How to choose a wedding photographer?
Organising a whole wedding needs to be very stressful for you. And making everything perfect as in your vision occurs to be harder than you thought. Let's say, that your cake will be too sweet, your favourite band won't come for your wedding and your lovely flowers are not available at this season of year. But you can mange and live with it. But what will happen if your photos occur to be bad or worse - a disaster?
Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate work other specialists as wedding planners, florists or cake masters and I think everyone is same important! The thing is that I read wedding forums that for you one of the most important factors on your wedding checklist is a wedding photographer, because that's his or her photos will be your memory for a life. That's why it's so important to choose the right one for yourselves.
What do I mean by "the right one for yourselves"? I don't mean a perfect photographer with 20 years of experience, who takes photos on the highest technical level. By "the right one for yourselves" I mean the one whose work and personality touch your heart and evoke emotions in you. If a 20 year experienced photographer's work delights and touches your deep emotions, choose him, he is the right one. If not, the perfect technical photos won't make you reviling something amazing during watching your story.
On what basis should we choose the right photographer for ourselves?
Why do I think, that it so important to know better your photograph before a wedding? Because, he will be assisting you in the most important day in your life. Sometimes it's enough to have a coffee together or Skype to just talk. Then in most cases you know immediately if you have connection and if a photographer is just a cool and sympathetic person. Why do I think it's important? Because it builds trust and a sense of security. If you like your photographer you will trust him and you will feel more confident and better during your wedding day.
The another important factor is a style. It's something that I mentioned earlier. Choose a photographer's style that touches your heart. Those are YOUR pictures and YOUR memories for a whole life. Don't follow someone's suggestions, besides your own feelings. Each of us has different emotionality, that's why you need to choose by yourself.
There are so many photography and editing styles that probably it's impossible to count. Each of us is different and has different sense of aesthetics / creativeness. But based on my observations and other photographers' work I've managed to distinguish few main wedding styles. I'v tried to be as much precise in editing my photos as I could.
Before I begin I will show you two very, very general styles:
Reportage style - In this style a photographer tries to show a wedding as much natural as he can. He catches moments in his camera as he can see them. A photographer doesn't manipulate with elements and doesn't shoot posed photos. He also doesn't have a "shoot checklist" which a specific plan to shoot a wedding. He moves in the shadow to be as much invisible as he can.
Traditional style - This styles characterises the planned shoots from the beginning. A photographer makes a "shoot checklist" with e.g. details or a wedding dress photos. He shoots posed, group and portraits photos. Sometimes he manipulates with elements to look better on photos.
However, today is a tendency to mix those two styles. So a photographer with a reportage style can have also a shoot checklist and ask a bride to move into the better light during her preparation. There are no rules.
It's time for more specific styles. The style titles are a result of my imagination :)
Bright style characterises a lot of whites on photos. Pictures are full of life, very bright and much highlighted. In this style you won't probably find deep shadow and strong contrast.
This style presents very saturated colours. Tones, especially greens, yellows and blues are more intense that in reality. Pictures characterise: accuracy and detail without any blurriness and noise.
Vintage style looks a little bit washy as an old photo. But pictures are sharp and very good from the technical side. The vintage style is a result of decreasing contrast, whitening black and pulling people from the shadows as much as a photographer can. There is a quite specific mist effect on pictures.
Dark moody style
Photographers who are into dark moody style like darker and more moody photos. They look for deeper shadow nad more contrasty scenes. Theo show pictures in more creative and artistic way accordingly to their vision. In this style perfectionism and ideal sharp photos are less important than mood on photos. Photographers like to add grain and noise to pictures. In bright style there are emotions like vitality, positiveness, energy and happiness. In dark moody style photographers look for mystery, intimacy and understatements.
This type of style characterises very subtle and warm colours. Photos are very vital and bright, but not as much as in bright or saturated style. I've called it film style, because photographers often create mood on pictures just like from old movie, by muting whites, adding grain, contrast and woody/warm colours.
More factors that you can consider during choosing a right wedding photographer for yourselves are: years of experience, attractive price or top class photography gear, but remember about one thing. And this quote ends this article :)