Ok. I need to preface this Blog Addition first.
These observations & recommendations are purely my opinions & advice.
That being said, please remember I am a Videographer where I get to see Photographers in full action.
Choosing your Photography in this day is a absolute minefield to navigate through.
So many out there who are both brilliant & terrible. How do you choose who is right for you.
Well there are a lot more factors to take into account than simply choosing a Photographer that you feel comfortable having around.
I will address these issues individually so you may obtain a little insight knowledge.
A Wedding Photographer these days unfortunately may or may not have ample experience in Wedding Photography. Wedding Photography is a whole different concept than just being able to hold a camera & take a great shot. We have worked with some of the best Photographers. Be they Commercial, Sports or Personal Photographers who in fact are Terrible Wedding Photographers. So selecting a Photographer that may have the best reputation in Australia for Photography may indeed turn out a very wrong choice.
A Wedding Photographer firstly must be a very Confident Person. You can figure this out with one simple question.
You to Photographer: HOW MANY PHOTOGRAPHS WILL YOU ACTUALLY TAKE ON THE DAY
If Answer is: MORE THAN 2000 then you have a photographer that is NOT CONFIDENT in both the knowledge in use of their equipment or faith in themselves to be able to obtain specific shots without have to MACHINE GUN shoot one particular moment or pose.
Tidy Attire: This is extremely important as the Photographer will be quite visible by all guests on the day.
Way too many times a Photographer will use the excuse of Needing To Be Comfortable to wear what we deem inappropriate attire for a Wedding Day. Don't be shy when in discussion with your Photographer to enforce that you require them to dress Neat Casual at the very least. If a Photographer starts making excuses under the COMFORTABLE banner. Drop them.
The Artsy Fartsy Photographer: This type of Photographer can be extremely talented. But more times than not they are more than likely to want to do their own thing instead of following the instructions of the the wants of the couple. Additionally this type of Photographer are those that may have spent years studying Photography in a classroom & have limited Boots On The Ground Wedding Experience.
They also tend to not be mindful or considerate to Guests, Videographers or at times even to couple as they go about their job in another world that only they can comprehend. Constantly creating the biggest Cardinal Sins with Wedding Photography by
1/ Getting way to close to the Bride & Groom
2/ Constantly crossing in front of the Bride & Groom by running from side to side in front of guests.
3/ Walking down the aisle in front of Bride & Groom snapping away constantly while blocking the view of both Guests & Videographers.
This type of Photographer while they may produce some excellent Photography for you. Have also in doing so become a hinderance to everyone around them in the name of ART.
The Ego Driven Photographer: Ah Yes. This beast is a Nightmare in all aspects. They tend to talk down to everyone around them thinking they are some form of IDOL or GOD that must be obeyed under any circumstances. Their Decision & Instructions must be followed or they can become quite destructive. Once their Ego is questioned or dented. You just never know what the end product may or may not be.
The Family Friend Photographer: This Photographer I actually enjoy working with at times. While having enough knowledge to capture the right shots. They are also very alert to not impose themselves upon hindering guests views or by becoming too engrossed in their job. The Family Friend Photographer can be a great way to cut your costs & I see no reason why you shouldn't do this.
However, you need to be aware that in most cases the end photograph you will receive may or may not be a edited product. May or may not be of high resolution quality. 90% of the time the photographs you will receive are exactly those that come direct out of the camera. While there is nothing wrong with this. The edited Quality of High Resolution Photography just cannot be beaten.
While there are 100s of different Photographer Scenerio's. I implore you to take into account that it is Your Wedding that is being captured.
So it is all about your expectations of what you are seeking as the end product. Other questions to ask when hiring a photographer are:
1/ How much WEDDING EXPERIENCE do they have. Remember the best photographer in the world can be the worst Wedding Photographer.
2/ Do they have a 200mm lens. While this may not seem important to you. It is extremely important for those long shots that require close up vision but from a distance. I always shudder when a photographer turns up at a wedding that has no 200mm lens.
3/ Do they edit their own photographs? This question will have a two fold effect on your decision making. Firstly the privacy aspect where you have entrusted your photographer with many intimate moments on your wedding day. And if they do not edit their own product. Then it is a given that someone else who you have never been introduced to now have your private photographs without your knowledge.
Secondly, A Wedding Photographer that don't edit their own work is in my opinion JUST A SNAP SHOOTER. Meaning anyone could have been hired to shoot your wedding & then rely upon a 3rd person to create that great image.
4/ Insist. In Fact, make it a condition of employment that your Photographer engage in dicussion with your Videographer well prior to your wedding day. And the other way around as well. Make this pre wedding discussion mandatory between your Photography & Videographer.
This will ensure (to a point) that both have a full understanding of how they wish to work with each other on the day.
Remember you are paying good money for both these professionals. So ensure that they are both made aware that it is YOUR REQUIREMENT that they both engage in a mutual working relationship on the day.
In closing this segment I do want to touch on the Beginner Photographer & as well as the Cheaper version of a Wedding Photographer
Firstly the Beginner who is seeking to break into Wedding Photographer.
I whole heartedly encourage this type of photographer to pursue this avenue. But please do so as a 2nd shooter until they have the confidence in both their equipment & their ability. A Wedding is NOT a Practise Session. It is a very important day in two peoples life.
Please be aware that if you engage a Beginner. That you be fully aware that there could be missed shots or simple mistakes that go along with hiring a beginner. If you are aware of this & are happy to save money. Then by all means give that person a chance. Everyone needs to learn sometime.
Secondly. The cheaper Wedding Photographer. Oh My. Please be careful. There are so many out there that are what we in the industry call Weekend Ebay Warriors. Those that buy a cheap $200 camera on ebay and hit the Wedding Market thinking to make millions.
Please Please Please. This is YOUR WEDDING DAY....If you must work within a tight budget. Please dont just hire the cheapest quote. Ask yourself WHY SO CHEAP. And then ask yourself WHAT PRICE YOUR WEDDING MEMORIES....
Too many who wish to call themselves Wedding Photographers that are too cheap are bound to be very disappointing for you.
In the end.
YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.