How to Choose the Right Portrait or Wedding Photographer

Photography is becoming an incredibly competitive profession with the rise of the digital age.  Good cameras are becoming more affordable and as a result there are more people becoming photographers, and thats before you even think of the ‘phone camera’ photographers… most people you see walking down the street nowadays have some sort of camera to hand, so more and more is being captured everyday.  Digital photography means that we are taking far more photographs then when we were using film so the rate of producing high quality photos is getting higher and higher as we have so much more to choose from.  There is also the after editing on our computers using software like Adobe Photoshop that can hugely improve the overall outcome of the photo making it easier to make a mediocre image into a pretty impressive looking image.


If you are looking for a wedding photographer or portrait photographer, you now have a huge amount of photographers to choose from.





So how do you find a photographer?  How do you pick out the exceptional photographers from the not so exceptional amateurs, find best photographer for you?  



Recommendation is really valuable.  When it comes to weddings and portraits, you not only need someone who is exceptional technically and creatively but you need someone with particularly good social skills, who will help make you (as well as all your guests) feel at ease and relaxed.  Its important to remember that apart from the groom, the photographer is usually the person you spend most of your wedding day with.  You can also ask at your venue for your wedding reception if they can recommend any local photographers.  If you havent had any recommendations then its good to read previous customers testimonials as these will give you a good idea of the personality behind the camera and if they are they type of person you think you would feel comfortable around.  If you dont feel comfortable, it will show in your photos.  A wedding day specifically is such an important day, with all sorts of pressures and high expectations as well as nerves so its so important you have a photographer who is sensitive and unobtrusive, as well as positive so they can help settle your nerves and keep it fun.   If you are looking for a family portrait photographer and have children, its important your photographer is a good childrens photographer, if they have children of their own this is usually enough of an assurancehat tey will be good with children , if they dont make sure you either have a recommendation that they are or that the children in their photographs look happy and relaxed.


A Strong Portfolio is the more obvious thing you look for.  I cant imagine anyone would hire a photographer  who didnt have a portfolio and didnt come highly recommended.  Its important that the photographer not only has an online portfolio (on their website) but a hard copy portfolio too.  You need to be able to see the final product, how their photographs look as prints.  You would usually be given the opportunity to view the photographers portfolio when you meet prior to making your booking.


Qualifications are incredibly beneficial.  Anybody can become a photographer nowadays, but not everybody has the skill or ability to become qualified.  A qualification is not necessary, but it will give you the piece of mind that your photographer knows technically how to manipulate a camera as well as be somebody who has studied a large number of influential photographers & techniques adding to their skills.  I know of a number of wedding photographers that shoot only using the automatic function of their camera, which I find pretty appalling as they are in no way making the most out of the ability of the camera, there is no skill in that, therefor anybody could be doing what they are doing.


Affordable wedding photographer.  This for most people is quite an important factor when choosing a photographer.  Its a good idea to do your research and compare what other photographers are charging.  Make sure you are aware of what you will be getting for your money.  Some photographers quote for the photography alone, which doesnt include the cost of printing or ownership of the digital files.  It can become incredibly expensive after you have had a shoot and then want to order any photographs you wish to own.  I believe the most cost effective option is to always to go for a package that includes the high res digital files, that way you can choose to print them where you like and how many you like without becoming bankrupt.  You can also share the images online with your friends and loved ones.


Get acquainted… your potential photographer should be more then happy to meet with you (without charging you) before booking them.  This is so you can talk about your expectations for your photography and get to know the photographer on a more personal level as well as let photographer get to know you.  This will also be your opportunity to view their hard copy portfolio and show them the type of photographs that you like.


A destination photographer.  Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a beautiful home or an exceptional wedding venue to have their shoot in, so its really important your photographer is happy to travel to destinations as well as of your home home or wedding venue to really make the most of the shoot.  There is nothing like a beautiful landscape as a backdrop for a photoshoot.


Location of the photographer is pretty important.  Most photographers will charge travel expenses so if money is an issue then make sure they are local or not too far from you.


If your photographer has ticked all of these boxes then you cant go wrong and everyone will be happy!


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