“It takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field” – Malcolm Gladwell
Congratulations! You’re getting married! This blog is all about wedding photography, who’s out there for photographers and how to choose the right photographer for you. Somewhere in here, we’ll also show you how Angel Studio covers a wedding. After all, we’ve been doing this since 2005. We have a few good ideas!
We realize that the logistics in lining up services for your wedding can be daunting. It’s your day and you need to hire a bunch of people you don’t know to help you bring off a magical experience for you and your guests. Our jobs, as your chosen professionals, is to take your wishes and make them happen. At a wedding, once in a while, something will go not as planned. You shouldn’t have to worry as experienced pros know how to smooth the bumps. We add our own flair gained through years of experience to bring off a polished and seamless occassion.
So, what is wedding photography anyway?! Wedding photography is event photography with fireworks! It’s preparation and portraiture. It’s rapid light changes. It’s capturing smiles and laughter. It’s knowing the “must have” list. It’s capturing a father mist up as he quietly whispers to himself a good bye to his little girl. It watching your guests and anticipating their reactions. There are so many subtle nuances to consider above and beyond other events due to the emotional content.
So…How do you pick a photographer? The internet is full of us! Prices are all over the place! Packages can be confusing…
Forget the packages for a moment. Never mind the prices. It all comes down to three factors you should consider. First and most obvious, you have to like a photographer’s images. It’ll give you an idea of the caliber of images you can expect. Really, when you look at a wedding photographer’s website, you are looking at somebody’s memories and a piece of family heritage! Whether they are cherished or not has a lot to do with the photographer. What you don’t see on a website are the more personal, touching, aspects such as the the panic on a groom’s face as, on a hot day, he struggles to get a ring on a sticky finger. You definitely won’t see the mini boudoir set – just for him – we shot during the pre-wedding shoot
Personality – a huge factor in selecting your photographer! We need to get your trust. Our job is to capture you at play, expressing emotion and watching you kiss, etc. We pose you. We let you do your own thing. We make you do what seems like silly things because we know it makes terrific images later. And all the time we know that at maybe one of you is somewhat nervous about cameras. We have to make you forget about that and remind you we’re here to play.
And finally, the last factor is price. Why should price be considered last? Because, let’s face it – you wouldn’t hire a photographer whose images you didn’t like. So, what factors determine price? Experience!
In this profession there are three main players competing to shoot your wedding. Let’s take a look and see who we all are:
Working our way up the talent scale, at the very bottom is the well meaning newbie.
It’s important to know that they mean well. They are often friends or relatives and carry prosumer cameras they either just got and have no idea of what all the fancy buttons do. They may be a new photographer who wants to cut their wedding coverage teeth. You can identify one at a wedding as they are sweating and have a panicked look on their face …so many buttons to press….or not! If they aren’t perspiring profusely, they just don’t understand yet how they’re going to let you down. What you’ll get: 1000 jpegs on a memory stick in high or low resolution. That is to be determined after the event. Of these images, many will be pretty well the same as the picture before it because in an honest effort not to miss anything, your benevolent friend put their camera on ‘burst’ and ‘press and spray’ your event, but oddly enough, missing the important ones. Nobody told them that the ring exchange is one of the big ones or the first time the groom sees his bride..
Expect no photo enhancement. Your images will come straight of of the camera (soc), warts and all. You may receive crooked horizons, no cropping, no sharpening or skylight filter out of focus or focus on the wrong thing jpgs. – or not…you just can’t tell. This group of photographers almost promises to over expose your dress to the point where all detail is lost. Your skies will be white even though the day presented azure with puffy clouds. Yes, you may even get indoor orange people because what the bleep is white balance?! You may have your entire wedding transferred via web based browsers the quality will further stripped from your memories. This photographer’s experience may consist of looking at a bridal magazine just before your ceremony. Best part: They work cheap! Worst part: Maybe you’ll get a terrific image in there somewhere. No offense intended to those involved, but our sympathies are with the bride.
NOTE: Everybody has newbie images. but we’re not showing them to you. We’ve been at this years now and they are not representational of what you can expect.
The next step up the chain is the weekend warrior. Most photographers fall into this slot as it can be difficult to sustain a family in a seasonal job as photography. These are amateurs who are good enough to come into demand. Your chances of liking your album increase significantly over the newbie and dramatically over the well meaning relative. They may or may not carry redundant equipment. It’s expensive to do, but missing a portion of wedding due to equipment failure is worse.
The final group of photographers do it full time. These people usually have the best results over all. They have been doing one thing for years. They’ve invested back into their business with pro quality equipment and ongoing education. They always have back up equipment. They are knowledgeable on trends and have a repertoire of poses to show you off in the best light. They have stood the test of time. Time equals experience. To gain experience in this competitive field is difficult to achieve. Of course, not every pro is Jerry Ghionis, but your chances of a successful album from this group are almost guaranteed.
So there we have it. That’s who’s out there. The best statistics we could find suggests 80% of weddings are covered by a dedicated photographer of some sort. While how much you pay can be a guide to how happy you will be with your wedding photography, it is not the rule. There are some very good amateurs and horrible pros. We find, with a bit of diligence that it’s quite easy to determine what to expect from your local photographer. Look at their websites. Evaluate their previous work. Email and see how long a response takes. Call them and have a chat. Do they make you feel comfortable? Are you getting good info or vague answers? These are the cues you can follow to ensure you are over the top happy with your choice of photographer. Whoever you select to capture your day we wish you only the best!