Life Might Give You Second Chances – Wedding Photography Will Not

Trough the years of your childhood up to the present day you might have felt once or twice that life gave you some second chances. But there are times and occasions when something goes wrong, and no matter what, not even life itself can help you. You can say that Wedding Photography is one of these occasions.

You have waited and dreamed about this magical day for your whole life. The day that you were finally getting married to the man of your dreams, your price charming. You have made so many special plans so you would have the perfect ceremony and reception, the most beautiful dress, flowers, etc, etc and etc.

Now it is time to choose your Wedding Photographer. Note that it didn’t say to you to choose just a regular photographer, neither someone like your friend or uncle just because he or she has a camera. Wedding Photography is a very detailed specialty inside the photography business and if you really care about the only memory that you are going to have from that day and that you can show to generations to come, here are some tips:

1- A Good Plan

You need to start planning ahead before you go checking websites for samples, prices and etc. You need to put together all the information that you already have, like; wedding location, date and time, details of flowers, dress, etc.

2- Style

Once you go through some wedding pictures that you’ve found in few different websites and magazines, you will need to start selecting what kind of pictures you would like to have of your special day. Don’t just say that you want a Photojournalistic or Traditional Style, because this is an old way to define Wedding Photography. Today’s Top Wedding Photographers go beyond old styles incorporating some artistic, modern and creative style to their collections creating the most beautiful piece of art.

3- Finding a Wedding Photographer

Do a simple Google, Yahoo or MSN search: “Wedding Photographer in ____________ (name of the city)”. This will bring hundreds, if not thousands of different sites that you can start doing your research. Start filtering all that information avoiding sites that don’t say the name of the photographer on its description. You want to connect with a Top Wedding Photographer, not just another search engine channel or some photography studio trying to get you into their studio without saying the name of the photographer. If the Photographer is good, his name is going to be there.

4- Samples and Testimonials

Once you’ve found few different Websites with pictures that match the style that you are looking for, go ahead and write down the name of the photographer and the phone number. It would be better if the samples that the photographer is showing in his or her website came from at least few different weddings and different areas. The Photographer might not post any negative testimonial in his or her own Website, but it is always good to check what other clients had said about that specific Photographer and how good was the connection between the photographer and the previous clients.

5- The Budget

This is one question that most of the brides get it wrong and most of the Photographers are terrified to explain it to them. There is a simple rule for that; you should spend between 15% and 20% of the total wedding costs. This a general figure that works very well in most of the cases, but once a while you can go a little lower or a little higher. The investment for the Photography Packages of a very basic and simple wedding will be totally different from the investment for the Photography Packages of a wedding were you are investing a huge amount of money, time and expectations. You can expect spend between $3,000 to $30,000 on your wedding pictures, depending on the wedding Photographer that you are hiring, the photography package and/or extras.

6- Contacting your Photographer

Once you check the website samples and prices, it is time to call the Photographer to check if he/she still has the date available and to set up an appointment. It is recommended that you meet the photographer in question as soon as possible, so you can be sure that he/she would still have the date available for your wedding.

7- Signing the Contract

Since you already saw the Photographer’s Webpage, the samples, the testimonials and the prices, the only logical thing to do now is to meet the photographer and be sure that there is a good connection between you and him or her. You also might want to check some more of his/her work, ask few last questions and if everything seems fine, just sign the contract. Remember that Wedding Photography is not a Department Store and that you are not going to find another Photographer like that one. You already did your homework, you know that you came to visit this Photographer because his work, prices, style are exactly what you were looking for. There is no reason to not close the deal.

8- Final Product

Imagine if few years ago, when digital cameras didn’t exist, would it be OK if after you spent a huge amount of your time and money to create the most romantic and perfect day of your entire life, the photographer just gave you the negatives and you would have to develop the pictures yourself? I don’t think so! As we live now in a digital era, most of the Photographers have digital cameras, and most of the cheap photographers will try to make a good deal and give you just a CD with all the pictures from your wedding on it.

Is that what you want?

If you forget everything else from this article, I hope you remember at least this one…

Don’t treat your wedding photographs like the pictures that you took on your last vacation. The ones that you didn’t even had time to print or the ones that you printed in a cheap department store.

The beauty of Wedding Photography is when the Photographer makes the transformation to the pictures and memories that were once captured through his lens, to create the most beautiful and elegant Costume Designed Story Telling Album that you and all your family and friends will cherish for the rest of your lives.

