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How to Choose Your Photographer!

A wedding photographer is charged with capturing the most important day of your life and immortalizing it on film. With such a huge responsibility and being that you cannot see your pictures before your big day, it can be one of the most difficult decisions you will make for your destination wedding.
With my own experience as a wedding photographer for the last 9 years and having worked with many brides and grooms, I wanted to put together a “What You Need to Know” guide to help you sort through, narrow down, and finally select that special photographer that you will entrust with capturing your wedding memories.

His Style – See photographer’s portfolios:

The most important aspect of your photographer is also the easiest one to evaluate. The style needs to draw you in, speak to you, and make you fall in love. In our profession, we often use words like contemporary, photojournalistic, artistic, traditional, and vintage when referring to styles. In the end, regardless of the description, you simply need to follow your heart when finding the your ideal photographic style.

The best way to judge a photographer’s style is through their website. There, you will find a selection of their favourite shots and get your first glimpse at the photographer’s vision. Portrait sessions require a very different approach than a ceremony or reception, where the photographer cannot stop or control the action. So, it is important that you look through various galleries, including photographs of each stage of a wedding. Too many photos of small details, even if they are good, may reflect a lack of anticipation when action is required.

 

His Skill – See complete wedding sessions:

Even amateur photographers can capture a few great photos and portfolios are a selection of a photographer’s best shots.

In order to have a realistic idea of what you can expect for your wedding, ask to see a single complete wedding session. Bet ter yet, why not ask if it is possible to see a wedding shotat the same venue you have chosen for your own event. A complete shoot will reveal the photographer’s over-all talent and skill level. While not all photos will blow you away, the general level of the photography should be good throughout. If the assistant photographer’s tools or skill level are not adequate, you will also notice that in a full shoot.

Aside from a website, many photographers nowadays also host an online Blog where you will find l arge selections of photos from each photo session. Often these shoots will even be sorted by location or venue. Ask about a blog and spend time checking the various locations. You may even find some great ideas or suggestions for your own wedding planning.

For my part, you can watch very large selections of my weddings and Trash the Dress on my blog:

 

 

Quantity: 30 to 40 photos/hour from reputable photographers:

It is natural to want hundreds of photos of your big day but with an art such as photography, “the more the merrier” does not always apply. In my experience, a reputable photographer will have 30 to 40 good ideas (i.e. photos) per hour. Many more photos will be taken but only to be sure to capture the right moment and facial expression of each stage of your event. Perhaps there will more photos during the ceremony as a lot of things happen in a short time, but fewer photos per hour during a portrait session, where each photo can be more carefully planned and executed.
While some photography companies will promise packages including 100 to 150 photos per hour many of these photos will be very similar and each photo will not get the time and attention in post-production that it deserves. To get more photo s unless you are hiring multiple photographers to cover your wedding event.

Price – from nothing to $15,000!

Of course, your final selection of a wedding photographer and package will have to fit within your budget. Prices vary greatly from almost nothing to well over $10,000 for a 1-day wedding coverage. Always keep in mind that your photos will be your lasting reminder of that special day for many years to come. Never select a photographer exclusively based on price, especially if you do feel a connection with his work or his personality.
A good photographer will rarely be amongst the cheapest, so be wary of packages that offer a lot for very little. For a high quality final product, the photographer needs to invest in good cameras, use an assistant or second photographer, and spend a considerable amount of time working your photos on powerful computers.
A tip: if your dream photographer is out of your budget, consider adding your photography package of choice to your wedding gift registry. This can also work well for a post-wedding Trash-the-Dress session. Friends and family will enjoy reliving the memories they made possible and helped create.

 

Some additional tips:

  • Main photographer should not be an assistant. Always ask the name of the photographer that will cover your wedding and ask to see only his work when browsing portfolios. Be wary of companies that show you work by their best photographer, yet send only assistants on your big day as they are covering several events at the same time.
  • Any questions you need to ask: The best moment to send a message to a professional photographer and get a quick response is at the beginning of the week. Most wedding and events take place on Friday and over the weekends, so if you send a message on Thursday night, you may only receive your answer the next Monday.
  • Delivery time: It is normal for a professional photographer to require several weeks before delivery of your final product. Working the photos is time consuming (for myself, a 5 hour wedding coverage would require a week’s work on my computer). A photographer who promises to delivery 200 or 300 photos within a few days, will surely not edit each photo individually and not dedicate the appropriate amount of time to each snapshot of your wedding.

 

Pierre VIOLLE / Photographer

Visit my WEBSITE

 

 

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  • John Young Photography - Some great tips there I especially like the comment about how many photos to expect. I have seen so many photographers offering hundreds and hundreds of photos to WOW customers but then most of them are just repeats of the same photo….

