When Weddings Ideas asked me to write a blog about wedding photography I jumped at the chance. As a wedding photographer, and as a groom getting married this year (yay!) the subject is huge for me and I’m really excited to share the knowledge I have with you. I specialize in reportage wedding photography. For me it’s all about capturing real moments. Seeing beauty in everything and capturing it in a creative way. There’s no ‘hand on hip action’ and no ‘look at the camera and say cheese.’ It’s just about taking honest photos of people in love.
To me, there’s nothing more breathtaking or beautiful than photographing true moments on a wedding day. These stay with you forever. Your wedding doesn’t have to look like a highly stylised inspiration shoot, because with a great wedding photographer, the mood of the day should just shine through in the pictures. And that’s what real weddings are all about. People. I find my couples hugely inspiring and I’ve never been to a boring wedding. I don’t think they exist. When I think back to all of the weddings I’ve photographed it’s always the people I remember and the fun we’ve had.
Now, I know not everyone has a huge budget for wedding photography and that’s cool. The point of this post isn’t to try to convince anyone to pay for something they can’t afford. For some folks wedding photography isn’t a big deal and most of us don’t have endless funds. Everyone has different priorities and there are no rights or wrongs. Only what’s good for you. However, I would ask everyone to think carefully about their decision. Considering how much time and effort you put into your wedding day – the wedding dress, the details, the evening party – the photographs are, hopefully, how you will remember it all.
Albert’s top tips for perfect wedding pictures…
Hire someone who understands you
Being featured in magazines and winning awards are great, but at the end of the day, you really do have to get on with your wedding photographer. We’ve all seen the grumpy ones ordering people around. You will be spending the whole day with your photographer and you need to choose someone who won’t get on your nerves. If you aren’t relaxed with them you won’t be in the photographs and neither will your family or friends! And this is an important point. Does your wedding photographer love weddings? Looking at their pictures, does it look as if they were ‘there’ emotionally? You should be able to feel the vibe of the day through the photos.
Try to see a WHOLE wedding
It’s pretty easy to get a few good portfolio photographs at each wedding. But dig a little deeper and ask to see a whole wedding. From start to finish. This will give you a better idea about their skills and style. Making a whole day look beautiful is a priceless skill.
Don’t take risks with friends
Everyone has a friend with a nice camera but be cautious about trying to get a freebie or a friend to help out. A good camera does not necessarily make a good wedding photographer. It’s just a tool. Experience is really important and weddings are often fast paced. Just because someone is good at taking photos of flowers or cars, it doesn’t mean they’ll be able to capture a wedding.
Communication is key
When you choose your photographer make sure they know what is important to you. What do you want to remember? Are you in to the vintage look? The details? High contrast photos? Fun couple shots? Whatever it is, communicate this to your photographer before the wedding and make sure they have time in the schedule to capture it. Weddings are a one shot deal and so think about what is most important to make sure it isn’t missed.
Do your research
You don’t necessarily have to go with someone who is well established and really expensive. There are lots of new people starting in this business all the time who are enthusiastic and un-clichéd. Experience counts for a lot, though, so choose wisely. It’s generally the exception rather than the rule but there are hidden gems out there. However, as with most things in life, you tend to get what you pay for. So if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
So, I hope this article helps a little. Again, I know we all have different budgets and this isn’t written with the intention of making anyone feel bad. It’s your wedding after all. Use whoever you want but do some research so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Thanks so much Albert – or Albie as he’s known in the Wedding Ideas office! See more of his stunning work at albertpalmerphotography.com