“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
- Ansel Adams
One day my wife came to me and said her colleague is a photographer. He has a DSLR and loves to take pictures.
He wants to invest in an expensive camera to improve his image quality. So he wanted my advice.
That is when I realized that today anyone who owns a DSLR thinks he/she is a photographer. In fact, they even claim to be a professional photographer.
It is a general misconception that a good camera makes a great photographer.
So, everyone who has a DSLR wants to buy an expensive camera. Thus, they end up spending a lot of money.
I have many customers coming to me asking to edit the photographs clicked by the photographers they hired.
Most of the customers hire economical photographers to cover the event. But, due to lack of experience or being an amateur photographer, they are unable to give quality photos.
You can find many photographers who take up photography as a part time profession or as a hobby.
They can definitely give you quantity in a very economical rate. But, not necessary that they will give quality images.
You have to decide if you want to choose quality over quantity or vice versa.
Professional Wedding Photographer vs Amateur Wedding Photographer:
Let us first understand who is a professional wedding photographer and who is an amateur wedding photographer.
A professional wedding photographer shoots paid assignments. He/she makes a living by shooting events and does not do anything else apart from photography.
An amateur photographer takes up photographer assignments as a part-time job or as a hobby.
Importance of Photography in Your Wedding:
Wedding is the most important day in our lives. The only way to preserve that memory is through photographs.
The food served at your wedding would be forgotten over time, the chances are the clothes won’t fit you after sometime.
It is through photographs you preserve the memory forever.
This makes photography the most important part of your wedding.
Steps to Find the Perfect Wedding Photographer:
“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.”
First of all you need to decide what type of photography do you want for your wedding.
Gone are the days where there would be one cameraman who covers your entire event like they are on a mission.
Back in our parent's days, the primary focus of the photographer was to capture the event irrespective of the situation. It did not matter if you were laughing or looking somewhere else.
There was no way that the photographer could look at the image before developing the film.
Times have changed, now you are spoilt for choices.
All you have to do is to Google low cost wedding photographers, local wedding photographers or affordable wedding photography and you will find hundreds of options to choose from.
But, take a look at the points to consider before finalizing your wedding photographer for your big day:
1. Type of Photography:
You need to decide what type of photography you want. There are different types of photography.
There is traditional photography, candid photography and documentary photography. Most of us are quite familiar with traditional and candid photography.
Documentary photography is my personal favorite. It is a way to tell a story of the entire wedding journey.
In documentary photography there are no posed shots. The photographer wants to tell a story with every image he/she takes.
2. Research and Review:
Once you have decided on the type, look for photographers who work with that style.
Check their website or social media pages to understand their work.
If the photographer is local then chances are you will find someone who has already worked with him/her, may be a friend or a relative.
Get a review from them to understand how he/she works. Usually most of the photographers have their own style of working.
At times the photographer will come to shoot or might send someone working under that photographer for the shoot.
3. Understanding the Photographer’s Work
A personal meeting with the photographer would be great. Check if he/she fits your requirement.
Ask if he/she can show you their work, hard copies or albums. With the hard copies you will get an understanding of the quality of images.
If they cannot show hard copies then ask for the social media handles or website links to understand their work.
4. Lay Down Your Expectations:
It’s the most important day of your life and you would want some images to be shot in a particular way. You want the important people in your life to be throughout the images.
Let the photographer know what you are looking for. Also explore the internet for some good portrait shots.
Please check other cultures or traditions. You will get unique ideas. Discuss it with the photographer if he can do the images.
Let the photographer know about your rituals. It is always best to assign some relative for this job.
I always suggest my clients to check for wedding photography and picture ideas. Use Pinterest, Facebook of Google them.
You will find some amazing creative ideas to work with and bring something of your own.
This will also help the bride and groom to build a rapport with the photographer and that matters a lot.
Check for his/her pricing and what all services are included in it. A lot of photographers have wedding packages depending on your requirements.
6. Post Wedding:
After the shoot, when the photographer gives you the soft copies ask you could get high quality images out of them or not.
I have met many clients who could not print their wedding images because the image quality was not good.
Request for high quality soft copies.
Check the size of the album and how many images would be there in it. Usually, the photographer sends the images to the client to select for the album.
7. Duration to get the album:
Check when would you get the final images and album. Usually they take a minimum of four to eight weeks.
This is because most of the photographers are busy and post processing (editing) is a time consuming process. You have to bear with us.
If the photographer is genuine he/she would want to take some shots with you even when you don’t have the time.
Indian Wedding is a busy schedule. Everything depends on the set timings as we have muhurat for leaving the house, feras and almost everything.
It would be great if you could cooperate with the photographer thus allowing them to give you the splendid images you are looking for to last a lifetime.
Wedding is a once in a lifetime moment for many of us. You would want it to last a lifetime, cherishing those moments with your children, family members and friends.
Over the years, it will become one of the most important documents in a family. A legacy continues with it.
Make sure it is done in the best possible way. A lot of us do not understand the importance of this due to mobile phone cameras.
Every time I meet a new client I ask them what is the price of their parents wedding album and they say it is ‘priceless’.
Its only over the years you really understand the true value of this document.
Always remember, spending a penny extra to get what you are looking for is better than saving a dime for things that you don’t like.