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How to Pick the Perfect Photographer

Mar 19, 2012 10:56PM ● Published by Anonymous

 

First, decide what style of photography appeals to you. Look through wedding albums of friends and family to gather ideas and examples. Photographers’ websites are also a wealth of information. Their sites are often an extension of their creativity. Many are artfully designed and display a wide variety of samples of wedding photography.

No doubt you will notice a trend toward a photojournalism style as you peruse today’s wedding albums, either hardbound or electronic. This “contemporary” style looks more like a magazine fashion spread than your mother’s wedding album ever could. The technique can be hip and gorgeous. But don’t forsake the traditional wedding images completely. A well-posed photo of your wedding party, family, or closest friends will be cherished for decades. Good wedding photographers will be able to provide you with a combination of both styles. Be sure you look at photographs from a whole wedding, not just a sample portfolio. Consistency is critical.

Have Your Questions Ready

When you narrow down your choices and personally meet with prospective photographers, there are a few questions you should be prepared to ask.

  • What kind of equipment do they use?
  • How many cameras do they bring?
  • Will special lighting be required?
  • Will they bring any staff members?
  • Do they charge for travel and, if so, how much?
  • What is the plan if the unthinkable happens and the photographer can’t make the wedding?
  • How much time needs to be set aside for formal photos?

Perhaps the most important component to look for, however, is an intangible one. How do you get along with the photographer…how do your personalities mesh? A veteran local photographer sums it up well: “The photographer is usually with the bride from the time the first curler goes in her hair to the final dance,” she explains. You are going to be spending the whole day together; you should enjoy each others company. “I’ve heard too many stories where a poor attitude, bossiness, or just plain rudeness from the photographer has ruined the whole day,” she warns.

Doing a little bit of research to pick your perfect photographer is time very well spent. You will probably be so excited on the big day that you will rely on that photo album in the future to help show you what a smashing success it was! 

 

Photo Phrases You Need to Know:

Architectural: A shot that incorporates the lines and design of a building. The places where you spend your special day should also be commemorated.

Candid: The type of photograph that is not posed and often taken without the subject’s awareness.

Color Enhanced: Most photographers use some form of color enhancing to make photos “pop” more than straight out of the camera. There are many software programs that allow photographers to achieve different affects to make their photography “art.”

Cross-processing: A technique that heightens the intensity of colors in images and presents a visual that is almost off-key. (Think Andy Warhol.) It is put to best use in outdoor scenes.

Detail: A photograph that highlights one small aspect of a scene: hands held at the altar, a flower in a bouquet, or the creative place card in a table setting.

Fish-eye lens: A lens that produces a certain look and recording more than the normal vista, often spanning from floor to ceiling all in one shot. The view is distorted and creates rounding at the corners. The dramatic fish-eye is best used sparingly.

Grainy film: A medium that allows the photographer to take pictures in dimly lit areas without having to rely heavily on flash photography. A photo taken with such film is best described as a cross between an antique photo and an impressionist painting. It can be used in both black-and-white and color.

Infrared film: A medium that records light waves just below the visible spectrum. The picture ends up with a white glow over warm areas, creating an ethereal feel. This is perfect if you want a dreamy look for your wedding pictures.

Multiple exposure: A process in which the medium is exposed to light several times, either at the time the picture is taken or later, during printing. Multiple exposures can create many different effects.

Panorama: A special camera that allows the photographer to take a picture with a much wider view than normal—up to 360 degrees, depending on the camera. These cameras require special film.

Portrait: A formal, posed photograph.

Selective focus: A technique in which one portion of a photograph is in focus while other elements are blurred. The viewer’s eye is naturally drawn toward the part of the photo that is in sharp focus.

Sepia: A golden brown tint sometimes applied to black-and-white pictures to give the finished print an antique appearance.

Soft focus: A technique using a special lens or attachment, which softens all of the edges in a photograph.

Textured: A technique used in Photoshop where a textured image is layered over an original. 

Planning