Wedding photo shoots used to be “a must” in any wedding affair, starting as far back as the Victorian era. Whereas once it was a privilege of high society, now it is ubiquitous and available to us all. But unique and themed photo shoots done right may still be too costly and hence out of reach for some. But wait! Does it mean we need to skip this dream?! NO! It doesn’t mean you should spend less money and have a lackluster photo shoot.
Here are a few tips on how to choose the wedding photographer who not only will get you top quality shots but also do it at a reasonable budget.
If you have friends who got married recently, asking them for a recommendation is a quick way to solve this problem. One caveat is that some couples want to have something of their own and do not want “to share” a photographer.
How to find
You may find good prices but terrible quality of shots. Unfortunately this happens too often. Yet some dilettantes may shoot your wedding for free just because they need shots for their personal pages. Nonetheless, if you hire such a “professional”, you run a big risk. Please, take into account all the services the photographer provides. A true professional will show you prefect shots in different styles. If you plan a retro photo shoot you should look through all sorts of retro inspired pictures your photo master has made (gray, black-and-white, sepia styled shots, etc..). The truly professional photographer will print out a photo album or a wedding book styled as you ordered. Sometimes a wedding book will need extra expenses but, believe us, you won’t regret it! You can also order a wedding photo shoot by not hiring individuals directly but getting in touch with different photography agencies. One thing to beware of is the price may be twice as high for the same services.
If you already found several candidates…
So the best advice is… to use a Google Spreadsheet. Make a list of all the photographers you liked judging by their portfolios and sort them by price. Then get in touch with each one to find out about all possible discounts, prices (sometimes prices may be lower or higher depending on the season), and photographers’ schedules. Then meet with all the individuals from your “short-list”.
Two for the price of one?
Sometimes you will see two photographers work a wedding simultaneously. Often the artists are a man and a woman, a married couple. You may reject this idea, but we urge you to be open-minded as many won’t even take more money for the shoot. The goal is to capture twice as many shots, and thus be able to select only the perfect shots for your wedding album. Such photographers capture moments using different cameras, lenses, viewpoints, etc... In other words, you will have twice as many chances to have truly splendid shots.
If you ordered a video shooting, please try not to make a mess of your wedding because the operator needs dynamics whereas the photographers need static poses.
Only a professional photographer knows how to emphasize your best side and hide your worst. Some may do a trial run of the couple to be sure and catch the perfect shots. While some are good indeed but still want more splendid shots for their portfolio and will offer a free “love story” (a pre-wedding photo shoots) for free.
Tips on shooting your guests
If you have close friends, relatives or parents over 50, make sure the photographers are good at taking shots of elderly faces. Only professionals may capture elderly faces without makeup and make them look gorgeous. Look at the shots of the great master who captured Meryl Streep. Take, for example, Lacombe (having taken shots for the “Vanity Fair”). Another great example is Susan Sarandon, captured by Annie Leibovitz. You will see every wrinkle on her face but all the wrinkles look splendid and sexy!
Styles of wedding photo shoots
The best professionals know all the best sights of the city and if you have no idea where to go, he or she will advise. Do not have time for walking? Make a montage photo shoot. But keep in mind: the montage photo shoot should only be done by a true professional only! Any professional must have a variety of lenses, photoflashes, reflectors, etc…. The true professional always uses one lens for a portrait shot and another for a landscape scene or a wedding party. Remember: lower prices are often very suspicious.
If you have a spare week you may spend it searching for different portfolio pages. Some of the shots may look similar. Unfortunately sometimes many shots look alike as copied from one another. In this case, you better stay away from such a photographer. Also you may discover different sites with photos of the same idea. It is another bad sign. A professional will only suggest really unique ideas for photo shoots. Finally we couldn’t help but mention that the truly enamored couples will come out splendid captured under any conditions or angles, at any point of view, in any style or color. Be happy!