Top 5 Tips On How To Choose A Photographer

 
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Photographers

When you’re researching how to choose a photographer, it can be a bit daunting at first. What do you base your choice on? How do you choose?

It’s not an easy task, so I decided to write this guide with the aim of making the process of choosing a photographer more comfortable for you.

Contrary to popular believe price isn't the number one decider when picking a photographer. In actual fact, price would come in at number 5. Here are the top 5 things to consider.


1. STYLE
 

Style is the most important factor when deciding to pick a photographer! No, not the way they dress! 

Style is issue number Uno with selecting photographers as each photographers editing style and composition is different from the next. Some may ask- why is this rated at number 1. 

The answer is simple. If you aren't 100% happy with the style of the photographer- what are you paying for? Its like being forced to buy food you don't actually like- yes that is also another on of my nightmares. 

Wouldn't it be better if you could get the photographer who has the style you love at a bargain? Now that is the dream! 

If the style is good, usually their technical skill and editing is good. Its probably why you like their style in the first place


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2. PERSONALITY

Personality is one of the most under-rated requirements of a photographer. When a photographer doesn't engage with you- your emotion isn't in the photo and they turn out posed and stiff.

No one wants photos that have a fake smile that is barely over a grin. It all comes down to engagement with the photographer which is where the personality of the photographer comes in!

When a photographer engages with the client the shoot goes from a stereotypical, awkward posed photo shoot to a more of fun, free and personalized photo session. And yes, I used the word FUN- because photoshoots are supposed to be fun. Why go through hell and have a awkward experience just to get some photos? It shouldn't be that way! 

A photographer that engages with you and helps you relax means:
1. You have a good time.
2. The photos look relaxed and candid. 
3. More engaging expressions on the photos.
4. Photo are personalized to you and your natural expressions.
5. You will want to have your photos taken again.


Sometimes you can't meet your photographer in person prior to the date, but you can get a feel just by calling!


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3. EXPERIENCE

Experience in some peoples books is ranked very highly. This begs the question, does experience matter if the photos are exactly perfect?

Or if you play it the other way- if the photos turn out bad, does experience even matter?

Well the answer to whether experience counts- its yes and no. 

I've seen some really amazing young amateur photographers who have been only shooting for a year or two, who produce amazing results. They have dedicated to learning at an exponential rate and their results improve, shoot after shoot without end. Because they are new they take extra time to get that extra detail of perfection.

On the other end, I've seen more "experienced photographers", who have stopped bothering to learn new techniques, style and editing software- who claim their experience as their road to fame. This may impress some, but at the end, the results speak for themselves.

Choosing a style definitely outweighs experience as its the result is what counts. Just don't be too swayed by someone saying they have done this for their whole life so you can trust them! It is just a shame that in photography the results come at the end, which by then there are no retakes of the event.

But then why is experience on this list? 
Well, experience does have its place when the style of photography is what you like. 

Imagine a high pressure, fast pace wedding with an inexperienced photographer?  When tensions rise, the inexperience can cloud rational judgement, causing photographers to freeze and results in a sub-optimal performance that they would have normally had if that had some time to breathe. This is where experience is key. When tensions run high and you have the experience under your belt- you know how to get out of every tough situation! Moreover, problems don't even phase you- which means quality consistent results.


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4. Natural light photography vs Flash photography during weddings

No brainer right? Of course its natural light! It is non-obtrusive, smaller set-up, less coordination with assistants and just plain easy.

But hold on.

What happens when there is no natural light?
What happens when you shoot at an indoor wedding?
What happens when you shoot during the reception and the DJ lights cast weird colors on peoples faces?
What happens when you shoot at midday and the groom is casting a shadow onto the bride?
What happens when the wedding does not have the best lighting?

Well, this is where flash photography comes in. Flash will help with adding light to a dark scene, casting out and softening harsh shadows and blowing out unwanted lights such as DJ lights. Flash has so much potential and can even mimic sunsets with the right know how. Not every wedding day has the perfect conditions and this is why flash is almost an essential tool in weddings as it allows a photographer to still take exceptional photos in what may seem to all as hard conditions.

Flash photography does not have to be huge set-ups with giant light stands and umbrellas that you see in the media. Flash photography can small, I mean very small... almost unnoticed in the corner. 

Many "wedding photographers", claim they are professional shooters, but an easy way of discerning whether they are professional is their ability to use flash and master light. You may not like the quality of flash, but it is a tool that every photographer should know, especially a photographer doing a wedding.  

Just test your wedding photographer candidates with the above questions and see what they say. If you want the answers just send a buzz on the contact form or leave a comment.


 

5. BUDGET
 

Where would we be if we didn't talk about money! 

Yes, money is an issue. Being a wedding photographer myself, I know clients that have an issue with expensive weddings. There are definitely ways to find the best deal that suits your style by asking around and comparing prices. 

Have a look around and see all the different styles that are out there. If you find the photographer of your dreams has a price point that is way too high, there is never an issue contacting them to see if that could change. Just remember, like all of us, that wedding photographers are also trying to make a living. The huge prices on camera gear and high pressure of wedding events is what gives the larger than normal premium on photography.  


A tip to find the best photographer is to open all the websites of all the different photographers in the area and select the top 10 WITHOUT the PRICE being known. Many people equate quality with costs. Its been ingrained into us- if it costs more there must be a reason. However this is usually a business/freelance service which can charge whatever they want and photographers don't go by this rule. When you look at the images with the wedding package costs, the higher priced ones naturally look better due to a subconscious idea that the more expensive wedding photographers are the better they must be. You will be pleasantly surprised when the photographers you like, are also priced more along your budget when you look solely based on style.