How to Choose. Eeek There's a Lot Of Us!
(I'm saying photography not photographer) purely because there are TONS of photographers but ultimately you will be choosing their photography, their style and of course their personality too.
Nearly ALL of the people i meet say a similar thing, 'i want nice relaxed images, nothing too posed'. However, if people where going by those values alone then THERE ARE LOADS of photographers around offering that 'same thing', so if we are all offering the same relaxed style, which everyone claims they have, then how on earth do you choose when you look further into their work when we are all selling the same thing?
I always let clients see whole weddings from front to back, this is really important. You have to see how a photographer 'reads the day'. The way one moment flows into the other, the way the day reads, the way the photographer decides to incorporate emotions into imagery is really important, WHAT THEY SEE and how they see it, is ultimately what style is based on.
Some photographers are really talented at story telling and making you feel like you are 'in the wedding'.
Documentary photography and just capturing natural images as they happen are completely different. Do they move across the room to try and get the best light or the best amount of emotion, the best setting, do they consider the background, the lighting and the emotion in the shoot.
A good wedding photographer should have a consideration of all 3. You should be able to read each image, see what is going on, feel an emotion and see it well let and sharp and in focus.
Wedding images are timeless pieces. It is wo
rth considering the amount of process that is going to be done to your images. How will these images fair in 10-20 years time with today's trendy processing techniques?
Everyone will edit differently. Ensure you choose someone who edits in a style that you like.
Can They Adapt to an Environment?
This is about moving the plant pot that's in the way. Moving that fire extinguisher. Taking the group out of the squinting sun. Knowing that that there are parked cars in the background of a shot or a branch protruding from someones head in a group shot. Moving that bag on the floor that's in the way of some cracking light that if you don't move it you are not going to get it.
How far does that photographer go to make the image right? Everyone has their own limits of what they think is perfect and you can see this in pictures, from having a trained eye myself, if you had to compare photographers where one used 'considered backgrounds' to unconsidered, you will see a noticeable difference.
Photographers can differ from using hardly any background consideration at all. e.g. un-straightened verticles in every shot, un-considered background, through to those who ensure everything lines up correctly, is neat and well positioned, that each shot looks considered. It just depends how important this is to you.
Do You Like Their Lenses?
OK, with a degree of skill, reading aperture and shutter speed, in theory a good photographer can produce a good image on any piece of equipment. However, there are some lenses that you can just 'see quality in', i am not talking about the image itself of course but how it is taken, some lenses just look great, they are so sharp, so clear and just make images look amazing.
I think a great lens will compliment any good photographers skill. Once you have seen one type lens shot next to another type, you will massively see the difference.
Have you ever seen some images taken in low light or a dark church and just wondered why they are so grainy or they just don't look right. Apart from not having adequate lighting some lenses/even camera bodies are just not cut out well for dark environments.
I honestly think you can tell someone using amazing lenses. I have noticed changes in my own work over the years from switching and changing lenses and i know the client can notice it too.
I'm not suggesting you quiz a photographer on their lenses, however its worth looking to see if the images you 'wow sharp' or of course, that may not even be something that you are fussed about in the choosing process, it depends how far you want to go.