Home » Lifestyle Suppliers » The Wedding Expo 2012: Tips for choosing your Wedding Photographer

We have just experienced the most incredible weekend exhibiting at the Wedding Expo at the Coca Cola Dome. Henry, my husband manned the stand with me which was fabulous as the day got a little crazy at times.  The response to our work was fabulous so we were so chuffed. Next time I will NOT be wearing high heels on day 1 even if they are cute! Special thanks goes to Elephant Shoe for the great design and artwork for our backwall and z- cards (brochures). Also special thanks goes to Big Eye Branding (www.bigeyebranding.com) for the wondasign collapsible table that was a life saver for our albums.

Me in front of our stand on day 1 – fresh as a daisy ready to take on the day!

What we were once again reminded of is how overwhelmed most couples were with suppliers and information with regard to making decision with which wedding suppliers to select especially photographers. So I just put together a 1 pager on tips for choosing your wedding photographer.

My signature wedding photographic style: Fusion of Wedding Photojournalism with a High Fashion finish

My photographic style is a fusion of wedding photo-journalism with a high fashion finish. I strive to capture the raw emotion and atmosphere, always shooting with the finished product in mind. I strive to have the optimal balance of creativity and timelessness, it is romantic, sophisticated yet simple. Of your images for the day approximately 40% will be posed and the rest photojournalistic. It’s important for you and your partner to feel natural and comfortable, as I want to see what you feel, and capture that. For me it’s all about capturing the atmosphere without you knowing that I am there.

Custom Print Retouching – I professionally edit all images, colour correct and remove any blemishes from the images that are printed for the albums.

Tips for choosing your Photographer

The only things that remain after the wedding is the marriage, of course, and the photographs; so choosing the wrong wedding photographer might just cost you your beautiful memories. Having worked in the wedding industry for the past 6 years it is of utmost importance that you select a wedding photographer who resonates with you and with whom you can easily and comfortably communicate, has professional photography equipment, proper editing software and delivers a quality and professional service. There are certain skills that can only be acquired with experience.   Split second decision making when all does not go to plan – unexpected weather changes, equipment failure, accidents, delays – but for the seasoned wedding photographer, these situations are easier dealt with, as they’ve probably experienced a similar problem previously.

But it’s not only the problem solving skills that comes with experience, also the knowledge of  the behaviour of light in different locations, the familiarity of working specific wedding venues and the luxury of knowing other service providers, the anticipation of where to be to get that incredible shot, and so much more.

You will be spending most of the day with your wedding photographer, so you need to have the highest confidence that they are going to give you the best quality product and service. Most importantly you need to feel comfortable in his or her company and that they keep you relaxed. In your pre wedding meetings ensure that they totally understand the “look and feel” that you’re looking for in your wedding photography. If you are after a specific photography style, e.g. “quirky”, ensure that you can see examples of your wedding photographer’s work that display this. Most photographers have a signature photography style which will have a large influence on the look and feel of their photography. If you are not satisfied its best to then find a photographer that specializes in the genre that you are looking for.

Find out if your wedding photographer is a full-time photographer and it’s not just a hobby. Doing full-time photography means they channel most of their energy and time into the development of their craft and product. Physically taking photos only takes up 15% of a Professional photographer’s job. The editing of photos and designing albums account for another large proportion.  The rest of the time is spent on business development such as marketing, answering mails, invoicing, chatting to potential clients, working with current clients, working on branding, having meetings, looking at figures, marketing, blogging and so on and so forth.

The editing process post the wedding is where a lot of the magic happens. Apart from the hours we spend covering the wedding, up to 60 hours is spent on editing the photos and putting the albums together!

The Perception

How some people think wedding photographers spend their time (and how some photographers WISHED they could spend their time):

20091205-perception1

The Reality: How wedding photographers REALLY spend their time:

20091205-reality1

The majority of professional photographers shoot in RAW. A RAW file is just another type of file like a pdf or a JPG. The advantage of shooting in this type of file is that they can store a lot more colour and tonal information than a jpeg. One needs special software to read these files. In order for a photographer to present these files to the ‘man on the street’ they need to be converted into jpegs.

During the whole conversion process the photographer will go through all the images and adjust the colour, the tonal range, contrast, exposure and, if necessary, crop the images.  I am sure you can imagine that this all takes time.

Comparing quotes and choosing the one that seems like the best deal on paper may more often than not “bite you in the bum”. Rule of thumb – the less high res photos your photographer give, the better quality you can expect. Why? If the photographer gives less photos, then he has more time to spend perfecting the photos you get.

Also find out how many wedding’s a month the photographer shoots. If they are shooting a ridiculous amount of weddings you can be certain they will not be spending a large amount of their time on your images ensuring they are spectacular.

With photography you get what you pay for. While the cost can be a defining factor in your decision beware of packages that seem too attractive. A typical indication is that you should spend approximately 10% of your wedding budget on your photography. Most expensive photographers produce quality and durable luxury handmade albums; albums that would last a lifetime.  But albums like these come with a price tag and this is worked into the “expensive package”.  Make sure the “Album” included in the package is not just a cheap photo book printed at the local 1-hour lab.

Wrapping it up

When evaluating your photographer; ensure they have invested many thousands of rands and hours of experience in courses and workshops to hone their talent and stay up to date with trends; they use professional and the latest equipment that will help achieve superior quality end results; they spend hours more time on your images and are not a “Wedding Factory”, to ensure they are of the highest quality and standard; they know what to do when the “sherbet hits the fan”; they always have backup equipment and back up your wedding photos in more than one place, when you need a replacement disk or album.

There is no second take on your wedding day. Ensure that you choose a photographer who will be able to produce images that capture the emotion and moments within your day that are spectacular.

Credit to www.ispwp.com for the whizzy diagrams

 

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  • About Sinéad Brook

    Sinéad has a photography studio located in Parktown West, Johannesburg. As a personal branding headshot photographer and visual marketing expert Sinead will help you visually create a polished brand that authentically shows your brand story. Professional Photography packages services range from capturing precious family memories, cutting edge authentic corporate headshots to creating a brand story for entrepreneurial start ups. All shoots are inclusive or professional organic make up.

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  • Contact Sinéad Brook

    Please let me know what sort of photography services you are looking for

    cell/whatsapp: 082 885 4103

    sinead@lulafox.co.za