How to spot a rouge-wedding photographer.
Written by admin on April 30th, 2012
With recent horror story’s of failed wedding photography and bad services in the media it has never been more important to do your research when booking a wedding photographer. The problem is photography is simply so accessible for everyone these days, you buy yourself a fancy looking SLR, you set up a website and there you have it your now a professional photographer. I am however afraid to say that getting professional results is much more difficult than that and by the time many couples find this out its just to late for them. I have even seen evidence of photography websites stealing other photographer’s work and passing it off as their own in order to book unsuspecting wedding clients. So just how do you spot the good from the bad?
While we all love a bargain some things are simply to good to be true. There is a wide range of prices and packages available on the market so finding value is possible but if the price is significantly cheaper than the local market/competitors then they must be cutting costs somewhere down the line. This is often simply due to the lack of skill from the photographer and that they just wouldn’t get any bookings if they charged the same as there professional competition. So when thinking of wedding photography you have to remember that it is an investment. When the dress has been worn, the food has been eaten the one thing that remains for years to come is the wedding photography. Don’t think cheap, think value.
One of the first things you should do when you think you have found a photographer is to ask to meet them in person. This will be your chance to quiz the photographer. A professional photographer will be very much used to any questions you have for them and happy to answer any concerns so don’t be afraid to ask anything.
Questions to ask at this meeting are.
How many weddings has the photographer shot?
What equipment the photographer use? (This may mean nothing to you but take note of how confident the photographer is in their answer. Does it appear they know their gear inside and out?).
Does the photographer have backup if a camera or other piece of equipment was to break?
Does the photographer carry business insurance? (Many venues will not allow a photographer to work in their venue if they do not).
Is the person you are meeting actually your photographer on the day?
Is the work you are seeing their own?
See a whole wedding… or 2.
Seeing a few nice shots from varies weddings is fine but anyone can get lucky and if they shoot 2000 photos and only get 1 nice shot that’s pretty worthless for your wedding day. Ask to see some album examples showing a whole wedding from start to finish. This will also give you a chance to ask some more questions on how they work to see if there style suits you and to make sure the work you see is there own. Look for a consistent standard of work no matter what the situation. You want your photographer to be able to produce a high standard of image in all lighting conditions and under any pressures.
Use Internet reviews
The great thing about the Internet is that the word can be spread very quickly if there is rouge out there. Search not only for the company name but also the name of the photographer, as it is very possible they may have built a bad reputation under a previous name. Finding one bad review may not mean they are all bad but if it’s an on-going pattern then beware.
Recommendations and referrals are the professions best friend. Any company worth considering will aim to always please and asking friends who are already married can give you that piece of mind.
Ok so this article may sound a little doom and gloom. Wedding photography is not all bad and most of the photographers you will find and meet will be honest businesses with a passion for photography and a pride in their work. However there are rouges out there and taking simple steps and doing lots of research will help you spot them fast and not become a victim of there low standards and terrible service.
Booking a wedding Photographer? Think before you book.
Written by admin on April 23rd, 2012
This week the big story in all the major newspapers has been the unlucky couple whos wedding photos have been named by many as “the wedding pictures ever”. I am afraid to say that low standard images are a regular site in the wedding industry with so many new have-a-go photographers stepping into the market. You may think they are easy to spot but more and more unsuspecting couples are becoming victims of so called photographers who fail to grasp even the basic skills required. So when booking your photographer make sure you do your research, ask lots of questions and see lots of whole weddings to see Constancy.
Posing For your wedding photography
Written by admin on February 22nd, 2012
Picking an experienced professional wedding photographer will mean that you are in great hands. You photographer should be there every step of the way to guide you towards stunning photographs and natural poses. That does not mean you should leave it 100% to the photographer to guide you in ever pose. There are many things you can do to help you photographer get some stunning poses and amazing photos of your big day.
Before the wedding day.
