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What Makes a Good Wedding Photographer?

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  • April 26, 2018

Choosing the right wedding photographer is really critical. Long after the party is over and the guests have gone home, what you have left to remember your day is your photos.

I like to think there are three parts to photographing a wedding. A good wedding photographer has to be good at all three.

The first is the formal photos of the bride and groom. In order to prepare for these, I like to meet with the bride and groom. I find out what interests them and how they would like to be photographed. I show them some examples. Do they like more formal or more relaxed? I also visit the wedding venue ahead of time. I want to have some photo locations and photo ideas in mind ahead of time.

The second part of wedding photography is photographing the wedding ceremony itself. I am a fly on the wall. I want to get the important shots without interrupting the ceremony.  I try to be as inconspicuous as possible while still recording the important events. This includes the father walking the bride up the aisle, the ceremony itself, the vows, and exchanging rings. I need to be ready and to be in the right spot at the right time. There are no do-overs. If I miss a shot, I can’t go back and ask you to do it again.

The third part of wedding photography is photographing the guests and the reception and party afterward. This is the fun part of the day. By now everyone is relaxed and in a good mood. These are usually candid shots but I will often reorganize guests in order to improve the photo. These photos capture the celebration, the fun of the day. The most important point here is be ready for the surprises as they happen.

What skills does a wedding photographer need?

A photographer needs to be able to photograph people. He needs to be able to anticipate the important photographs. He needs to have the technical skills and the equipment in order to capture the image no matter what the lighting conditions are.

He might be shooting the bride alone, or the bride and groom together or the entire group of guests. He has to be ready for it all. He has to be able to set up the posed shots and at the same time grab the unexpected candids as they happen.

What if I don’t like having my photo taken? I don’t look good in photos. Will the photographer help me to feel comfortable? Will the photographer help me with posing?

Many people are uncomfortable having their photo taken. Perhaps they have had a bad experience in the past. A lot of people are fine with candids but do not like the posed shots. This is where a photographer’s people skills come into play. He must get the subject comfortable. He must be able to do it without rushing the subject but on the other hand, he does not have much time.

I watch people. If I sense someone is uncomfortable having their photo taken I spend a few more minutes working with that person. I will not photograph someone who is not ready. In my many years of shooting there is almost always a way to work with anyone.

And yes, I will help you with posing. But don’t worry, the very best posed photos don’t look like they were posed at all.

What is including in the wedding package?

Make sure you understand what is included so that you don’t get surprised or disappointed. In my packages, you will receive a selection (often 250-350) of the best photos of the day. I find this is a good number because all events of the day are covered but poor photos or duplicate photos or photos that are not relevant are excluded.

If you wish I can create enlargements for you or put together an album. We can discuss this beforehand.

Are the photos retouched?

All of the photos are colour and exposure-corrected. They are straightened and re-cropped if necessary. Certain photos will be retouched as well. These are generally the close-ups of the bride and groom. However, my rule is this: if a photo needs retouching then it is retouched.

What about a second photographer?

A second photographer is not a necessity but it can be nice to have. For example, I usually can’t photograph both the bride getting ready and the groom getting ready unless they are at the same address. In addition, a second photographer can offer a second vantage point. For example, I might stay close to the bride and groom to get great close-ups while the second photographer can stay back in the room and get the expressions on the faces of the guests.

But I have shot many weddings on my own and a second photographer is not a necessity.

How quickly do I get my photographs?

I will sort through the photos and make my initial selection within 2-3 days of the wedding. I will send these photos to you as proofs for your approval. Once I have your approval the final digital copies will ready in two weeks.

What does it take to be a good wedding photographer?

A great wedding photographer has to be able to photograph people. Plain and simple. He has to have technical skills, he has to be able to build rapport, he has to know how to pose people and he has to be able to get them to smile and laugh.

Your wedding is going to be as unique as you are. Before you make any decision talk to me. Let me help you to put together a package that you will love and is within your budget.

 


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Hi Bryce.

Michael and I would like to thank you for providing us with such amazing photos of our special day.

You went above and beyond to ensure that we would be pleased with the end results. You were not only professional and knowledgeable and patient but you went out of your way to find the perfect locations to make our day fun and memorable.

We would recommend your services to anyone that has a desire to have fun and expect the best!

Winter is a challenge to make fun but you nailed It!

Thank you!

Penny and Michael.

 

Mike and Penny

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