Choosing Your Wedding Photography


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. 

Do They Story Tell? Is This Something You Like? Ensure You Like the Way They See The Day!

Some photographers are amazing at telling a story, however you won't be able to tell this from see a few shots. You will need to see an entire wedding to purely judge this.  Can you tell key moments, where they are, what happened, what peoples reactions are? 

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. 

Do You Like Their Processing? 
This is really important. Do you like the way the images are processed? Does the photographer process them at all and to what level? 
Some photographers have heavy editing, some keep it fairly edit free, do you like how they look? Some may use warmer tones. Some may edit with more cooler tones, some may make some images monochrome. 
Some may choose to use quite a lot of contrast and blacks in imagery for a stronger feel, some photographers will not edit at all, this is really important, to what time and care do you want put into the images that are given back to you? 
Do you mind that the wall in your wedding venue where the speeches have been taken have got marks all over them and the photographer has left them in, do you mind that there are distractions in the pictures, fire exit signs, things like that left in.
Do you mind that the editing on the green areas in images make the grass look luminous, or that its' not green at all, or does the level of editing making the scenery look completely flat to you. 
These are all considerations. How a photographer processes will have a major impact on the outcome, have a look at how they process, see if you like it. 

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. 

Can They Use External Lighting? 
Some photographers like to throw in night shots, these look magical, a bit special. Not all photographers can do these sort of shots. Ask them if its something you want. Not everyone will have training in this. 
Many photographers will have a flash. Some won't. You will see photographers that swear by doing everything with natural light. Of course you will always get parts of the day that needs a little bit of help with a flash. 
How do natural light photographers with a natural light portfolio fare when they have to start shooting in darker environments? 
If you have a winter wedding or you have a darker church or environment, this is worth looking into to see some of the work they can do. 
Have you ever seen how different photographers work all look different with how they use flash? Some point it direct, some use the flash on camera, some use a diffuser, some will bounce it off the ceiling. Believe it or not but different uses of flash  will affect the tone of the pictures completely. 
Have you ever noticed that some images with flash has a very bright cheap look  this is all to do with how someone uses the flash, there are types of flash use that may sit will with wedding photography and some which may not be to your taste, do have a look at this too. 

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