Practice. Ok so you may feel a big silly posing in the mirror on in front of your webcam, but a little big of practice can go a long way. Learning how to position your body and just as importantly your face can be a great boost to your confidence. On the day your photographer will guide your poses but why not surprise them by adding a few of your own into the day.
Get in shape. What ever your size or shape spending some time getting fit will leave you feeling your very best on your wedding day. That does not mean you need to be an athlete or professional sports person but why not join the local gym or speak to a personal trainer to get you feeling your best.
Pre Wedding Shoot. A pre wedding shoot not only gives you some extra practice but it also helps you get to know your photographer and how they work. Getting to know you photographer will help you feel relaxed around them and also let them get know what works well for you. Book a photographer who includes a pre wedding shoot as part of the package and use the time not just for some great shots but also get to know your photographer.
On The Wedding Day.
Be comfortable. Whatever the position the photographer puts you in make sure it comfortable. If your not it will show so adjust it a little so you are.
Keep eye contact. Unless the photographer has requested otherwise try to look directly into the lens. Even if you laugh or smile maintain that eye contact. Often the direction you are looking will vary but always try and keep your eyes up and in the direction requested. Often moving you head to one side but maintaining eye contact can give your face a great shape.
Posture. Nothing is worse than hunched shoulders and bad posture. Often shifting your weight onto one leg can help you relax into a good posture. Also pulling your stomach in and shoulders back can really give you a confident look.
Keep your hands busy. As with all poses an experienced photographer will help you position your hands to fit the pose. A simple hand on the hip pose can keep them hands busy and also slim you down. Don’t be afraid to use props, hold your flowers, hand on you partners face, hold each others hands what ever you do just keep them busy without fidgeting.
Forget about the dress. Yes your dress was expensive but I am afraid to tell you its impossible to keep it totally clean. Spending all your time trying to not get a single mark on the dress will really limit your photographer. Let the dress fall naturally on the ground and don’t worry about a little dirt. The chances are by the end of the night the bottom will be marked anyway from the dance floor so don’t try and keep the train off the floor everywhere you go.
Take the time out. While your guests are enjoying a drink or some canapés it’s easy to want to just join them and not bother spending lots of time on posing for photographs. The truth is the more time you give your photographer the better the results will be. Try not to rush your photographer or moan about spending the time on the photographs, remember the results will be for you. Take the time out for photographs and use them as a chance from a break away from the hectic wedding day.
Be romantic. Many of us are not used to very public intimacy but get close to your partner and don’t be scared of being romantic.
Out of everything if there is one thing that will make your weddings photos even better that’s confidence. Think of yourself as a confident professional model for that one-day. Work with your photographer and trust in there ability’s to produce stunning results. Remember your looking amazing, it’s a happy day and the photographs are going to look great.
Free wedding photography – Good or bad?
Written by admin on December 21st, 2011
Look at wedding forums, photography sites or even search on Google and you’re sure to find people both searching for and offering free or almost free wedding photography. While many of us are on a tight budget the photography is not always the best place to start trying to save money. Your wedding album or photographs are the one thing from your day that will last, in 20 years time when you are looking back on your wedding it is these images that will bring back the memory’s of your special day. So after spending all that money on the venue, the dress, the rings, the food and all the other aspects a wedding presents do you want to risk that all being lost and forgotten by the mistakes of a free photographer. That is not me saying that the only way to get great results is to hire the most expensive photographer you can find but when it comes to wedding photography experience is key. A student or keen amateur may provide some good results but is “good” enough for the most important day of your life. The reassurance an experienced photographer can bring is simply priceless.
What a free wedding photographer cant offer?
If a photographer is offering there services without charge there are many important aspects that they often simply cant afford to provide. These often include insurance, professional equipment, reliable transport and high quality products.
One of the most important things that any experienced photographer will have covered is professional equipment and backups should this go wrong. High-level photography gear is expensive and everything from camera bodies, lens and flashguns need to be available. You also need to think about what the photographer will do if this fails or breaks. Backup gear means that the photographer has to buy double the gear and spend double the money this of course has to be covered in there fees.
