A wedding is a big day that happens once in a life time…
From the bridal makeup in the morning, to the groom picks up the bride, and then the tea ceremony, the exchange of wedding rings…to the wedding reception at night…
Every couples would definitely want to capture every moments of laughters, every tears, every little moments of the wedding day and keep it for a lifetime.
But then you may be worried about…
“What if I hired a wedding photographer who is not reliable or not professional, or not able to meet my expectation?”
If you really hired a photographer like that…
You may have your exchange rings moment captured, but the kissing moment is missing;
Or what you want is a sweet style album, but what you get is a cool style album;
Or they may put you in a bad mood because of their bad attitude…
I beg none of you would like to face any situation like that.
But how to choose a right one?
Many articles just keep telling you to look at the photographers’ portfolio, but you have no idea what’s good and what’s bad.
INES WEDDINGS are going to give you 8 tips to help you find the right match—a reliable and professional photographer, to ensure your most beautiful and precious day will be properly documented.
STUDY PHOTOGRAPHERS’ PORTFOLIO
Portfolio is the best proof of a photographer’s performance.
Every elements and details in the images can give you an idea of a photographer’s style.
You should not just “look” at their portfolio, but to “study” it in different aspect.
Don’t believe in “love at first sight”…
“It’s so pretty, I like it!”
⋯and you just hired them in just a minute without consideration.
Remember that if you see a photographer is good at outdoor shooting…
It doesn’t mean he can also handle indoor shooting…
Every photograph can be measured on different elements, such as lighting, style, creativity etc.
Now we’re going to show you how to study a portfolio from the following aspects:
If you ask any photographer what makes a photo good or bad, 90% of them will tell you:
When you look at different portfolios, you will find that every photographers play with light differently.
Some of them prefer to take photo in a angle with more light to make the photo look bright, airy and romantic…
…While others prefer to take photo with little light and more shadow to create mood and emotion.
After comparing different photographers’ lighting skill, you may now know which one you mesh with better than others.
Another thing you should be aware about is “the natural light”.
Most of the photographers can usually take good photo with the natural light because they don’t have to use a flash or other lighting setups.
On the contrary, shooting in an indoor venue request more lighting skills.
For example like a church without windows(natural light).
Therefore you should look at photos that was taken in indoor to make sure that the photographer knows how to create light with different lighting skills.
One of the method is to look at photos that have similar characteristics to your venue.
For example if your wedding venue is a church that have little windows and is a bit dark, you can ask to see some similar shots.
Every photo is telling a story… and the composition of the photo is the way of how the photographer tell the story.
The photographer use the backs of the bride to frame the groom who is waiting for her to walks down the aisle.
This composition not only showing you the exact moment, but also letting you to feel how the groom and the bride feels.
How a photographer set up the photo decided how the wedding documentary feel like.
Is it telling a story in an interesting way?
Or is it just simply capturing the moment?
As you look through portfolios, ask yourself:
Do you think the photographer have good photo composition techniques?
Does the photographer make things more interesting?
If the photo makes you feel like you are in the moment…the composition skills of this photographer is definitely what you are looking for.
3. Portfolio-Post Processing
A lot of work in modern photography is done in post-processing…
When you’re looking at a photographer’s portfolio, you can easily know that if the images is done in post-processing and what type of processing it is.
The most 3 common types of processing are:
- Clean: Add no filter and only make little changes on brightness, contrast, color etc.
- Light: Increase photo brightness, or add lots of light effect to makes the photo looks dreamy.
- Film Emulation: Reduce photo brightness, range from dark and moody, less vibrant color. It’s meant to mimic the look and feel of film.
Don’t believe in love at first sight.
Don’t choose what you think is “Amazing”…
But choose what you think you “WANT”!
Couples in Hong Kong usually choose the first type—Clean, as they want the photo processed to be true to life.
Know about Photographers’ Personality
Having a compatible personality with your wedding photographer is really important because it plays a large role in setting the mood for your special day…
4. Set up a meeting
After studying lots of portfolio online…
You will know whose work you like and who you want to work with.
However, you shouldn’t hire them just because you like his work!
Meet them in person first.
Know about his personality and listen to your feelings…
“Do I like them? Do I get along well with them?”
You spend enough time with your photographer more than your bridesmaids on your wedding day.
If you feel like the photographer always goes his own way and not willing to listen to others…
Or if you feel uncomfortable around him…
DON’T hire him no matter how much you like his work!
You don’t want to let a person who you don’t like to follow you all day and ruin your BIG DAY, right?
Now, we’re going to talk about something realistic…
The Packages. The Price. The Actual Services.
If you don’t want over budget or let anyone you trust to disappoint you…
5. Wedding Photography Packages
Despite your financial situation and budget, you can’t start comparing packages until you’re sure of exactly what you want, right?
Evaluate and list out these:
- How many Photos you want?
- How many Albums you want?
- Extra Products?（E.g. DVD for your relatives and friends）
Now you can start comparing different photographers’ pricing based on your wish list.
Package prices basically based on the following items:
- Cost of travel
- Time spent working（e.g.Full day／Half day）
- Experience level of photographers
- How many photographers are shooting（e.g.Assistants）
- Equipment used
- Amount of post-production work required
Do not only compare the standard rates of different packages, but also pay attention to extras cost such as the extra product, engagement shoot or special effects.
One more thing to remember…
Never try to ask your photographer friend to offer you free service or ask a photographer to offer you a unreasonably low price…
If you really did that…
You will pay for it…not just the money.
6. Reviews and Recommendations
You can’t prove whether the photographer is good or not only by your own judgement.
You should read the reviews carefully from the past client. (Both the photo quality and the photographer performance on the day)
Some of the photographer may have good portfolios but the reviews might be like:
“Bad time management, Slightly socially awkward, Not being nice etc.”
And some of the others may have good reviews on their attitude but bad comments on their works…
If you don’t want to have a bad experience in your beautiful big day…
Read more reviews carefully or ask your married friends for recommendation to make sure you are going to hire a good one!
Once your wedding has happened, you’re going to want to get your hands on your photos.
How long does it take? What photos you can get?
7. Delivery Time
Get a timeline for how fast or slow a particular photographer turns around images and ask yourself how long you can accept.
A month? 3 months? 6 months?
Do you really want to wait for a year to get your hands on your photos?
Delivery of the full gallery generally can range from a week to 6 months.
Take this important Note：
“Faster isn’t always better.”
Many of talented photographers usually shoot a lot of weddings.
Taking more time to deliver images sometimes means they have more time to deliver you flawless work!
8. Photo Rights
And what you own is the usage rights of the photos that the photographer delivers to you which is usually the post-processed work.
However, some of the photographer will also give you the original file for your request.
If you don’t want any argument about the rights, just figure out what rights do you have and make everything clear before you pay. For example like:
- Will you get hi-res JPGs?
- Will you have to order prints through photographer?
- What photo can you publish?Can you publish unprocessed work?
Most of the Hong Kong photographer will usually publish your work to their website as portfolio…
If you want to control of where your photos are published, ask for that in advance.
However, if you ask a photographer not to publish your work means they may charge you a little extra…
Because publishing your photo is kind of free advertising and that’s the way they keeps their costs down!
Is it worth it? It’s all depends on you!
Choose Your Photographer Carefully, Document Your Beautiful Day Perfectly
Want to document your beautiful BIG DAY properly and perfectly?
It’s all about a professional photographer!
Take it serious and choose your wedding photographer with our 8 tips!