(Closed) What To Look For In Photographers?

posted 9 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
2030 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

One thing to check is whether they have access to the right kind of professional quality equipment for your event. No matter what they should have backup memory and a backup camera. If you event is in a dark church they should have proper lighting. If you plan to take photos outside make sure they are ok with getting their equipment wet. If you want a traditional portrait station for guests, make sure they have a backdrop, stand lights, and umbrellas (to reflect the flash). If you want fisheye or other unusual shots they will need specialty lenses. If they do not own the proper equipment they can usually rent it, but they’ll need to know in advance what your event requires.

Post # 5
Member
997 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010 - The Pierre Hotel

Hi!  One thing that I found very useful was meeting the photographers in person to determine whether you and your Fiance “click” (no pun intended!) with them.  They will be following you around all day, and you want to be comfortable with them so your shots are natural and relaxed. 

Additionally, these are questions I asked when meeting with photographers:

1. I asked to see a full album.  This really provides a good way for you to see how they shoot all aspects of one wedding.  A lot of sites only show the “best of” shots from multiple weddings, so it’s hard to get a clear picture of what one wedding would look like.

2. Balance between candids and posed? Are they open to doing more of one or the other? This is important to make sure that their vision is aligned with yours.

3. Black and white vs. color vs. sepia vs. effects?  

4. Copy of all negatives with a right to print? My fiance and I were looking for this specifically; we’re planning on making our own albums at a later date.

5. What was the most challenging wedding he or she ever shot? I asked this question to see what they viewed as challenges and how they worked with the situation.

6. How long after the wedding can we expect to see our photographs?

Hope this helps! Good luck!

Post # 6
Member
2634 posts
Sugar bee

I think you first need to determine what kind of pictures you like.  When you look at photog’s websites, do you prefer the more formal looking pics (lots of posed things) or do you prefer a more photojounalistic style?  Find the style that YOU (and your FI) prefer.  Let that be your jumping off board.

Then look around, check out AS many as you can on the web.  Find three or four that you LOVE (and that are in your price range!) and set meetings up with them.  You’ll find a million lists on line about what to ask them, some of the pp’s gave great info as well.

GL with your search – I *agonized* during our photog search, but it completely paid off – I found someone I adore (and fits my budget). 

Post # 7
Member
276 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Definitely, take into account whether or not you prefer the action, candid photos or the formal, posed ones.  Photographers usually spend more time on one than the other.  Also, see if they offer packages with the rights to all your pictures.  I would search for photographers in your area and then check out their website and blog.  I noticed that a lot of people who took engagement portraits with my photographers liked them enough to have their wedding done.  Mine is traveling from out-of-state, but I think it’s worth it!

Post # 8
Member
79 posts
Worker bee

as a photographer, and as a future groom who has been looking for months for aphotographer, i give you one piece of advice:

 

if you aren’t blown away by the first 3 pictures on their website, then close it and go to the next.  not only does the style not immediately wow you, but they dont have the business sense to put their best images, most impactful images, right up front to grab attention.

 

its your wedding, nobody here can tell you what to look for…when you find it, you will know

Post # 9
Member
209 posts
Helper bee

What the others said, as well as emphasizing consistency in their work, how they handle pressure, are they professional with their communication, what do they shoot on their down time..

 

Post # 10
Member
1 posts
Wannabee

I was just talking to someone about this.  They hired someone who has only done a few weddings & was still learning -he said that he didn’t see a difference. 

I haven’t hired a photog yet, but I know what I like and what I don’t like.  Sometimes it’s out of budget though, so it’s a lot of researching.  I asked a friend who did her wedding because I loved her album & the style of shots they took.

Sounds corny, but when I feel that I can feel the emotion in the picture, that’s when I know.  I agree with Darren, you will know when you find it. 