Are free wedding photographers all bad?
I am sure there are some good photographers out there that want to build there portfolio or gain some more experience in the wedding field that will be happy to shoot a wedding for free but I would always ask myself this question – “why are they not charging?” There always has to be a reason why they are giving away their service for free and not covering their costs and making a living. Do you really want to take that risk on your wedding day?
What ever you do and what ever your budget makes sure you find a photographer who can demonstrate experience and skill. Ask lots of questions such as those on our post http://www.wedding-photographer-tips.com/2011/05/19/questions-to-ask-a-potential-wedding-photographer/
Where to find your perfect wedding photographer?
Written by admin on June 23rd, 2011
There are simply hundreds of photographers out there, and finding your perfect wedding photographer can be a difficult task. Here are a few places top start your search for the right photographer.a
Google/Yahoo/other popular search engines
This is often the first place many people start when searching for a wedding photographer. After a quick search you will soon find that heavy photography hobbyist and keen amateur right up to the top end pros you are looking for will all have a website. There are some fundamental flaws with looking at photographer’s websites. The first is that of course the photographers only show their very best work. Often you will only see one or two shots for each wedding so you don’t get a great idea of the full package and what is covered. Consistency is very important and you want to be able to see that the same standard is maintains for a whole wedding. Websites also don’t give y9ou an idea of the personality of your photographer. How you click with the photographer can be just as important as the standard of their work and can make or break you wedding day. Simply meeting the photographer in person can of course solve both of these issues. Ask to see several wedding albums that demonstrate the full wedding service and spend some time getting to know the photographer.
When using search engines try and be as specific in your search. Rather than searching simply “wedding photographer” narrow the search down to your area such as searching “wedding photographer Milton Keynes” or “ wedding photographer London” this means your results will be filtered to only the company’s covering your area rather than the thousands all over the world.
When using Google don’t be fooled into thinking the first few results are always the best. Google charges for their top spot ads so anyone who is willing to pay can get their ads to appear here. You can tell the paid adds as they are in a colored box that says the word “Ads” in the right corner. This is not to say you should ignore these results but the top result in the natural unpaid listing can often be more reliable.
Wedding Shows/ Exhibitions.
As a wedding photographer a love doing wedding shows. It’s a great chance to meet people face to face and chat about their weddings all day. For a couple getting married it is a great chance to meet with suppliers face to face. This means from the beginning you will know if the photographer’s personality is right for your wedding. Most photographers will also have plenty of albums available to look at and plenty of time to chat. The only problem with shows is of course not all the photographers in the area are there. Some will limit the show to several suppliers from each sector some will be over run with the same thing.
Ask a friend.
Most people will have friends and family who have been married in the area and used a local photographer. Asking a friend who has similar tastes to yours is a great way of finding a photographer as you will get an honest opinion of there work and there service. Of course what works for one person may not work for you so still use your own judgment
Always meet the photographer
I have said it time and time again. Meeting your photographer before you book could be one of the most important steps in your decision. Just because there site looks great or your friend loved them does not mean you will. So the more questions you ask and the more you get to know them the better.
How did you find your photographer?
For those of you already married it would be great to find out how you found your wedding photographer? Use the comments below to share.
How to spot a bad/ inexperienced wedding photographer
Written by admin on May 23rd, 2011
Over the past few years many people have seen wedding photography as an easy moneymaker. They buy them selves what they think is a professional camera they set up a website and often even steel some great looking wedding photos from other websites. So how do you spot one of these amateur wedding photographers and find a true professional?
1. Consistent Portfolio
Make sure you look at complete wedding not just their choice of portfolio images. It is very easy for an amateur to get 1 good shot out of 1000 taken at a wedding but an experienced photographer will be able to produce stunning images for the whole wedding day.
Always ask for the photographer to come and meet you to show you example albums.
