All too frequently, Brides feel overloaded as they try to sort through the myriad of options surrounding their Wedding Day. And when it comes to Photography, the options don't seem to get any easier. "Where do I start?" is the common question.
Here's the problem: Recent technological advances have opened the door to a flood of photo enthusiasts anxious to try their hand at Wedding Photography. It seems that the appearance of an image on the back of one's camera provides enough confidence to make one's services available for hire professionally. After all, a good camera will take good pictures, right?
Unfortunately it's not that simple. To analogize: Using the same pots and pans used by Rachael Ray will not make you a great chef. They are only the tools of the trade. Obviously something more is required.
What follows is a check list of considerations you may want to consider as you interview prospective Photographers:
1. What experience does the Photographer have? Experience may include the number of years Professionally photographing weddings, but it should also include the variety - and yes, the quality - of weddings found on one's resume.
2. Who will actually photograph my weddiing? Although it sounds simple, you should know that many Studios have more than one photographer available to photograph a wedding on a given day, and they usually reserve the right to assign photographers as they see fit.
3. Will I be able to see samples from the photographer who will be photographing my wedding? Many Studios will provide a collection of images owned by the Studio - but not necessarily taken by any single photographer. Our suggestion is to ask to see all of the wedding images taken at a single wedding, rather than an "All Star" collection of images amassed over the past 5 or 10 years. In so doing, you will have the most accurate representation of the quality of work, and, more importantly, what will be placed in your hands when you pick up your pictures.
4. Is the Photographer versed in both Photojournalism and Assisted Photography? Unfortunately, much of "Wedding Photography" today is nothing more than someone taking snapshots of people in wedding clothes. If the images being presented to you for consideration resemble those of a backyard BBQ or family reunion, you may want to raise your aspirations to include someone who possesses both the skills and Craftsmanship which are due on such an important day.
5. Will my Photographer be using multiple flash units to light indoor pictures, or will he/she be using a single, on-camera flash unit, similar to "Uncle Henry's"? Lighting - and the use of light - is perhaps the single greatest factor which seperates great photography from snapshooting. Single flash, on-camera lighting rarely provides the awe-inspiring emotional impact you will hope to find on your special day.
6. What, if any, post-Wedding adjustments and enhancements will be made to my wedding images before I view them? We are always dismayed by Brides who gleefully exude that their pictures will be posted within 24-48 hours of their wedding. To us, that translates to: "Little or nothing will be done to improve your images other than to edit some of the very poor ones". Some Studios will, at a minimum, provide automated processes to remove color casts or improve them in other very basic ways. Very rarely will a Studio correct, adjust, enhance and retouch every image prior to delivery. We do.
7. Will I be able to obtain the copyrights to my images? Before you ask this question, you had better know exactly what you are contracting for. If all of your images have not been improved to the point of being "Lab-Ready", obtaining the rights to your images only means you will be able to enlarge as many disappointingly "unprepped" images as you'd like. Know what it is you are obtaining, if you choose to contract for the "rights" to your images!
Although you may have additional questions for your prospective Photographer, you may want to include some of these considerations to help yo find the Photographer who will memorialize your special day for years to come. And if you have any questions, please feel free to call our Studio. We're here to help you! 517-394-2192 or see us on the web www.robertcharlesphotography.com
Until next time,