We still remember how hard and confusing it was surfing internet in search for wedding photographer. We decided to visit few wedding expos in Sydney and Wollongong and in the end it came to our personal (guts feeling) after we personally met with the person.
While you can get away with photographing many events on smartphones these days, you probably want to entrust your wedding to a professional photographer with a professional-level camera. Here are some tips to ensure you get the best bang for your $$$.
Getting married is obviously a milestone life event, so you want to be sure the day is captured properly. Smartphone cameras have improved over the last few years, but there are certain tasks they’ll struggle with; autofocus is still a bit slow, and the titchy lenses struggle to create pro depth of field effects in portraits, or get detailed shots in low light.
For any camera novices out there, “depth of field” refers to those cool portraits you see in magazines, where the subject is very sharp but the background is nicely thrown out of focus.
Most smartphones and compact cameras can’t record images in the raw format, either, so you’re simply not getting the same levels of detail and resolution as you would from a conventional DSLR. Another reason to choose a pro for your wedding is to liberate you to enjoy the actual day.
Your wedding day goes past in a blur, especially when the champagne starts to flow, and there are enough things to worry about without having to take the photos. (There will probably be a camera enthusiast among your guests, but they shouldn’t have to worry about it either.) So how do you about choosing a wedding photographer? Here are some pointers.
Be careful of ‘helpful’ friends and relatives 🙂
Enthusiast and pro-spec digital SLRs have plunged in price in the last few years, so there’s a good chance your dad/uncle/mate has a decent camera, and may be able to take an OK shot. They may well offer to take the photos on the day to save you some money, but make sure it’s not a false economy. A powerful camera per se will not produce great shots, it’s more about how well the photographer can use it.
Photographing a wedding is a big responsibility and many things can go wrong, so be wary if your friend/dad/uncle has never shot a wedding before. If they have, and you’re happy with the results, make sure they have a back-up camera and plenty of memory cards! If they haven’t done a wedding before, but you don’t want to hurt their feelings, maybe suggest they assist the professional you book. Most pros will be happy for a bit of help, so long as said mate or relative doesn’t muscle-in on the best shots, get in the way, or get drunk!
Work out your budget
Wedding photographers cater for every end of the market, so work out how much you can spend first. Again, be careful of false economies here. While you can probably find somebody on Gumtree or in the local newspaper who will shoot your wedding for a few hundred bucks, you’re taking a risk. They might not have shot a wedding before, they might not be particularly creative photographers, and you have to wonder why they are offering their services so cheaply to begin with. At the other end of the scale, booking a top society wedding photographer can easily blow your budget for the entire wedding, including the honeymoon!
As a ballpark figure, a skilled, mainstream wedding photographer will charge anything between $2000 to $6000 and this could also include a pre-wedding shoot. Booking a pair of shooters for the day will take you to the higher end of this scale, but you’ve got some extra peace of mind.
You’ve selected several photographers online, and narrowed down your search even further by checking their availability for your wedding date. Now, it is time to meet them in person.
If you are looking at hiring a larger photo studio, they most likely have more than one photographer on staff. Unless you specify in your contract, the photographer you meet may not be the one shooting your wedding day. Since every professional has a different style and personality, you’ll be best to make sure that you interview and connect with the one who will be present at your wedding.
Having a compatible personality with your wedding vendors plays a surprisingly large role in setting the mood for your special day. While there is no personality testing kit that will give you a measurement of compatibility, you can use your awareness to evaluate and rate this big factor. When you meet each candidate, it is important to be aware of your first impression. Listen to your gut feelings while you assess how well you mesh together. How comfortable do you feel around them? Do you and your partner like, trust, and get along well with them?
We placed post-production as the last of the parameters, not because it is least important, but because this includes the final steps and personal touches which separate amateurs from professionals.
It usually takes about a month to get proofs back from your photographer. The reason is because a local professional wedding photographer wants to deliver a quality final product. It takes a good amount of time to individually open and check each of the hundreds of photos taken. It takes even longer to edit and correct color the levels. A great question to ask on this subject is simply, “What do you typically do to the pictures before we see them?“ Then a great follow up question would be about custom touch ups and other special requests, and whether or not they charge additional fees for that service.
It may seem obvious that your methods for choosing your wedding photographer(s), along with deciding on all your other vendors, is most likely going to be based on the balance of value judgments between you and your life partner. While nobody other than you can make this choice, I hope this guide made it an easier and more informed decision by sharing these six simple parameters for choosing the best fit. Congratulations in advance, I hope you have the wedding of your dreams and will remember it well!
Love Michaela & Conrad