5 IMPORTANT PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
FIND THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER
Finding the right photographer is easy to suggest, but in reality is not so simple as many of you are beginning to realise. It would be very easy to go into the fact that hundreds of inexperienced people, poorly versed in any art form ( I’m not including short courses either) have grabbed cameras and called themselves photographers in the past 5 years. These guys and girls have swelled the numbers virtually overnight, disappointing many people/ couples along the way and not bringing alot of good will into the industry, though there are some that have provided a good and viable alternative to the professional, yet the overall effect has only served to confuse and in many cases mislead couples about what to expect, in terms of professionalism and a consistent quality of image capturing.
Some of you will know exactly what I mean and if you’re reading this then hopefully my words are beginning to resonate? Surfing the net is a pretty solid place to start looking, but a direct referral is even better. If you’ve seen friends books or shots from their day and really like the look and mood, then you’re probably ask who the photographer is. Look them up and if you continue to see and read things you like on their website then you’re probably onto something. A few hero shots can jump out, but it’s important to see as wider selection of work as possible, to establish consistency.
Have a look at the faces of the people being photographed! Are they enjoying themselves? Are they stiff and lifeless? Have they been holding the same pose too long because the photographer hasn’t really known how he wants to take the photo? Do the group and people around look like they’re having fun? If they are, it will always show on their faces and no amount of shots or posing or retouching will fix a bored or poorly photographed person or couple. Know what you like, is again easy to say, but if all you see are couples with blank faces holding hands in a field then you might think that’s what you want. Standing upright and stiff was considered cool once, but tells us nothing about the couple. It probably says more about the photographer?
Does your photographer have an actual place of business, as opposed to a room in a house or a meeting in a cafe? How long has the person you’re looking at been in full time business? Is it full time or just something on the side? Check on who will actually be covering your day with you, as the cheaper businesses rely on quantity rather than quality, thus using as many shooters as they need. I understand this may be all some of you guys can afford or justify, but just be careful in that scenario.
Make a time to meet the photographer that convenient to you both and don’t be rushed. When you enter my studio for example, you’ll quickly become aware of the mood and energy that’s unique to myself and the work. It’s where I spend my time and where you’ll be welcomed to plan and design your album at the other end our time together. This time and expertise is part of what you’re investing in after all, so check on how attentive your photographer plans to be after the dust from the wedding has settled. For many many people, this has been the start of a great friendship, that has continued through to when they have started a family of their own, to christenings and larger gatherings and is something I’m super proud of.
Conversation with your prospective photographer should flow easily. You’ll know right away I believe, even at the phone call stage, if there’s a connection and hopefully personalities will click once you meet. Important for obvious reasons, given that your photographer is going to be your closest ally of all the service providers on the day, no matter how big or intimate.
Some couples only want a shoot only capture of their day, where others are wanting a beautifully finished product, such as an album/s so be sure to know what you’re looking at and how they vary. There are alot of cheap and nasty ways of making a album or booklet in many cases these days, so know what’s on offer and where you heart lies. A great photographer should be passionate about art in general I would think and is hopefully skilled in the design of how the images and story can be told best. At my place these are one off products, beautifully finished and unique to each couple, with a choice of book styles. You should be able to be as involved or uninvolved as you please in the image selection and design process. This is critical to achieving the excellence couples expect from me and again should be part of what you’re paying a pro for.
WHAT”S YOUR STYLE?
My style is a combo of natural and candid images mixed with a fairly elegant twist. It tells a story about your day when done right and many just call this candid, because they think this is what they want… after all it sounds like they won’t even notice the photographers there, and somehow they won’t be shy and great shots will simply appear, but this is rarely the case. If you’re good enough as a photographer and confident in your ability to make the most of any situation, then this will rub off on you guys and your guests and in turn will help everyone relax. This is where natural photography that you actually love, really comes from and should help you be your best.
DIRECTION v POSING
Not every second of the day can be candid, nor should it, and there are times when even an experienced cameraman needs to add direction, but there is a big difference between direction and posing and any one that has worked with me will know this. Good direction to my mind is being able to read the play and action subtle suggestions, that simply put will make the most of a situation or mood in a very natural way. This might be sensing the best possible light or angle for a shot and making sure the action or couple is going to be part of that. It has to be easily understood and easy to do and involve you in a natural way. Firing lots of shots here and there, this angle that angle, that change of light, is tedious and simply means the photographer doesn’t know or recognise the best option and can end up just experimenting at the expense of your patience. Posing is little more than a photographer going through the motions of what they already know and will make sure conditions are the same so they can reproduce the same old thing. It’s not my style so hope you’re with me there?
TRUST YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
Great images and a great day don’t just happen. It’s your day and your plans for it will no doubt see many changes along the way, but remember I’ve been there 700 plus times, so can probably offer some good real world advise ( probably why you’re still reading, haha ) about pretty much an aspect of a wedding. I’ll never tell you how to organise your day, but I can definitely help keep it on track and make the most of any situation. Suggestions about the order things might happen in and how much time to allow are all really helpful aspects, so I’m told, which can help the day run smoothly no matter what kind of wedding it is and keep everyone pumped.
ENJOY THE MOMENT
You’ve spent months and months researching suppliers for all areas of your big day, so trust them and let them do what they do best. Trust in the photographer you selects abilities and be confident about what they are capable of on the day and beyond and this will make relaxing and being in the moment so much easier. It will give yourselves the best chance at enjoying every moment to the full. It really is a fantastic time of life and an exciting beginning to the next chapter in your lives as mr & mrs… enjoy!