Oh No! Not again!
This unfortunate couple not only paid peanuts for their photographer but clearly did not meet them before the ceremony to look through their portfolio and as a result got a bunch of the worst photos I have ever seen.
These were clearly not taken by anyone with even a basic understanding of photography, which is such a shame for true professionals like me to hear.
So how can you avoid this type of calamity folks? Easy - be prepared:
(Is it all about spending lots of money? Not necessarily, but anyone who prices themselves ‘incredibly’ low has not understood the full task ahead of them and should be avoided. Booking someone cheap is a huge risk.)
- Meet a selection of photographers in person, look through their work, this will allow you to compare quality and style of photography.
- Do they have nice albums, print prices, parent albums, pre-wedding shoots and other bits and pieces to sell? If so, this is a good sign that the entire wedding photography business has been considered and developed, showing a business maturity.
- Does the photographer do a venue visit with you? I always offer this, and it is important to research any venues that I may be unfamiliar with, as well as to find out what the couple like about the venue, after all it is their wedding!
- Ask them what cameras they use for the photography (note the plural - I never leave the house without a backup camera and backup lenses), and if you don’t know the models, then google them when you get home - amateur camera means amateur photographer.
- Ask them how they will present their images to you and how they will be backed up. Albums, DVDs and online galleries are the minimum you should expect.
- Ask how many photos they will give you from a full day’s coverage. Experience has shown me that a modern wedding shot in the reportage style, with a blend of some traditional group shots will result in 160-200 images. Any more than this is a clear indicator that the photographer cannot exercise proper quality control and again has not thought through their business model. I have seen up to 800 images presented to couples and this is obscene. More is definitely not better in this instance. View 800 images on a slideshow at 10 seconds each and you have a 2hr epic to sit through! Basically, you end up having to filter out all the duff shots - which is not only unfair, but is is a huge task (possibly the hardest, which I suspect is why these amateurs try to pass the buck onto the couple).
Follow these tips (or even easier - just come to see me ;) and you will end up with a wonderful set of wedding photographs to remember your day by.
Philip Stanley Dickson
23rd April 2013