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What Photographer Do I Want?

November 7, 2015

Your wedding date has just been set.  You said yes.  Or maybe they said yes.  Either way, you are here to see if this is the one.  This post will help you find the right photograhper for you both.  It's written to help you understand what you really need to know and think about before you sign your event contract.  In general, the photographer is at the top 2 vendors chosen for your wedding after you find your venue.  The person or persons you choose to capture your wedding day should feel like family by the end of your wedding day.  

 

Depending on your budget for your wedding a few options may pop up.  "Hey, doesn't your cousin have a camera?" "Who did your sister's wedding?"  The questions can be endless.  Regardless of your budget you have to find what you want and be sure that person can give you what you want.  That cousin may have a camera.  Does she have enough batteries to capture the entire day? A memory card large enough to capture all the images without having to lower the sizing of files to enlarge at a quality you have to have to print them correctly?  What about lenses?  Does she have one that will give us details and also get the whole family in one photo?  This posting will help you with all this and more.  Let's get started.

 

Hi, my name is Tom Keene.  As a professional photographer now since 2002, I have seen the change from film to digital, the love to the hate of all editing types, HDR, black and white, muted colors, over exposed and other looks.  I can do them all.  I have worked with many many other photographers and many of them now work for me here at LAdigitalPhoto.  Whether you choose myself or one of my team or another photographer, you will have to consider the following:

 

The Breadth of Their Work

 

What is the photographer showing you of their work?  Perhaps more importantly, what are they not showing you?  A photographer's portfolio is a way to see what they have done in the past.  Can they capture the full day with the vision you have?  Most photographers will show you their best 50 images tops on line or in person.  If you see them all from one or two weddings it's likely because that's the most they have shot even though they say they have years of experience.  Despite the current usage of most wedding photos, the posting of them on social media, all couples expect to be able to print their images at some point either to put in frames on their wall, make large prints or make the wedding album of their dreams.  Make sure your photographer can show you the range of their work in medium you want to have.  Do they seem to have a change from one wedding to another? Are all of them exactly the same? This may or may not make a difference to you.  The key is are you going to love what they show as being your own? Are they willing to accept your input?  If you give them no input are they just standing around doing searches for your venue to get ideas of photos to take while you wait for them to do their work?

 

Know what you will need.  If you don't know, ask.  If your photographer doesn't discuss your vision, move on.  If they don't ask about lighting expectations that might occur, a dark church, a bright beach or the rain, then they are not likely very experienced.  This is where you will expect to see large variations to pricing.  You will also find this being a variation based on weekend warriors or "Uber"photographers vs. full time photographers.

 

Styles of Photography

 

What kind of car do you own?  A Honda and a Porshe will both do the same thing. They take you from home to work or to the store and more.  What's the difference? Style, comfort, social status, and gas mileage are certainly different.  Photographers can also be hugely different.  Let's take a look.

 

PHOTOJOURNALISM:

 

This is the buzz word out there.  What does it mean?  This is a story telling style through the images catpured.  Whether by stringing them together in an album or allowing each image to be an indivudial story is what you will want to consider. Photojournalism is nothing more than candids and "as it happens" images.  They are not posed.  They occur and a seasoned professoinal will know they are coming often and find the best place to be to capture them without being part of the moment.  Expect to cry and feel yourself right back on that day every time you look at it or maybe see something you completely missed.

 

TRADITIONAL:

 

The shot list.  Most photographers will cringe if you make them a shot list.  Photos of mom and dad, dad and groom, groom and bride by the water fall...  This is by best definition, the oppoisite of photojournalism.  A photographer who shoots by this will miss your entire day.  They will be too busy looking at a piece of paper with a pen and saying check, check, check or trying to herd people together to get the one shot they missed minutes before.

 

PORTRAIT:

 

Stand here.  Look there.  Put your hand on his shoulder.  Lot's of direction will be given to you and often it may be needed especially during family formals.

 

PORTRAIT PHOTOJOURNALISM:

 

This is what you are likely looking for in a modern wedding.  The combination of both catagories listed above but with a affection for melding the two and in most cases not really making it look so obvious.  A photographer should be able to help you when you need help, especially during the more posed portion like family portraits, know who should stand with who and where as well as moments of the two of you alone in what we call A Moment Alone.  A time we set aside just for you to be with each other without others around and watch you realize you just got married.  Some couples can do this part of the day all on their own.  Others need a lot of direction or at least ideas, especially if you have not done an engagement session with your photographer. (hint hint).

 

 

 

 

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