Wedding tips, ideas & stories, from The Photographer

Posts tagged “photographers

15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #13; What Equipment Should A Photographer Have?

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

Question #13

What equipment should a wedding photographer have?

 

If you paying for a professional, they should have professional gear and they should have backups for the most essential parts. No less than 2 cameras, 2 flashes and at least as many lenses if not more. There are sensor sizes, mega-bytes sizes and specs for lenses & camera bodies that could take up a whole page. This doesn’t mean they need the top of the line and newest gear though. Essentially having the best camera in the world won’t help make a better photo and at the end of the day, you’d rather want talent behind a consumer camera, than a dud behind an expensive one.

 

Having the best equipment doesn't matter if you don't have a backup.

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #14

Do prices typically vary for off-season or weekday weddings?


Previous Questions

#12 How should a couple determine their wedding photography budget?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #11; Beware of Certain Photographers

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #11

What should a couple beware of with certain wedding photographers?

 

While rare, although not as rare as I’d like, the biggest concern would be that the work the photographer is presenting as their own, is actually copied from other photographer’s websites. This however can be extremely hard to find out. A more common bait & switch is performed  by studios who show work from photographers who no longer work for them. The other is when a photographer is really only good at one, or two types of photos.

A great way to flush both of these pitfalls out is to ask for samples of at least 100-300 images form a wedding that is completely their work, or the work of the photographer you’ll be working with. I have seen a lot of wedding portfolios with great artistic colored details shots of flowers, but lack any real candid moments. A couple who recently booked me mentioned that several of the photographers they looked at seemed more concern with the skyline in the background of the posed photos than the bride & groom.

 

Here’s a great post from Chicago Tribune photojournalist Alex Garcia, giving 7 solid tips on things to look out for when hiring a wedding photographer.
http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/assignment-chicago/2012/02/photographers-you-shouldnt-hire-for-your-wedding.html

 

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #12

How should a couple determine their wedding photography budget?

Previous Questions

#10  What should a couple look for in a wedding photographer?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #8; Price Gap Between Photographers

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #8

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #8

Why is there such a large price range among different wedding photographers?

Talent and advertising. Some of the best photographers have a following where brides know they want to use them, even when they are still single. Those photographers can start around $10,000 to $15,000. A lot of amateur photographers with regular weekday jobs are trying to make side money on the weekends, so they can survive on just $300-$500 a couple of times a year. Most professional photographers haven’t reached that rarified air of the $15,000 wedding photographer and would go dead broke charging $500 a wedding. In a market like Chicago which has over 700 listed wedding photographers, advertising is a must to stay ahead and that often means between $200 to $1,000 a month to be listed in magazines & web sites. The Knot.com <http://Knot.com> alone costs a photographer $250 a month just for a basic listing (not the  front page).

 

 

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #9

At what point in the wedding planning process should a couple book a wedding photographer?


Previous Questions

#7 What is the customary deposit to put down, to reserve a photographer for adate?  When is the balance typically due?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com

 


Online Vendor Reviews

If your vendors had your more upset than bad weather on your wedding day, let others know.

Have you ever been out to a restaurant, only to leave so upset about the food quality, or service that you rushed right to your computer to give a them a bad review on sites like Yelp.com, Metromix.com or Citysearch.com?

While it may be little consolation after having a bad wedding experience, some of these sites actually go beyond eating & drinking establishments and your bad or rave reviews for a vendor may just help sway another unsuspecting couple towards a great vendor as much as it could save them from a bad one. Not to mention give you a little more satisfaction than ranting on Facebook or Twitter.

As a home owner I’m a big user of Angie’s List (a subscriber based rating service). While the site got some hype last year when they started doing medical reviews, I never knew until an issue of their monthly magazine did an article on wedding disasters, that vendors from caterers to photographers are also listed.

So don’t forget after the wedding, post up your own thoughts on everything from your wedding vendors to your reception hall rental. You never know, some vendors check these site frequently and may even be grateful enough to give you a discount on future services (say maybe a photographer throwing in some 8×10’s for free).

Also, if you’re still in the planning stages, don’t overlook using these sites for yourself, or to check on vendors you may already have booked to head off any possible issues that may arise.

On a final note; be wary of what you do put in writing. Especially if you had a particularly bad experience. Stick to the facts and try to keep any emotion out of it. The internet isn’t as wild as it use to be, and liable cases are popping up all over the country. While a vendor might not win a case against you, they could ruin your honeymoon too, if you need to spend money on a lawyer to defend yourself in a liable case. And God forbid if you have to take the vendor to court for breach of contract. If that’s the case, it might be best not to say anything till the trial is over.

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What’s more important the photographer or the photographs?


If you think about how your wedding day will unfold, you’ll realize that out of all the people you’ll be spending time with, almost no one, including your soon to be spouse, will be with you more than the photographer.

Often when I’m contacted by a couple about my services, I often hear about how they like my photos, but later I’ve been told a big reason why a couple chose me, is that during our face to face meeting I made them feel very comfortable.

This is something that took me a year or two to realize, that it was part of the services I had to offer and not just my ability to dress well & smile.

In the past I’ve talked about important things to think about when choosing your location, ways to make sure your photographer has a the opportunity to get good photos and ways to get a good photographer if you’re on a tight budget, but I’ve never actually talked about getting a photographer you’d like.

While I can’t tell you what you should personally like in a photographer, I can tell you that no matter how good the portfolio, package prices or options offered, you should actually like the photographer you’ll be working with as much as you like their products.

A few good examples of when having a likable photographer is nice are;
-when the bride and bridal party are getting dressed & ready
-in the extra small waiting rooms before the ceremony
-those intimate moments when the couple are alone, away from everybody after the ceremony
-and interacting with your guests

Still not quite sure what to look for in a photographer? Here are some good starting points.

1. Do they sound like they enjoy shooting weddings, or is this just a 9-5?

Wedding photography is a job, but while the responsibility of taking photos on one of the greatest days of a couples life is intense, if they’re not into it, it will show up in the photos as well as possibly being disruptive the day of.

2. Do they talk about bad weddings & bridezillas more than happy brides & beautiful ceremonies?
I’ll admit I’ve talked at length before about wedding mishaps and bridezillas, but I usually try to focus it on how a future couple can avoid pitfalls, as opposed to just an all out rant. Stories about how to make your wedding better are often a sign a photographer cares about your experience as much as your business.

3. Do you actually get to meet them and are they guaranteed to be your photographer?
Studios often have a sales person you meet with to discus packages, albums & prints. While you might have a choice based on portfolio, meeting the photographer is often a day of the ceremony occasion. Also, be sure to ask up front what your photographer’s switching policies are? Even small independent photographers have been know to double book a date and substitute a second photographer or assistant photographer in place of themselves.
Above all, follow your gut and not your wallet. If you get a recommendation for a photographer, ask your friends about their personality as well as their professionalism.