The 10 Secrets You Must Know To Select a Good Wedding Photographer

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Selecting your wedding photographer is not just a difficult endeavor. By learning my 10 keys you will eliminate lots of the pitfalls it is so easy to fall into. It is extremely important that you create your selection of photographer in the beginning in your wedding plans. The best and most popular photographers get booked early, usually two or a year in advance. So as soon as you've set your date and then arranged the wedding site, the next thing on your list needs to be your photographer.

If you had been getting married a generation past in the 1930's or 40's, your choice would have been limited. Literally the photographer or his assistant would spend hours in the dark room developing films and making photographic prints yourself. Your options for your own wedding day will be limited. The photographer would usually arrive at the ending of your wedding service and meet with you at the church door. He would then take a couple of pictures onto his large camera. The full length picture of this couple at the church door, a close up if you were blessed after which perhaps a family group or even two. A photographer might offer you hand tinted or coloured pictures which he'd create from black and white originals, but these will be an expensive option.

It wasn't uncommon to bring a trip to the photographers studio either on your own wedding day or shortly afterwards. Posing in front of studio lights has been something that you did on special occasions. It had been the only way to find photographs of some fair quality. Simple cameras were becoming more available to the public, however they certainly were quite basic with few controller. In those days the professional photographer still had a mysterious quality; a part artist, part chemist and part magician. He can produce photographs you couldn't achieve yourself with your 'Box Brownie' camera.

Today things are very different. Photography has been flipped on its head. Gone will be the companies like Agfa and Kodak. Film based photography has been replaced almost entirely by digital technology, the quality of which improves dramatically year by year. People have a camera of any type and therefore are happy with the pictures they require. Rapid advances in digital imaging also have guaranteed that the 'auto' function on your own own camera will give you an image. Today you don't have to worry about shutter speed and 'f' stops to find a reasonable picture. Point and shoot is the simple option. However, technical advancement doesn't necessarily mean that everyone knows what they are doing.

Look in any Yellow Pages or every different directory, Google 'wedding photographer' for almost any town or city and you also will find an increasing amount of entries beneath the listing. Exactly why is this? It is simply because technology has improved to such an extent that even the camera is capable of producing great images.

You will discover that perhaps not every thus called photographer is a professional photographer. It has turned into a part time occupation for enthusiastic amateurs looking to earn a little excess cash at the weekend.

The questions you have to consider are; could I go to a dentist if I was not confident that they had the training, experience and qualifications to take care of my teeth safely and hygienically? Can I expect a plumber to install a petrol fire if he were not qualified and registered? No, it could possibly be a matter of life and departure.

A lot of people do!

The reasons for doing this will be intriguing. Apart from the tech issue I have mentioned, one other influence is fashion. The fashion in wedding photography is described by the terms 'documentary', 'reportage', and 'life-style'. In a nut shell, today it is trendy and fashionable to own wedding photographs which look like snap-shots! Pictures which look spontaneous, which is perhaps not staged and capture the emotion of this day without being intrusive or appropriate in any manner.

What does all this mean in reality? Firstly, it is assumed this to achieve this 'documentary' or ' 'reportage' look, all you have to do is to shoot an inordinate selection of pictures and chances are that you will find some suitable ones in the mix. Thus snap away is your mentality of many inexperienced photographers. Afterall, once you've bought your camera and memory cards, the images are free. There are not any processing costs along with film, if the image is not any good just delete it, it costs nothing!

In reality, to shoot good 'documentary' images you require other skills. You want to anticipate this action, be in the right place at the right time, know when to press the shutter to get this decisive moment, understand how to deal with a variety of lighting conditions that will deceive your camera, then write your picture right, and finally be in a position to restrain the guests in such a way that things you need to photograph happen naturally.

How does one avoid these pitfalls?

1. Looking in a directory will just give you contact details. Looking at an internet site is a fantastic beginning; at the very least you have to find some pictures. Today a well and good produced web site is within the budget of the majority of those who want to install in business. That means you cannot assume that someone with a fancy internet site is the best choice. He might have still another occupation to pay for the mortgage. Does the web site have a bio page?

2. Will you have anywhere to appeal to if things fail? In the U.K. there is no regulation of photographers at the moment. Anyone can put themselves up in business as a photographer and so they do not need to register with anyone. The public is not protected by any legislation. Through time the major professional photographic associations in the U.K. have lobbied successive governments regarding this matter, but without success.

3. Is a postal address listed online site, or simply a mobile number and email address? How will you find these if there is really a issue? Not every photographer comes with a high street studio, much work in the home quite legitimately. A photographer will consistently publish an address.

