How to choose the right wedding photographer for you
One of the reasons couples don't look at a photographers' portfolio of works is because they do not know what to look out for. However this is one of the most important steps to do when choosing your wedding photography as per a previous Blog on reasons couples are left feeling disappointed according to an online survey (not my own work, an independent look at what couples regret following their wedding). That Blog can be found here.
Since most people do not look at a photographers work because most do not know how to judge their work, I am providing under 10 helpful points to follow here;
1/ The key is the right wedding photographer for you. Due to the above, many will use a photographer because their friend loved their wedding photographer. Again this isn't always helpful because your friend may love different styles of photography to you. Have you ever had a friend recommend something and you didn't like it? Different tastes means different experiences. That photographer your friend chose probably is exceptional in the work they did for your friend.
2/ Where are you holding your wedding ceremony? Now we're getting to the crunch of how to choose the right wedding photographer for you. Let's say your friend had theirs at a beach- but you are holding yours in a church. Their photographer was probably great at handling outdoor conditions and natural light hence your friend being immensely happy, but may not be so good with working in artificial light. No two light sources are the same. Most churches for example do not permit flash equipment, which means someone being able to work well in low lit environments.
Note- I did not say here to choose a photographer because of their camera, and I have had some clients do that. They didn't look at my extensive gallery of works, they didn't look at the wide variety of lighting conditions I shoot in, they didn't look at the fact I work with both natural and artificial light they just knew the Nikon D4 is Nikon's second top professional camera.
Choosing a professional based on their equipment depending on the environment they are used to working in is not an informed way of making the right decisions for one of the most important events in your life. Surely I would win out every single time if that was the case, right?
Look for photographers who have enough weddings in their portfolio they photographed at Churches so you can feel confident they understand that type of environment.
This is why I have a lot of clients who hold their weddings outdoors- not only does my love for nature radiate throughout my work, but so does my ability to work in unpredictable conditions the outdoors can bring. I also have a Nikon D4.... which means you should hire me (I'm kidding with that last one).
3/ How does the photographer work in different lighting situations? If you don't understand lighting, this can be a little bit difficult to assess. A few points include;
~ Look out for too much shadow over subject faces
~ Look out for badly over exposed images. Over exposing can include "white blotches".
~ The obvious difficulty where low lighting is badly handled is what we call "noise". This is a photography term that shows a clear dark patch with dots of grain all throughtout it.
Photography is actually translated to meaning "Painting with Light". Enough light needs to reach the area being photographed so that beautiful detail is seen without either being white patches or dark grainy marks. I will provide examples.
The following is not considered bad lighting but is instead a creative use of light;
~ Silhoettes. Silhoettes are where the subjects are dark with a beautiful backdrop probably of a sunset or out in a gorgeous field. These have been done intentionally, and they cannot be "made brighter" as sometimes my clients request because they love the images. As I love taking silhoettes, I always inform my clients I will be capturing a silhoette, and these photos cannot be made brighter. However, in these situations I provide a few different exposures so the clients will in fact have bright images of themselves in that situation.