When I first started in photography, it seemed like there were a lot of skepticism over whether someone was a professional or not. Even to this day, there is a lot of advice concerning wedding and portrait photographers that is just plain silly.
But I get it. You’re going to be spending money on possibly the most important vendor of the day and you want to make sure they deliver what they promise.
However, you also need to know that sometimes, all those articles on photographers that are not written by a photographer are not going to help you but only annoy the photographer you meet with.
Here are some things that the photographer sitting opposite you really wants you to know but will never tell you.
It’s not about the gear.
I can’t even count how many times someone has met with me and right off the bat, they want to know what gear I photograph weddings with. I know this was a concern 10 years ago, when digital was getting its foothold in photography, but it’s not so much of a concern now.
Each photographer has their particular style that they have slowly perfected over time. It’s always evolving, that’s for sure, but this really has nothing to do whether they photograph your event or session with a Canon, Nikon, or Sony.
Now, almost all gear is pretty comparable and while some photographers might cringe at that statement and argue it’s not true, you as the client, don’t really care at the end of the day. What should you care about? Care if you get along with this photographer. Care about budget. Care about style and whether you like their work.
Having all the gear in the world can’t make up for years of experience and dominating the gear the photographer uses regularly. Make sure to ask about experiences at weddings, set ups they like to use, and if they are capable of lighting at night. This is more productive for you in terms of understanding their photography style rather than a show of what lenses they have in their bag.
Being able to photograph in different circumstances and having the experience as a wedding professional goes a long way. Much more than lenses and fancy lighting.
Know what you like
If you like a particular style of photography and meet with a photographer who is completely different than what you like, what are you doing?
You are wasting time is what you’re doing. I know that sounds harsh, but let me explain. There are photographers who can photograph different styles and usually, this is because they have a team of great photographers at their studio. However, in my case and the many case of many photographers, I’m a one woman show with an assistant/second shooter.
I have a particular style that I’ve been creating for many years and there is nothing that can waste our time more other than trying to change the way that I visually create each photograph.
Know what you like. Look for and meet with photographers that photograph the kind of images you really like. Look at their style, is it consistent with what you normally gravitate towards visually? Would you love to have something similar hung up in a frame above your sofa?
Photographers choose their clients as well
I think that one of the biggest misconceptions about photographers is that we have to take all of the paid work that comes our way. Including clients that we don’t necessarily vibe well with.
Know this, your photographer is also interviewing you! If I walk out of our meeting wanting to be your best friend (which usually happens), then I am seriously praying that I get to be with you on your wedding day.
If you feel like you don’t vibe with your photographer, then start looking for someone you do vibe well with. In order to do a great job, the work relationship has to be positive. It has to inspire me to do a great job and you have to feel like you can trust me.
As professional and seasoned photographers, we understand that planning a wedding is hard and most brides have never done anything like this before! I just wanted to write a quick note to help you get the most out of meeting with a potential wedding photographer so that you can truly get the right person for the job.
Your photos are important and so is the person who is taking them. Make sure that you vibe well, like their style, and I guarantee that you’ll be happy with the end result!