Wedding Photography Prices

The cost of a professional wedding photographer is often a source of amazement to couples sorting their weddings out. In this brief article I want to give some thought to the reasons behind wedding photography prices.

The cheapest way to get photos of your wedding is to ask a friend of relative to bring their camera and snap away. With today’s modern cameras even a compact can do a reasonable job “given enough light”. So your wedding photography price could be zero.

Fine – let us see what could go wrong. Memory cards – unless your appointed friend is very prepared, his camera and cards will run out of memory before the big day is over. Well before – even before your vows. That is if the cameras battery does not give out first! Now, assuming your appointed friend has brought plenty of batteries and memory cards, what else could go wrong? What other reason could I give you to up the wedding photography price?

That little detail I mentioned earlier – “given enough light”. Now, weddings are very complex affairs, taking place in a variety of situations from inside a dark church, in a doorway of an anteroom, suddenly out in bright sunlight or pouring rain. It may then move to a reception venue partially lit by neon, tungsten and halogen or worse still the latest energy saving lamps. You get the picture – sorry – idea.

A modern compact is just not designed to deal with this range of situations. Yes, you could dig deep in the menus of that camera and optimise the device for each situation, to a degree, but by the time the switch is made the moment is lost. It is interesting to realise that some of the most emotional moments in a wedding, those very moments that you want to capture, occur during a location change. For example, entering the church (bright to dark) leaving the church to receive confetti (dark to bright) getting into the car (bright to dark again) being greeted at the reception by friends as they arrive (bright to dark) and so on. Ok, why not just leave that compact camera on auto and let the built in flash take the strain? Well apart from the fact that the batteries will go really quickly, a compact camera’s flash will create very ugly photography. Red-eye, bleached out wedding dress with dark shadows all round, blurred movement from lack of shutter speed control – the list is long.

Still not convinced that your London wedding photography should have a price?

Ok, let us say you are really lucky and you have a friend with a big digital SLR camera. And he wants to help you and do your wedding. Great – wedding photography price – zero! Ok, I know you can see all this coming now but let me pull that one to shreds too.

Apart from the memory cards and battery risks ( yes these still apt to big cameras) what lenses does your friend carry? And why would you care? Well if you hired a professional wedding photographer you would not need to care. It would all be handled for you. But we are learning here, right? So – lenses.

Different situations in a wedding may require different angles if view. From wide and ultra wide (whole room shots, groups, etc) to narrow and long (candid shots of guests at a distance, close-ups of details like shoes or wedding cake decorations) many different views come into play at a wedding. OK you could get a lens to do all these ranges, but that flexibility comes at a price. Firstly they are expensive (about GBP 1,500 for a decent wide zoom) and secondly, no zoom that can be lifted by one person could handle low light without a flash.

Starting to sound like your friend might not have this equipment? Let us explore the wedding photographers’ kit bag for a minute, and see how he justifies his wedding photography price.

Kit:
2 professional camera bodies capable of working under rain.
A backup body just in case.
A variety of lenses, 2 main ones already mounted on the 2 bodies.
An organised ample stock of numbered memory cards.
Pre-charged replacement batteries of the correct type for each body.
Powerful flash units for very very dark situations – flash units that do not cause red eye, and that re-charge instantly.
Depending on the photographer’s style he may also carry:
Tripod
Lighting
Reflectors

Finally, he is also insured so should someone get clonked by a lens or trip on a camera bag, all is covered.

Oh one more thing – a car with sat nav and backup sat nav.

My final persuasive argument to justify the wedding photography price is this: experience. Weddings are very complex, very fast and very un-repeatable. It is a long series of once only chances to catch intense moments of emotion that you want to remember forever. A professional wedding photographer knows where to be, when to be there, what position to be in and many many other little tricks including how to relax people, disappear when appropriate, re-appear by magic when appropriate, and finally – remain completely sober as a judge throughout.

Secrets In Choosing The Right Style Of Wedding Photography On Your Wedding Day

What is Wedding Photography?

For most couples, this may sound an odd question to ask, most would answer that wedding photography is the kind of photography done during weddings. That is partly correct. But that over simplifies the meaning of wedding photography. The art of wedding photography has change tremendously in the past twenty years. Today it may even have a different meaning for each couple.