3. Is the work there’s?
Many rouge photographers will be more than happy to steel images from experienced professionals. This can be very hard to spot so try and see images from various weddings. Also ask the photographer some questions about the venue the images have been taken at and then do some research on these venues to make sure his information is correct.
Check the quality of their work and their technical ability. Check for incorrect exposure by looking for details in light areas such as the wedding dress. If the white looks blown out this is incorrect. Also look for blurred images or low image quality.
5. Social Skills
Professional photographers not only have great photography skills but they will also have the people skills to match. Are they confident and well spoken?
Would you be happy for them to deal with your family and friends? Even a polite yet shy photographer may find it hard to handle a busy wedding.
Ask for testimonials or to be put in touch directly with past customers.
An experienced photographer will be able to adapt their style to meet your needs. If they have rehearsed only a hand full of fixed shots they may not be able to provide you anything out of there comfort zone.
Back up equipment is one of the single most important factors when booking a wedding photographer. Ask them what they will do if their camera breaks or fails to work. A true pro will have a backup for every necessary bit of equipment. will want to know about your plans for the day and try to create a rapport with you.
Do lots of research on the photographer. Don’t take anything on face value.
An experienced photographer will have certain professional procedures set in place. One good way to spot if they are a full time business is to ask to see their business insurance certificate. Also asking if they are CRB checked is a good way to unsure they are who they say they are.
Wedding Photography – Budget vs. Quality
Written by admin on May 20th, 2011
Weddings are expensive. The average wedding in the UK costs over £20,000 so its no wonder that couples search for places to save money. Often many brides believe that Wedding Photography is a great place to cut costs and look for cheap wedding photographers, often at the cost of their memories.
After the wedding day is over, the cake has been eaten and the guests have left one thing remains from your day, Not the dress left hanging in the cupboard or the gifts from family and friends but your new family heirloom – The wedding Album. So what would you do if the result were badly posed, low quality and outright awful wedding images? This is often what happens when people look at the price before they look at the photography.
Why do photographers charge so much?
Well the truth is, not many photographers out there are living a life of luxury. Wedding Photography is not making millionaires but of course photographers are in business to make profit. Professional wedding photographers have certain costs they must pay not only to run your business but also to supply you with your beautiful wedding images. If a photographer is only charging £300 for you wedding, how are they expected to cover these costs and make a living? So what costs are involved for a wedding photographer?
One of your first questions when hiring a wedding photographer should be if they carry proper business insurance. This should not only cover they own equipment but should also cover their liability should you or one of your guests be injured as a result of the photographers actions. A professional photographer will also need to have indemnity insurance to protect them should a lawsuit arise. While this may not make a direct difference to your wedding day it is a good way to gage if the photographer truly is a professional or an amateur trying to make a quick buck.
Top of the range photography gears costs money, and with the ever-changing technology’s it can be an on-going expense for any photographer. A professional photographer should also have back up gear so any costs they have need to be doubled just in case one item fails or breaks.
Its not often a wedding will be right on the photographer’s door step and with current fuel prices the traveling involved for a wedding can be pricy. This is not just the travel on your wedding day but also the consultations and meetings, pre wedding shoots, album delivery, this can all mount p to some serious mileage. A professional photographer will also have to pay more for there insurance as it needs to cover business and they’re the up keep of their vehicle so they can arrive at you wedding on time.
The photographer’s time.
This for me is the most important aspect. While you may think the photographer is only would the 8 to 10 hours of the wedding the reality is there is much more work involved on wedding photography. On average I have worked out a wedding takes up around 50 hours or more of my time. This includes the first consultation, pre wedding shoot, travel time, the wedding day, post production time/ retouch and album design. When you look at a wedding from the eyes of a wedding photographer you will soon why its impossible to charge £300 and still offer a full service for any wedding.
Modern day storybook albums are more and more popular. Some of these albums can cost up to £500 to produce and that is without thinking about the photographer’s time. With wedding albums you pay for quality and this can be a big cost for any photographer.
