16 Jun Tips for choosing the right Wedding Photographer
Choosing the right wedding day suppliers isn’t easy.
Choosing the right wedding day suppliers isn’t easy. There are so many considerations to factor.
- Value for money
- Equipment used
- Quality of work
- Story telling ability
- Documentary vs creative balance
Here are some valuable facts and hints you should not ignore.
ABOUT THE WEDDING INDUSTRY
The wedding industry is not regulated in any way. There’s a lot of people in the industry who there, not through a conviction to their art craft or trade, they are there to make a quick buck. In the 15 years, we have been in the industry, we have seen hundreds of suppliers from just about every category including Photographers come and go. And when they go they go with your money or even worse, your images. It’s a very competitive industry and over 95% of the new businesses started and ended within the first three years. Be very careful who you choose.
DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ
It’s your responsibility to be an informed consumer. Make an effort to get everything in writing and to carefully go through the documents provided to you ensure you know what you’re getting for your money. Do your homework. Check how long they have been in business and make sure they have a valid and current ABN. Carefully review their website and use the power of the internet to search for complaints and or reviews.
NO PRICING ONLINE? – IT’S A WARNING SIGN
Trust and transparency are paramount when building a relationship with a wedding Photographer. From the start, there should be transparency of pricing and inclusions, so you can quickly determine the value received. If a photographer is unwilling to disclose pricing on their website, they may also be reluctant to disclose all other fees and charges. Not offering the price up front does not build trust, so if not openly displayed keep looking.
DON’T FALL FOR UNLIMITED IMAGES
Think about it. How many images is “unlimited images”? Imagine that after your wedding, your photographer hands you only 50 photos. You would be annoyed, and would ask; “Where are the rest of my images?” Photographer replied; “what do you mean? I didn’t limit it, that’s all I took”.
At MMG we give you an hourly capture rate of 100 images per hour delivered. NOT taken, but delivered. We don’t include duplicates, blink shots, test shots or out of focus shots, etc. At MMG provide 100 crisp clear, thoughtfully composed images per hour for each and every hour we’re with you. Never settle for anything less.
DON’T BE AN EASY TARGET
There’s a good chance you have never done this before. Photographers know this and take full advantage of it. One way marketing tricks easily fool couples is to display highly photoshopped individual images from lots of different weddings.
At first, this may seem innocent enough. However individual images don’t go far enough to telling the whole story. To be sure your photographer can deliver more than a couple of “magazine shots” you need to ensure you view their entire weddings albums. Only then can you accurately assess the following:
Consistency of photography during the day
Photographers ability in low light
Attention to detail
Overall story telling and artistic value.
Overall, dig deeper and NEVER book a photographer based on the individual images displayed on their website.
ASK TO VIEW THE HARD STUFF
Photographers rarely show night or rain shots. Considering there’s a 50/50 chance it will rain on your wedding and consider your wedding reception will be at night; it’s super necessary to view images taken during these times. Look for sharp images with perfect colour balancing.
VIEW AT LEAST 20 FULL WEDDINGS
Any professional wedding photographer should be able to show you at least twenty sample wedding albums. This is the most important piece of advice we can give you. It’s the one thing that will speak more than any website or sales presentation. We have at least two couples per week contact us, telling us they rushed their decision with another photographer, and now realize that chosen photographers work isn’t what they first thought.
Couples often realize this only after they have been on their pre-wedding shoot. And backing out means you’re going to lose your deposit. So make sure you ask to view samples of pre-wedding shoots completed and also at least 20 weddings as this will clearly show you that particular photographer’s story telling ability.
We offer more detailed advice and tips in our “Bride Beware E- book” which is available for only 29.95. That small investment has the potential to save you thousands and avoid a whole lot of heartache not to mention a lifetime of regret.
CHECK LOW LOW LIGHT AND FLASH
For the most part, your wedding will be in low light. If you’re getting married in a church, the light is often limited and or difficult. It’s the same during your entire reception. Therefore you need to make sure the photographer you’re considering is highly experienced with using flash. When used correctly, flash photography will deliver stunning results and beautiful unique images everyone will envy. Make sure when viewing full albums that you ask to see flash images and or images in low light. If they start making excuses about why they don’t have those images to show you, it’s a warning sign. Over the years, I have interviewed thousands of photographers and when asked trickle flash questions, can’t answer them.
NEVER PAY IN ADVANCE
When you pay your photography bill in advance, prior to your wedding, you are unwittingly de-incentivising them to make a deeper effort on the day of the wedding and capture more weddings. This also extends to your post production quality. When you pay in advance will they make more of less effort to capture every aspect of your wedding day? When you pay in advance and it’s time for post wedding production, will they spend more or less time perfecting each image, when they already have all of your money?
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
Jay McNabb is a wedding photographer with over 15 years of wedding industry experience, shooting over 1000 weddings within Australia and abroad. He is the creator and owner of MMG Photo Cinema. MMG operates in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, Hobart, Manila Philippines, New Zealand, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.