4. If the photographer works from home he or she is unlikely to own a studio unless it was purpose built or adapted from the garage or alternative room. They are unlikely to be taking lots of portraits during the week. Can you arrange to visit these to view a recent selection of wedding pictures, or do they insist on coming to see you in your home? When it comes to looking at samples, records containing a variety of weddings might look fine. Photographers always like to show off their best pictures. Always ask to find complete weddings from start to finish. That will give you a much far better indication of their photographers' skill level, as opposed to admiring pretty pictures.

5. Are they qualified? I'm not talking of a degree in photography. To my knowledge there aren't any level classes in wedding photography at any college in the U.K.. There are degree courses in Documentary photography, however, weddings or social photography are not covered in any thickness. These are awarded by the submission of real work that has been undertaken. Look for professional qualifications. There are three levels: the basic level being Licentiate (LMPA or even LBIPP). This amount indicates the photographer could produce employment of a reliable and professional standard. The 2nd degree of qualification is that the Associate (AMPA or ABIPP). This indicates considerable experience and also a talent to create artistic and creative photography. The second degree is difficult to attain, hence there are fewer Associates compared to Licentiates. The top level of qualification and ultimate aim of most aspiring professionals is to be a Fellow (FMPA or FBIPP). To be a Fellow is a rare achievement. It indicates the highest degree of competence, experience and artistry and indicates the photographer includes a unique design. These are the top professionals that are recognised as leaders in their field.

6. That will likely be taking your wedding photographs? Get to fit the person him/herself. Many photographers rather than turn a wedding commission away, will subcontract the work to an assistant, enthusiastic amateur, or even camera operator. Always find out who your photographer will be and get to see their portfolio of job. The boss might shoot pictures, but think about his assistant?

7. Ask what insurance that they hold. Your 'cowboy' will perhaps not have Professional Indemnity pay if his equipment fails. He will not need Public Liability cover if a trip along his camera bag. If he says his camera is insured that's not the same thing. That covers him if his camera is stolen.

8. Always ask "what awards"! Are they recognised professional awards or something picked up at a Camera Club?

9. If you ask a technical question this will put everyone on the back side. Ask if they shoot jpegs. If the solution is yes beware! Even the huge majority of professional photographers worldwide will shoot RAW files in their camera, for maximum image quality. They will then spend time to editing those RAW files onto a computer to produce jpegs. If your photographer argues that he does not need to shoot RAW files because his jpegs are put on... beware! Jpeg files produced directly by the camera are never like the ones prepared by editing RAW files manually, because the internal camera software consistently makes overall assumptions on the subject and lighting conditions. Even the photographer who edits RAW files by hand may create specific and individual fine alterations to this exposure, white balance, tone & sharpness of each image, together with a variety of specific controls which will create the highest quality images.

10. Ask what happens if they become ill the day before your weddingday? What are the results if they break a leg or are involved in a accident? A reputable photographer will possess a network of qualified colleagues he can call upon either locally or via their professional association.

So you have the 10 secrets to finding your wedding photographer. Consistently meet them face to face and discuss your plans in detail. He will likely know your wedding venue and will be able to put your mind relaxed should it rain onto your own big day. If you're interested in having some group photographs of one's family and friends, make a list with names that no one is left outside or hides off. 'Brides family' is not specific, list the people you want in the picture. If your dress detail is important or Aunty Betty made the cake, or you are in possession of a frail Granny who can not stand up for long, you must tell your photographer so they could make adjustments.

Your photographer will require time to shoot pictures for you personally, so it is important that you arrange for and consider timings. If you really want a big picture with all the guests the moment you get to the reception, it won't work. Rather plan for that picture to be taken before you all go into your wedding breakfast. There will be more chance everyone will be present.

Once you've selected your photographer you will need to confirm your booking. Do not leave it until the final moment assuming your kind photographer is holding your day for you. She or he has a business to run so expect to pay a deposit or booking fee to guarantee your day. When you book expect to sign a contract which simply says what will soon be provided along with the fee expected. This is usual practice. Finally, merely to avoid surprises, ask about hidden fees. Is VAT included or are you going to find a nasty addition by the close of the day.

At some point you might consult the question "Who owns the copyright on my wedding pictures?" In the U.K. by-law the copyright is owned by the photographer around the understanding that they will give you with any images you will require.

In summary, the better you're able to know your own photographer, the greater your experience will be. Lots of men and women say "Oh, I despise having my photograph"! If you choose an experienced photographer, he or she will put you at easy very quickly. If you have the opportunity, have a pre-wedding shoot. It is true that the more pictures you took of yourself, the more comfortable you will feel in front of the camera. An excellent photographer will give you tips on how to stand comfortably and the best way to create the best of your body form. He will also explain exactly what he will soon be doing on your own wedding day to find the best pictures for you.