Planning a wedding can be a lot of work! There are so many options to choose from when it comes to photography, venue, decor etc. As photographers, we know a thing or two about choosing the perfect photography match to capture your wedding day memories. Although working within your budget is important, even more important is working with someone whose work you love! In the quest to find the perfect photography fit for your day, here are 5 Important Questions to ask yourself, as well as a photographer! The first question you need to ask when looking for a photographer/s is actually to yourself...
The most important question to ask yourself before you book your photographer, is "Do you like their style?" Google will tell you that you need to ask a photographer if they can describe their style...but lets be honest - if you don't like it, then thats not a great question. Of course we can describe our style for you, BUT you need to love it first. There are many different styles out there. From Vintage/Rustic to Bright/Colourful, from Natural Light to Flash, Posed to more photojournalistic! It can be overwhelming! Don't be shy in deciding you like a certain style & look, just go for what you love! If you book a photographer based on budget, but they don't work within the "style" you like...chances are you won't be happy with your photos, and they won't be able to accommodate what you're looking for in the finished product. Then no one is happy.
The hard truth: If their photos aren't great on the website, then don't be disappointed when yours turn out the same. It's just not going to magically become better. It takes time, work, education and a desire to better themselves.
It's best to have a look at their website, cruise their portfolio of work and ask to see a full day wedding! If its not up to par, keep going! You can often see full day weddings on blogs :D Here is a look at our blog, which will give you a sense of how we do a day, as well as our portfolio with some of our favourite work:
A Professional Photographer will have a clear LOOK and STYLE to all their images! Our style can be summed up in one sentence:
"Our photography is a blend of flash work as well as natural light, to create a timeless, true to life, bright and colourful image"
This consistency is key when you're looking for the right fit. This will give you great confidence in your photographers abilities, and trust is very important!
We've heard horror stories from couples whose wedding photos were lost...just days after the wedding. And they never saw them, and couldn't get back the day. Again, that is often a hallmark of new photographers, or cheap ones. It's heartbreaking, and it happens when a photographer doesn't have the back-up system in place.
Redundancy is paramount, your wedding day is of the utmost importance. That means your photographer should have your images backed up in a minimum 2 different places. "Does your photographer have multiple back-up systems in place?" As an example, our 5D Mark III's have duo memory card slots for double back-up on the day of shooting, we then store the digital files on a USB, on our computer hard drive, an additional external hard drive, time machine, the cloud and the final step to back-up is placing the SD memory cards into a fire safe. Sounds like a lot...and it is, but loosing your photos is not happening!
"Does your photographer have a back-up camera in place?" You never know what will go wrong with technology on a day...it can seem as unpredictable as the weather! Does your photographer have a back-up camera in the event that something fails? Sometimes things go wrong, even with weather sealed equipment! So, does your photographer have a back-up camera ready to roll or insurance? Your wedding day doesn't stop because a camera breaks down. Even if your photographer has a second shooter's camera on hand in the event their camera glitches, is great! We know a lot of couples book us because they are getting the two professional photographers = INSTANT BACKUP!!
4. Can You Shoot in Bright, Hot Sunlight or Very Dark Locations & How Do You Handle It?
Often times we are working during the brightest time of the day, in some of the harshest conditions! And later on in the day, we might be inside in a darker, more low light setting. It's incredibly important that your photographer have training in off camera flash for at least the reception. It's always nice to find shade to shoot in outside - but sometimes its just not there. Trusting your photographer to be able to capture your images regardless of mother natures lighting is so important! That means external flash system lights to fill in the harsh shadows that the sun creates, or to help capture the beautiful blue of the sky while allowing you to be lit! While we don't always need or use flash, we are well versed in it to create gorgeous scenes no matter the natural light! Once they head inside for reception, they'll need to be able to photograph the various elements of decor, speeches, candids, first dances to cake cut in practically complete darkness. Without training or use of an off camera flash and the islands notoriously bad light at all reception venues your photos are going to be lower quality and grainy. Simply said without lights, you will likely get back blurry, out of focus images and grainy images that look like they've been photographed with nothing more than a disposable camera - and no one wants those images. You are hoping your photographer will say they set up lights, flashes or strobes around the reception or at least have training in some professional flash work!
Wherever you live, rain plans are non-negotiable! We've said it already, but here on Vancouver Island, the weather can be especially unpredictable! Photos can't stop because of a little rain or a torrential downpour! But it's best if your hair remains mostly dry ;D In a drought summer, four weddings we shot - poured rain. Thank goodness for weather sealed equipment. "If it's raining, does your photographer have umbrellas for cover, and perhaps a location to bring you that won't get you both soaked?" It's always a great idea to work with your photographer and brainstorm couple ideas prior to your wedding in the event of rain :D Ask to see some examples of photos they have taken in the rain and see if you like their rain photography skills! Also you may ask is your equipment weather sealed? Only the higher end camera models and lenses are weather sealed and typically makes for a good sign that they are prepared!
You don't want to stress out over your photography on your wedding day. You want to know all business aspects have been taken care of on the photographers end so you can enjoy your day. Being an "Insured Photographer" means that if our cameras break down, or get soaked we can have all new equipment the SAME day, with our full PPOC (Professional Photographers of Canada) insurance. If your photographer lost 10-20k of equipment in a break in or fire the day before would they cancel your wedding? With an insured photographer you are protected! Insurance offers security.
Being listed & recognized as a reputable business in your own city, who wouldn't want that? Check to see if your photographer even has a business license in their city here's a link to the city of Nanaimo's list
We hope you've found these tips helpful! If you have any other questions about wedding photography, or just want to chat about your booking your wedding with us, we'd love to hear from you! Contact us today at: firstname.lastname@example.org