    Photos need to be thought out and planned (of course there will be the excellent spontaneous shots)and created like a work of art not quickly shot like anything will do.

    thank you for the articleReplyCancel

  • July Ronder - Good photographer is definitely not cheap. It is also not an easy job. Not only the hours during the wedding but especially the post editing.It is very demanding and unfortunately many people think that for a good photography is enough a good camera and then a click.ReplyCancel

  • Anchal Bhatia - Great tips on wedding photography. Qty per hour is a very valid point made.ReplyCancel

  • Dipra Sen - Great info on wedding photography. I can remember that I was tensed in my wedding though the end result was good.ReplyCancel

  • Romany Watson - Amazing idea! I love the under water wedding photo. I never see before such kind of photos. It’s really great stuff, I love the way put everything together. What a perfect shotReplyCancel

  • Jacob - Right, I’d rather get 30 to 40 quality photos per hour that are all well-thought about and captured perfectly than 100 to 150 which all look basically the same and are poorly taken. Thanks for all these really great advices!ReplyCancel

  • Shrey Patel - Hi,

    Amazing Wedding Ideas.
    Magnificient Blog.
    Looks like perfect Wedding Blog.
    I am Big Fan of yours.
    Thanks for sharing this Ideas.
    Each and every blog of yours is Unique waiting for another Blog.ReplyCancel

  • Ron - Viewing complete wedding galleries is a must! Anyone can take a few good photos, you have to view the work all the way through to make a good decisionReplyCancel

  • Custom Suits - Great write up, Pierre! I never thought some companies were just sending their assistants instead of the main photographer, now I have something to watch out.ReplyCancel

  • Ross Davies - I really liked this article and think it is fantastic guide for somebody who is beginning their search for a wedding photographer.

    Hopefully your wedding is a once in a lifetime experience, making sure it is captured on camera in the way you hoped for cannot be left to chance. Your article gives some great pointers to somebody who does not work in the industry which will help them get the wedding photos they are looking for.ReplyCancel

  • Ken - Sweeet picture of you with the under water camera with the couple. Where was that? Looks like a cave.ReplyCancel

  • Wedding Photographer Preston - this is very interesting post i really like that and all photographs are also awesome.
    we are also providing Wedding Photographer services for more information please visit: http://www.knstudio.co.ukReplyCancel

  • Chapel of Flowers - I didn\’t think about the possibility of them sending assistants instead of The boss. That\’s a good thing to be aware of.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - Some excellent tips here for brides and grooms, thanks for sharing!

    Jessica xReplyCancel

  • Saad Masood - Those are some very useful advice. thanks for this effort
    The content of your website is really goodReplyCancel

  • Professional Pictures - Great tips!

    Photography is an art and thus, it is often very exciting to explore. With the help of Photoshop and other photo editing software, it’s now possible to turn amateur shots into ready to share professional looking pictures.ReplyCancel

  • David - I think you are expert about photographer. I really learn by read your blog how to choose best photographer. It is really informative article that help people. Thanks for this article.ReplyCancel

  • Dean Whitling - I feel to add that your connection with the photographer is vitally important. You will probably spend more time with your photographer than anyone else on the day, so you need to ascertain if they are someone you would like to share your important day with.ReplyCancel

  • Orange County Photographer - I would say 30-40 photos an hour is pretty accurate!ReplyCancel

  • Mia Shannon - Choosing the right photographer takes a lot of research. It’s also best to observe weddings that you have attended and the results of their photos from there you can be able to spot who’s going to be your photographer.ReplyCancel

  • Like facebook - Awesome shots at all! I’m pleased to read about this entry and all this information are very helpful to me. Thanks for those style. 😆ReplyCancel

  • Lusan Mandongus - I like the photos in the water. Where is that place? The water is so clear that you could clearly see what’s below. Great photos!ReplyCancel

  • Steven Ramsden - I’ve seen plenty of trash the dress work in my time, but none where the photographer jumps in with waterproof camera and wet suit. TTD at its best, here’s a photographer with commitment to the cause. Inspiring.ReplyCancel

  • Corporate Photography - Great shot of you in the water with the happy couple posing for the shot. Do you have an underwater camera or is it a waterproof case?ReplyCancel

  • mangalashtak - good post for those who are searching for photographer for there weddingReplyCancel

  • Manor House - I am agreed with you upon all the points you are described for choosing a photographer. It is important to see his skill. you should also see his experience and also take views from his last wedding client.ReplyCancel

  • bristol wedding photographer - Always take a little time to get to know your wedding photographer before the day. I can’t stress enough how important it is to feel comfortable with your photographer, and it will show in the photos!ReplyCancel

  • Emma J - Liking the underwater idea – although not sure how much good that would do the wedding dress!!ReplyCancel

  • Albury Photography - Hello, I’m Alex Reign. And I really love to read your blog as well as the examples that you’ve mention. Thank you so much for this helpful contents. I am looking forward to see more example contents like this.

    If you have time you can also visit this site that I managed to surf in:
    Albury PhotographyReplyCancel

  • Austin - I Must say I am impressed specially love the Under Water photograph .. Unique Idea

    Pierre, I visited your link for Underwater cenote trash the Dress link but its not working ?ReplyCancel

  • Gwen - Who did the pictures of the « trash the dress » at the cenotes in riviera maya? I am looking for someone with an underwater camera to do some like that.ReplyCancel

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