As well as the main costs involved there are always going to be further expenses for a wedding photographer such as clothing, food, and assistant’s wages
My uncle bob has a great camera and takes great photos.
If I had a pound for every time I heard this. More importantly if wedding photography was as simple as having a great camera. Wedding photographers have spent years training their skills and that is not only their photography skills. Even some of the best photographers out there simply cant handle the pressure of a wedding day, with so many guests to organize, places to be at certain times and most of all only one chance to get the perfect shot of you walking down the aisle it can be a daunting task for anyone. An experienced wedding photographer will be confident to handle anything the day presents and still be able to produce stunning images.
This also goes for the growing trend of booking a training photographer or student to do your wedding. Often they will do it for little or no money on order for them to gain experience. The question you need to ask yourself is how important is your wedding day to you. While I am sure there are occasions when these students produce an album full of perfect images more often than not there experience will show and the results could be a disaster.
So the more I pay the better the photographer right?
No that’s not what I am saying. I don’t think you need to go out and spend £5k on a photographer alone just to get presentable images. But on the other hand if a photographer seems to be offering you everything for £300 – £500 there must be a reason why they are so cheap, where are they cutting the costs and where are you losing out. If you are losing out on photography experience and skill then it’s always worth rethinking your budget and spending more. The key to photography success is to book someone with experience and skill. Book someone who can show you a portfolio from a verity of recent weddings. When looking at the price think about the 50 hours a photographer may be spending on your wedding and the costs of your album and ask yourself why it seems such a good price.
Investing in your memories.
A professional experienced wedding photographer is an investment into your future memories. Yes spending a little more may seem a pain at the time but when your album arrives full of beautify presented memory’s you will be more than glad you decided to pay for quality. A professional photographer will carry a professional fee, for this you are paying for the skills, experience, equipment and guarantee that comes with it.
So how much should I spend?
This is a question I have no direct answer for but I would honesty say pay as much as you can afford to, be realistic about your budget as with cheap wedding photography the chances are you are not going to get a true processional service. My target budget for any couple would be £1000 or more for a full days wedding coverage from a profeaional photographer but this is not a set rule. As with everything do your research, see lots of work and ask lots of questions in order to judge their skill and experience.
Questions to ask a potential wedding photographer
Written by admin on May 19th, 2011
Once you have found various wedding photographers who you are interested in booking it is important you arrange a time to meet them. Most photographers will be happy to come and visit you at home at a time the suits you. This is your opportunity to get all the information that you need to make you decision. Of course it is important to see as much of their work as possible but just as important is to ask the right questions.
What should I ask?
Will he/she be taking the photos at your wedding?
Many companies’s will outsource the photography to freelancers or have several photographers working in the company. This is fine but if it is important for you to meet your photographer now is the time to find out.
What type of camera will the photographer use?
The answer is actually pretty irrelevant but the key here is to get a sense of there knowledge. A photographer should be able to give you the basic information of there equipment with ease.
Can you show me a complete set of recent wedding pictures?
Ask to see images from a whole wedding and of various weddings from start to finish. Make sure the quality is constant and everything is covered.
How do I book?
Find out what deposit you need to pay and if there is a contract to sign. Don’t forget that booking deposits will be non-refundable and around 50% of the package price. This is a great reason to carry wedding insurance of your own.
Will there be backup equipment available? And what happens if the photographer is ill?
Backup equipment is one of the most important things a professional photographer can own. You need to be sure that even if there camera breaks or electrics fail that they can still provide you with the service you have paid for. A professional photographer should be prepared for any emergency.
Also does the photographer have something in place should they fall seriously ill? Of course you don’t expect a cough or cold to stop them but as with any other wedding suppliers you would like to know that they have a option should this happen. No service is fail-safe but a photographer can have some precautions to help this.
Can other people take photos?
