Today’s post is written by the super talented contemporary wedding photographer, Emmie Scott. Emmie lets us in on 5 tips from the top on what to look out for when choosing your wedding photographer.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOU
It is not uncommon at a wedding to have a guest walk up to me and ask me “can you Photoshop my wedding images? My photographer got drunk at my wedding and all my pictures are blurry”. Or something to that affect.
As a wedding photographer who takes their profession very seriously, there is nothing more frustrating and upsetting.
There is a lot of advice out there for engaged couples on how to choose a wedding photographer but I feel that much of it is misguided.
Don’t take the following advice for granted. Your photographs will continue to live on once the memories have long since faded. All the guests have left, the marque has been brought down, the food has been eaten, paper details have been thrown in the bin: your photography will last and continue to bring you joy forever more.
I am going to let you in on not only how to choose your wedding photographer but how to choose the right one for you and what to expect so that you can avoid any rogue traders.
1. Just because a friend recommends a photographer, do not take this as gospel that they’re going to give you the photography you want.
Yep, this has cropped up a few times now.
We all know our friends have our best interests at heart, but don’t assume that they have the same style as you. And many times they’re just trying to be helpful but in fact do not have a well informed opinion of that photographer. They may know their recommendation as a very nice person but this does not mean that they are right for you.
When you have been given a recommendation, make sure you research the photographer. Look through their blogs, follow them on social media. Meet them in person or have a Skype conversation with them. Get involved with them. Don’t be shy. Enquire about an engagement shoot. I know that having your picture taken can be daunting for many people, but any good photographer will make this a fun experience and it is a good opportunity to see who you’re working with.
2. Avoid “cheap” or “affordable” photographers.
A lot of people think of an amount to be put onto a spreadsheet when they consider the cost of a photographer. It is more important to consider the value you attach to your wedding photos. If you look at it this way, you may consider it wise to spend less on those disposable favors you are intending to buy…
A professional photographer has been studying their craft for many years. They have back-ups, contracts, insurance, the right equipment necessary to capture your day, years of learning and refining, they are a personality that will know how to be with you on your day and with your guests. It’s far more than clicking a button. It’s being able to deliver great service. And we all want that, right?
3. Once you know your photographer, trust your photographer.
You’ve researched your photographer, you’ve met with them, maybe had an engagement session with them, you know you love their photography and style, and you’ve seen their contract; now trust them.
Your photographer should assist you in laying out the groundwork for you to be able to do this.
I see a lot of advice on “shot lists” to hand to your photographer. By all means, if you have one, discuss this with you photographer but allow them the space to shoot your wedding so that your chosen photographer is able to deliver the style of images you’ve booked them for.
4. The truth about copyright
In a recent article, I was stunned to read to read the advice “make sure you have copyright of your images”.
The 1988 Copyright Act automatically assigns copyright to the photographer. It is standard practice among professionals to retain this copyright and not sign this over.
Don’t let this put you off.
It is very normal to see in a wedding photographer’s contract that they retain the copyright to their images and will include a model release so that may use images for marketing purposes. However if you do have any concerns regarding your images being used, do speak to the photographer and you may be able to work out some sort of agreement.
5. Make it count
Times have changed. The days when a photographer just rocked up, shot the ceremony and did a few formal pictures are kind of over (Well there’s still some out there. Horses for courses and all that).
The modern wedding photographer is a bit different.
In the majority of cases, they will spend the whole day with you. So why not embrace them and consider them to be part of your wedding.
They will want to tell your story and the more of your story you let them in on, the better it will be told.
There you have it.
The point is, as long as you take the time to get to know who you’re working with you will have an amazing experience and a product to be proud of and to cherish.
All imagery by Emmie Scott.