What to look for in a wedding photographer – top tips from Piers Photography.
When it comes to wedding photography, I’m probably considered to be one of the ‘old guard’; when I started, it was commonplace for professional photographers to turn up to a wedding with 6 rolls of film and a detailed ‘shoot list’, identifying all of the photos that the bride and groom specifically wanted, as well as a number of other shots that would work well given the size, location, and timings of the wedding. I know, from first-hand experience of working in this industry for a number of years, that it is essential for a responsible photographer to carry spares of EVERYTHING in the car (significantly reducing the risk of any tech issues occurring) and I also don’t rely heavily on editing software to ‘fix’ issues post-shoot – my goal is always to create beautiful, true-to-life memories of the day rather than heavily edited images.
Even in this ‘digital’ age, I apply the same careful planning, preparation, and execution to my wedding photography even though I use a digital camera and have the physical ability to take hundreds, even thousands, of photos. I know that weddings don’t just revolve around the photographs – the special day is meant to be savoured and enjoyed by the wedding party and guests – so I don’t want to monopolise any member of the wedding party for photographs for any longer than is absolutely necessary.
I’ve spoken to some photographers who are proud of the fact that they have taken 4000-5000 pictures of a single event. Though this would seem like these photographers are giving the customer greater choice when it comes to the picture selection process, I honestly feel that this ‘pray and spray’ approach to photography doesn’t result in better pictures and definitely think that it makes the photographer too much of a focal point on the big day. When I photograph weddings, I’m firmly in the background when I’m not required, helping to keep things running smoothly when the camera isn’t in my hand. I’ve been to enough weddings to offer help and support as and when necessary. I’ve helped bridesmaids, ushers and groomsmen to carry out their duties, I’ve helped many a maître d’ gather together wandering wedding guests for the sit-down meal, and I’ve even become the Master of Ceremonies on a couple of occasions. When I work with a couple for their wedding, my role is more than just a photographer – I’m there to help capture beautiful memories and help as much as I can to make the day run smoothly.
As a result of my experiences with weddings of all shapes and sizes, I’ve put together a quick wedding checklist to help you find the right wedding photographer for you:
- What photographs do you definitely want to be taken on the day? Make sure that your photographer has a shoot list that features them
- What style of photography do you want? Candid? Formal? Modern? Ask to see some examples of the kind of styles you are interested in to get some ideas and see whether the photographer is able to deliver what you want.
- Does your wedding party know what they are supposed to do? If not, do you have a Master of Ceremonies, a Wedding Planner or a Photographer (or another experienced wedding professional) available who can help walk your party through their roles?
- How is your photographer prepared for any/every eventuality? Do they carry spares ‘just in case’?
- How much time do you really want to set aside for photographs, and can your chosen photographer deliver your requested shoot list in that timescale?
If you’d like more information, or would like to chat about your wedding photography requirements, please contact us via email: Jonathan@piersphoto.com or telephone: 07787 505786. You can also visit my Wedding Photography page for more information.