Post # 11
Member
79 posts
Worker bee

another thing…ask to see a whole wedding shoot, not just the website portfolio shots…those are obviously (or should be) the best pictures.  sometimes its 1 or 2 from eah wedding, but rest of the wedding sucks….just be thorough and you’ll make the right choice

Post # 12
Member
173 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

When I looked through photographers portfolios, beyond quality (good lighting, etc) was taste.  Some photographers had kind of cheesy poses.  Sometimes that may be due to what the couple wants.  The one I chose, I could see myself in those pictures.  That was what really sold me.

Post # 13
Member
7082 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

I am going to do a whole post on finding your photographer, but I might as well give you the quick and dirty summary.  This was the number 1 element to me, and I knew from the get-go that it wasn’t something I was going to skimp on.

I did NOT start by looking for photographers in the Lake Tahoe area.  I started by looking at a LOT of photography.  I was already a flickr member, but joined groups where I could follow the work of amazing photographers.  I looked at their composition, body of work, and other technical aspects.  I learned what I liked and what I didn’t like.  I looked at a lot of portrait photography.

Then I went to the WPJA website and clicked through almost every photographer that I could find in several states, including California, New York, and Washington State. I knew I would have been willing to fly the right photographer in from wherever they might be located. By the time I got through the body of work of many, many photographers, I had a really good sense for what my style was, what I wanted the energy to feel like, and the type of post-processing I was drawn to.

Only then did I start looking at the portfolios of every single photographer I could identify in the Tahoe area.  When I saw Annie X‘s work, I knew that I completely adored it.  Every single shot I saw of hers was exactly what I thought I was looking for.  I literally had my breath taken away.  I couldn’t breathe and thought she might be the one… but I didn’t call her yet.  I surfed every image I could find of hers, and exhausted my dream list of photographers before I called her.  Nobody held a candle to her, so finally I called.  I had to change our wedding date in order to book her… It was that important to me!

We didn’t meet in person (though I recommend that to anyone else), and though I recommend seeing complete weddings, I didn’t know that at the time.  I just absolutely knew that she was the photographer for us.  It was the same feeling I had when I knew my partner was the one, my dress was the one etc.  When you love every single image in a person’s body of work… it’s a good bet that you are going to like their work on your wedding!

I hope that helps.  Just remember, you are enlisting the services of an artist… so you better be sure that you love their art!

Post # 14
Member
44 posts
Newbee

We just started by looking at photographers in the area and narrowing down by who we liked and who fit our budget.        

Post # 15
Member
37 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Aside from budget, my Fiance and I based it off their creativity and style. Their personality had to be like ours or we weren’t comfortable. Also, the equipment they own is key. I know that can be hard to tell, but by the quality of their photos, you should be able to tell if they are able to take pictures in low lighting without them looking grainy among other things. I think the most important thing is that they match your style and personality. If they are only “similar” to what you want, you are likely to be disappointed. Also, you stated the obvious, the style of photography they shoot… I assume you wouldn’t look into a photographer too much if they shot in a style you didn’t like…

Good luck!

Post # 16
Member
883 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

When you are looking at photogs work, you want to be thinking two things: 1 – this is beautiful! and 2 – this really captures the moment and makes me feel like im there even though I have no idea who these people are!

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Just a warning when stalking photog blogs – dont just ooh and ahh over the edgy magazine ad style photos. I loooved so many photos because every bride looked like she was in the pages of a bridal magazine. But now I’ve realized that sometimes you sacrifice the rest of the photo and a lot of the details.

This one stood out to me because I realized I know the bride. I still have no idea if I know her new husband because he’s not in focus in any of the photos. Also, I know that the priest who married them is my priest as well… the reason I know this? I recognized his stole. You can’t see peoples faces. They are amazing photos, but I really feel you loose feeling for the “edgy – in” look. The other thing about some more edgy photogs is that they tends to “blow out” photos for a dramatic look. No biggie, except you loose details. I bet you that bride spent lots of time picking her dress… the dress details are the first to go when shooting “wide open”.

Just some thoughts to keep in mind!

For examples of what i think “capturing the moment” in photography feels like – check out this post:

http://barefootstargazer.blogspot.com/2008/08/photography-in-moment_06.html

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