment, whether natural or artificial, to frame compelling and visually appealing photos. This style makes use of lighting and background. The couples are made to pose in a way that they look natural. The photographers use more of wide-angle lenses and sometimes aerial photography to get that epic shot. In a way, it is also a blend of traditional and candid wedding photography.
Fine Art Wedding Photography
Photographers who focus more on Fine Art wedding photography look for artistic shots. Taking artistic shots involves framing the shots creatively, lighting, and post-production techniques. The photographer has to anticipate moments and use Fine Art photography techniques, which can include posing the subjects in a slightly different way. They can use objects like rings, bouquets, and outfits to create the composition that gives the images a more profound meaning and artistic look.
The limitation of this style is that it can reduce the number of photos a photographer can take. You can use this style with other photography methods like traditional and photojournalistic ones to get a broad range of photos. Photographers can also ask their second or third shooters to cover different styles of wedding photography while they focus on getting Fine Art wedding photos.
Fashion Wedding Photography
Fashion wedding photography poses, lighting setups, expressions, and trendy backgrounds, when used in the wedding context, give form to fashion wedding photography. This style is used primarily in bridal magazines or to portray bridal fashion. Couples are made to act as models in this style, which results in getting dramatic wedding shots.
Photography is an art that requires the artist to master it with adequate precision, technique, and equipment. Here are some quick wedding photography tips for photographers to avoid mistakes.
Wedding Photography Tips – After the Wedding
Immediately Back Up Your Photos
In a perfect world, we’d never have to worry about corrupt memory cards or to lose our photos, but the reality is that memory cards fail, hard drives crash, and sometimes we misplace things. While you should develop a fail-safe workflow for saving and storing your images, the first thing you need to do is back up your photos, preferably while still on site. The sooner, the better. If you don’t have a portable hard drive that you can use to back up your photos on location, then keep them on your person until you’re able to get to a computer or other device to back up the photos. In addition to using a hard drive, consider using a cloud service to back up your photos for extra assurance that your images are safe.
Establish an Editing Workflow
We’ve mentioned the importance of backing up your photos, but what happens next? Photographers often capture hundreds, if not thousands of photos during a wedding, all of which need to be edited. This can prove time-consuming, which of course diminishes your income. To speed up your workflow, cull your images to keep only the best photos, and then use professionally designed presets to get to a finished look more quickly; finally, batch edit your photos based on your initial edits for each scene or location. For example, if you’re editing wedding ceremony photos, chances are you captured them under the same lighting conditions without too much variation. Use presets to edit one of the photos, and then synchronize the edits for the rest of the ceremony photos. Again, do an initial edit for each scene, batch edit for that group of images, and then repeat.
Tag Vendors in Teasers on Social Media
If you’re keen on building your business, be sure to network with other vendors at the wedding, which includes planners, coordinators, and vendors for flowers, lighting, rentals, as well as DJs. One of the easiest ways to do this is to tag the vendors in social media posts. The key here is quickly editing photos that feature the vendor’s work, which you should have captured while photographing the details at the ceremony and reception sites. It’s worth nurturing these relationships, as they’re easy to maintain, and they often lead to referrals.
Invite Clients for a Design Consultation
Whether in person or via a meeting app like Zoom, invite your clients to a “free” design consultation not long after the wedding. This is your opportunity to put together a slideshow, sample album, and mock-ups of wall art to inspire your clients to purchase prints of the photos you’ve captured. We recommend partnering with a professional print lab to simplify the process and offer your clients the best prints possible. Print sales can boost your income and keep your worktop of mind as your clients view the photos every day on the walls of their homes. Then, as their families grow, they’ll think of you to capture their newborn & family portraits, as well as other significant life events.
Keep some for your website portfolio
You are running a business, so a smart decision would be to save some pictures that you can use to pitch your services to someone else and display them on your professional portfolio website. An oft-ignored aspect of this genre is fixing your rates. Read more about wedding photography pricing here.
It is often said that every photograph you take, even non-selfies, is a self-portrait. Your photographic style defines your brand image. Versatility as a photographer is never a bad thing, but it might have negative effects on your wedding business. “Keep your editing consistent. Find what you like and keep it that way. Showing different editing styles in your website is confusing to couples.”
As personal as our service is, from the client perspective, you’re still a business, and they want to know what to expect from you. From your Web presence to your in-person meetings, your message about who you are and what you do needs to be consistent. The processing of your images needs to be consistent. Your ongoing communications must be consistent. When clients know what to expect from you, you’re easy to work with, and they can have confidence in their purchase.”
Regardless of your style, whether it’s formal, documentary, classic, or something else, it’s important to remember not to lose sight of the task at hand. Be hip, fun, and creative, but don’t forget the traditional. We have what we call the “Gipper shot.” It’s important to get one traditional bride and groom smiling and looking at the camera photo. Every mother and grandmother is looking for this simple portrait.”
A wedding is an occasion to have fun, and unless photographers become a part of the excitement, they will be unable to take great shots. People at a wedding, want to look their best and remember the events in the best possible way. Wedding photographers have a great responsibility towards them.