STEPS THAT WILL HELP YOU TO CHOOSE A RIGHT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER?
Unlike the work of your other wedding vendors (music, flower arrangements, cake), photographs aren’t things you can hear, smell, taste or even see at first—you don’t really know what you’re getting until after the fact. This means
selectiveness regarding professional skills
These are extra important when choosing your Wedding Photographer.
Step 1: Choose a Proper Style of Photography and then hence the Wedding Photographer
Before you begin researching and choosing your Wedding Photographers, you’ll need to first decide the type of photography style you prefer; as that will help determine which kind of Wedding Photographer you’ll want at your wedding.
Here are few styles of Wedding Photography you can prefer:
Instead of a series of posed photos, these are candid or spontaneous pictures (not styled) of people, décor and the action. With a purely photojournalistic Wedding Photographer, people in the pictures won’t be staring at the camera. The photos are captured as if they are narrating a story.
A portrait is a composite image of a person who is posing for the camera. Oftentimes, the focus is on the face and personality of the subject, but it does not have to be.If you prefer classic portraits, go with a traditional Wedding Photographer who specializes in making portraits. These are posed shots of the two of you, your friends and family in front of various backdrops.
- Fine Art:
This style gives the shooter greater artistic ability to infuse their particular viewpoint and style into the pictures. The photos are dramatic and gorgeous, but they look as if they are shot on film with a grainier, dreamier, and more muted appearance. Usually the object (or couple) is in focus and the background appears to blur. Motion also looks very natural in this style of photography.
- Edgy and Bold:
This style of photography, is marked by outside-the-box, tilted angles (called Dutch angles) and unconventional framing. So instead of the traditional straight-on shot of the pair exchanging vows, the photo might look tilted, with an object like an altar arrangement or a candle in the foreground. Or one of the brides having her makeup done might be shot from above angle, with a focus on her eye shadow brush rather than on her face.
Step 2: Get your Research Work done Backstage
Start your research work by going through the reviews from newlyweds and browsing hundreds of local listings. Also carefully review potential Wedding Photographers’ websites and blogs to check out photos of other weddings they’ve shot, which will give you an idea of their style. The layout of the website might also give clues about the Wedding Photographer’s personality and sensibility. Check out their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages too, if possible.
Step 3: Line Up Interviews with your prospective Wedding Photographers
You must meet your potential Wedding Photographers in person. If you like what you see on their site—and their fees are in your ballpark range—call to see if they’re available for your wedding date. Set up in-person meetings with three to five potential Wedding Photographers who are available on your wedding date to look at more of their work and assess whether your personalities gel up. Get ready to discuss about your venue, wedding style and what you envision for your photos.
Step 4: Except the highlights, see a few full wedding albums
For better reason, Wedding Photographers present prospective clients a portfolio of their best work, all from different weddings, so as to make sure you see the best. The problem with that is you won’t get the real idea of their work. Ask to see two or three full galleries from real weddings they’ve shot so you can get a better idea of what your complete collection of photos might look like after the wedding. And ask to see at least one or two complete albums of weddings that are in similar settings to yours. If you notice that the full gallery photos are just as good as the ones chosen in the highlights, you’ve selected the correct team.
Step 5: Review the Albums with a Critical Eye
When reviewing a Wedding Photographer’s album, look for the key moments you want to be captured:
• Did they get photos of both the bride and the groom when they locked eyes for the first time?
• Also look for crispness of images, thoughtful compositions (does a shot look good the way it was framed, or is there too much chaos in the frame?) and good lighting (beware of washed-out pictures where small details are blurred—unless that’s the style you’re after).
• It’s also very important that you detect even the minute emotions with sensitivity; make sure the Wedding Photographer’s subjects look relaxed, and absolutely not like those deer caught in headlights.
• While you two are, of course, important, you would also want to see smiling shots of your friends.
Step 6: Make sure your Wedding Photographer has these qualities
In order to get the best photos, go with a pro that has a firm grasp of social graces but is bold enough to go out hunting for great images and who, above all, puts you at ease and doesn’t irritate you in any way. To get the best photos, your Wedding Photographer needs to be assertive enough to seek out great moments, capturing smiling faces of guests, and calm enough to be a positive force. They should ask lots of questions and be a good listener.
Step 7: Confirm your final Lead Wedding Photographer on the Wedding Day
Many larger photo studios have more than one Wedding Photographer on staff. Since every Wedding Photographer has a different style, technique and personality, you need to make sure the one you interview and chose is the same one who is working on your wedding. Also, don’t forget to include specific stipulations in the contract about who will cover for the Wedding Photographer should something happen on the actual day. Check whether the Wedding Photographer will bring any assistants to your wedding.
Step 8: Pay according to your Package
You won’t be able to nail down an exact amount of money until you’re sure of what you want, how many albums you need and where your Wedding Photographer is based, and packages range from Rs.15000 all the way up to Rs. 1 Lakh -plus on the higher end of the spectrum. When interviewing candidates, ask for a general range based on the Wedding Photographer’s “shooting fee” and package, plus their standard rates for the type of album you want to be made and the amount of coverage you’re hoping to book them for (per hour basis). It’s important to figure out what’s included in their standard package, plus the basic range for any kind extras you may want, like an engagement shoot, special effects or additional coverage, so you can compare rates. In particular, find out exactly how many hours of shooting are included. Ideally, you would want your Wedding Photographer to be present there for your full wedding day coverage—from the time when you start getting ready until after you make your grand exit from the reception. Also consider whether you’ll want to do an engagement shoot or have your Wedding Photographer shoot other events during your wedding weekend.
You can have a look at our recommendations for wedding packages.
Step 9: Know About the Rights regarding watermarks and publishing of pictures
Most contracts stipulate that the Wedding Photographer owns the rights to all photos taken at the ceremony, even the ones of you. In other words, the Wedding Photographer can use them for promotion purposes (on their website or blog, submit them for publication and even place them in advertisement). This also means you can’t just post the digital data they’ve sent you—most photographers have a policy that you can only share images with watermark or accredited images. Also, unless you negotiate otherwise, if you want to print the images yourselves or order an album from some another source, you’ll have to buy the rights attached to the images.
Step 10: Get the Post Production Details as soon as possible
It usually takes at least a month to get all those photo proofs back from your Wedding Photographer. Shooting raw files gives your Wedding Photographer greater ability to make correction to the photos, but it also takes a longer time period for the upload process and to edit all those files. It varies, but many photographers claim that they spend an additional 40 hours editing images from a single wedding data, so it can take up to six to eight weeks (or longer, depending on the photographer) to get proofs back.