Some photographers will not allow others to take pictures at the same time he/she is. The other cameras flash may affect the photographer’s photo or may distract the people in the photo to look another way. It is often a good idea to ask guests to hold off taking their photos until the photographer has finished as it can affect your images.
Should your event last longer than scheduled, will they stay and will there be an extra charge?
No matter how hard you plan sometimes things can take longer than you expect. If time runs over will the photographer be willing to stay and will they charge extra for this time?
What is included in the packages?
How much of the day is covered? Do you get albums? Do you get a disk of Images? Can you print from that disk? Get the full details of everything that is included and of course how much it costs.
Will they accept of list from you, for specific photos to be taken?
Most photographers will be happy to have a list of must have group shots. Try not to be too specific as every wedding is different.
How long after the event will the proofs be ready?
This could vary drastically I have heard story’s of photographers taking several months to several years.
Does he/she have insurance?
You want to know if the photographer carries insurance to cover the cost if something goes terribly wrong. You should of course have your own wedding insurance. Company’s insurance is also a great sign of the level a professionalism of a company.
These questions are of course the basics. Ask anything else that is important to you or you think you need to know. Many photographers will cover many of the questions them self’s or provide you with a FAQ. Compare the answers of each photographer ask more questions if needed
Where to find your perfect photographer
Written by admin on May 19th, 2011
Finding a wedding photographer can be a tricky business so it is important to speak to as many as possible to see what each photographer can offer. What may be right for one person may not fit what you’re looking for so the key is to do plenty of research and to ask lots of questions.
Most people these days will start their search for a wedding photographer on the Internet. Most professional photographers will have a professional website and this can give you idea of a photographers work and the packages they offer. When searching for photographers on popular search engines use specific keywords to find photographers in your location. For example rather than simply searching “Wedding Photographer” try searching “Wedding Photographer Manchester” this will narrow down your search and make it much easier to find someone who covers you location.
A website is a great place to view a photographers previous work. Look for the site to have a range of images from various weddings. If a website only has one wedding in the portfolio the chances are the photographer may not have much experience in wedding photography and may have even hired models to act as if they are at a wedding.
There are also lots of wedding directories on the Internet that will contain many suppliers. Beware, just because a photographer is in these directory’s does not mean they are the best as often they simply add anyone who signs up or pays a fee.
Do not rely on the Internet alone to find a photographer. There are many other great resources that can help you find some great companies for your wedding. The first is actually the most obvious. Ask you friends. If you know anyone who has recently been married ask them whom they had as there photographer and if they were happy with the services they provided. Ask to see their images or album and for any contact details they have. A referral is a great way to find more about the photographer other than just there work as you can get information about the full services they had including the photographers personality and manor on the wedding day.
Wedding shows are a perfect way to get loads of information from many different wedding suppliers and every wedding fair will always have a selection of photographers. Wedding shows work great because they give you a chance to meet the photographer aswell as see their work. You can ask as many questions as you want without any pressure. Again do not allow photographers to sell to you. A good photographer will not pressure you to sign up there and then. If you are interested take lots of details and arrange a time to meet at a later date after you have done some further research.
Meet the photographer
Once you have found some photographers whose work you like and who’s packages fit your budget ask the photographer to meet you so you can see some of the photography in person. Ask to see various whole wedding albums with everything covered. Most professional photographers will be happy to come to your home at a time that suits you to discuss your wedding. Expect the photographer to be informative and answer all your questions but not pressure you to book. This is a chance for you to gain as much information as possible not simply a sales pitch for the photographer. Try and meet several photographers so you can get a comparison and ask lots of questions. Don’t forget to keep a record of the photographer’s answers so you can compare more later. If after meeting the photographers you are not sure of who to book don’t be afraid to ask to meet them again or call with any further questions.
With these few steps you will find a whole host of photographers with different prices and styles and the key is to find the right one for you. If you are unsure or suspicious of anything don’t book them. There is a photographer out there for everyone.