In the past, wedding photographers are technicians behind a black box almost mystical that very few would even try to operate it. Back then, wedding couples are hiring wedding photographers to produce wedding pictures of their big day. It is to simply record the event. And the one they chose might be doing six weddings a day.

In 2010, almost all wedding guests have their own digital camera that could produce well-exposed pictures at very minimal cost. What it means is that the professional wedding photographers must have something more to offer to their wedding couples. At the same time, the digital revolution also allowed wedding photographers the new technologies to offer something different. This is one of the reasons why wedding photography has improved compared to what it was years ago. It also attracted people who would never venture into wedding photography if not for the new technology of digital photography. Wedding photographers who at their prime offer beautiful and stunning photos that record the wedding in an artistic and narrative, sometimes evocative and most of the time in a flattering manner.

But it also means that being a wedding photographer today; one has to be able to offer something not seen before. True to the complexities of wedding photography today, it would not be true anymore that all wedding photographers are the same and that all wedding couples desire the same kind of photography.

Here is a Guide to Photographic Methods

The good thing about the Internet is it makes it easy to research the work of a big number of wedding photographers. Check some photographers’ website and you will be amazed by the different photographic styles.

Reportage photography is also known as documentary or photojournalism photography; it is best described to have an approach which simply covers and document the event without directing the wedding couple or its guests. Instead it tries to capture the event as it happens in the most natural and creative way possible.

Traditional wedding photography is use to describe the old fashioned way of lining up the wedding couple, their guests and family for traditional photos.

Contemporary wedding photography can be described as glossy which can be trendier than traditional wedding photography.

My humble advice is to look beyond the labels of wedding photography. It can be more confusing than being helpful in deciding which kind of wedding photography suites you as a wedding couple. Another reason is that the style often times is a combination of several photography styles anyway. Third, it implies that wedding photographers offer just one style of photography during their wedding coverage.

In reality, weddings offer a chance for wedding photographers to show different photography styles. Wedding photographers sometimes just can’t ask the couple to move to a spot where there is a better light during the wedding ceremony. Also, it is quite often that couples expect to have formal photographs which show them at their best. Even the most modern weddings will require having traditional and formal family shots.

Many photographers excel in one style of wedding photography and emphasize their skill and it may even be part of their marketing strategy. Some would describe their kind of wedding photography as a mix of classical and modern. It may be a mix of reportage and contemporary. It is quite necessary to have a time with the wedding couple wherein they will be directed to be at their best. It will give them the kind of photographs that can be described as fine art. The limited time of weddings make it important for wedding photographer to be a good director.

Choosing Your Photographer

For couples, the best way would be to decide which wedding photographer is right for you is to decide together what kind of wedding pictures you expect You may want something traditional which means you like a professional account of the wedding day without having too much interruptions.

You may be a photography enthusiast as well, and desire to have a creative set of wedding pictures. You may be looking at high end and contemporary photography style.

Once you both as a couple decide on what type of wedding photographs you desire, you can start examining different galleries of photography for quality. Be warned that galleries represent the best work of photographers, so it is quite important to see a sample of a whole wedding to be sure of consistency.

Awards of excellence can help you decide which photographer could be best suited for your wedding. A membership to well know professional body is also something to consider.

It is of utmost importance that you as a wedding couple can communicate with the photographer and have the rapport to be able to share your wedding photography goals. As much as photography style is an important factor, you and your wedding guests would expect to have a high level of professionalism, organization and experience on your wedding day. Finally you need to consider the wedding packages being offered by the photographer.

Budgeting For Photography

There is no such thing as an appropriate budget for weddings. What can be more helpful is the percentage in terms of value to the total wedding cost.

Professional wedding photography will be what will define the memories of your wedding day. You are going to entrust a photographer to use his skills to document your wedding as if it was taken through your eyes. Discuss with your wedding planner what you think is the best budget for your wedding photography. A good wedding planner would be able to help you with the right budget and if you need to allocate more to get the kind of photography you desire.

The price of a good wedding photographer sometimes comes as a surprise to wedding couples. But quality wedding photography comes at a price. The better skilled a photographer is the higher the fees he can command. One should note that it is not a one day event for wedding photographers but it takes days to plan, shoot the wedding, and spend time on post processing the images and designing the wedding album Ultimately you as a couple must have to make the final decision on how important having a high quality of wedding photographer and if it the price is worth paying for.