Wedding photographing may not seem like the most important decisions you need to make about the wedding, but it remains to be a very significant one nonetheless. Your wedding pictures will serve as a lifelong memories of that unforgettable moment.
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These days, a wedding isn’t necessarily a once in a lifetime moment. But this does not mean it should not be one for you. Indeed, weddings should still be magical and memorable, especially since it signals the beginning of your new life as a spouse. Wedding photographing may not seem like the most important decisions you need to make about the wedding, but it remains to be a very significant one nonetheless. Your wedding pictures will serve as a remembrance of that unforgettable moment. And while you probably have all of the events stored in your memory, it still needs to see in an whole new perspective—hence the need for wedding photographing.
Because your wedding should be a momentous occasion, you cannot simply hire just anyone. The wedding photographer you hire should be the right one for you. Hence, you need to know how to hire a wedding photographer.
How to prepare wedding photography
Needless to say, it would seem as if the bulk of the work here is to find the right wedding photographer for the event. Not all photos are made equally; the skill of the wedding photographing will determine the beauty of the photos you will have for the rest of your life. The first step on how to hire a wedding photographer is by assessing the skills of the photographer and assessing wherein this photographer is the one that you want.
Although it may not seem like it, there are three kinds of wedding photographing: the traditional wedding photographing, the photojournalistic wedding photographing, and the artistic wedding photographing. Traditional is the most basic—and the least expensive, at around 2,000 dollars. This type of wedding photographing means the photographer simply takes your photos. Photojournalistic (which should cost around 5,000 dollars) and artistic (which should cost around 10,000 dollars) wedding photographing are exactly what they imply. Which of these three will fit what you are looking for in your wedding photos?
It should be noted, however, that the price does not equate to quality. The price range stated above only signifies the kind of effort the photographer as to exert. Photojournalistic photographers, for instance, are more expensive than the standard photographers because they are required to stay during the entire procedure to take photos—just like your usual photo journalists. Artistic wedding photographing, on the other hand, require the most effort (and equipment), hence their price. In addition, the price of the wedding photographs also depend on the format they use; and these formats change depending on what type of wedding photographing you would like. The price of the service does not signify that standard wedding photos are the least competent; they are only the simplest, which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t avail it.
The quality of the photos, then, will really depend on the skill of the photographer you hire. Although you may be tempted to do otherwise, you should always hire a professional photographer. Never hire anyone who has not done wedding photographing before—even if he or she is an experienced photographer. Wedding photography is different because of the nature of the event—and not all experienced and even veteran photographs know what to do and what to take during these events. Therefore, it is best to hire someone who knows what he or she is doing.
Some people make an issue on whether to hire a woman wedding photographer or a male wedding photographer. Does it matter? Essentially, it doesn’t; a good photograph is a good photograph, regardless of who did it. You may consider a woman photographer to give it a “feminine edge” or angle. But in the end, it really wouldn’t make a difference. The skill of the photographer is the key, not the gender.
And how do you gauge the photographers? What should you know about how to prepare wedding photographer evaluations? Basically, wedding photographers should present a portfolio of his or her works. But how do you assess their portfolio and what exactly should you look for?
First off, ask for a wedding portfolio. Again, general photography skills can help him or her get a good photo, but wedding photography is an entirely different creature. Therefore, you need to see the photographer’s work on a wedding. And the photos should not just be wedding photos—they should be photos from an actual wedding. This is important so you’ll have an idea on how the photographer works and how his works would look like. Test shots are great, but they cannot fully demonstrate the extent of the photographer’s skills.
If possible, ask for a wedding book as well (or the photos the photographer took for an entire event, not just a mish mash of his best photos from all the events he photographed). With that, you’ll know the range of the photographer. Take note that a photographer, no matter how professional, cannot possibly take perfect photos all the time. What makes is that he takes good photos generally, and that every photo is serviceable. Should you hire a photographer who takes a mix of great photos and incredibly bad photos? The answer is simple: no. You can no longer redo these photos, so every shot should count—especially since you will pay for every shot.
A special consideration here is how to hire a photographer for destination weddings. Generally, photographers here require you to pay for their airfare, accommodation for the duration of the event, and a per diem (expenses for the day, including food, transportation during the event, among others; note that you may be required to pay for the transport of the equipment as well) Some photographers and wedding photographing companies also ask for weekend buy out fees, as well as additional charges for the photographer travel time. The weekend buy out fee is normal, so do not fret when he charges you for it, but the photographer should be available for events besides the wedding in this case (such as the rehearsal dinner, which should be a good opportunity for the wedding photographer to know the guests and important figures in the event).