Local Photographer, Celebrity Snapper Or Uncle Bob?
Choosing a Local photographer can be fun, or a totally frustrating experience. I have photographed around 2000 couples so understand the important decisions that have to be made. As a bride once said to me “When I put a wedding dress on, I can see if I like it.” Its hard to imagine how I will look before a photograph has even been taken.” My advice here, would be first of all to get to know your wedding photographer.
Nowadays its simply no good searching online for the best deal. Literally thousands of photographers will pop up. Some that even appear on page one, are not all good. This is due to the fact they just optimize their websites very well. That is not to say “ignore everything you see online.” On the contrary; just more research is needed once you chose a few websites you like the look of.
One of the benefits of using a local photographer for your wedding, is they will know your venue. You will then meet several times before your wedding to discuss details. Good rapport with your photographer is vital. You should feel relaxed & confident in their ability to produce great images for you. Look at past work, preferably from your chosen venue. Some photographers will just show you their “hot shots.” Ask to see an entire wedding; you will then see the consistency throughout the entire day. Especially relevant; Does your photographer have insurance, and is he/she qualified?
First of all there are three professional bodies in the UK. Therefore you should seek out photographers that are qualified with any of the below.
. The British Institute Of Professional Photography BIPP
. The Master Photographers Association; MPA
. The Society Of Wedding & Portrait Photography SWPP
Each organization Has a prefix letter, IE
. (L) Licentiate. A photographer who shows a solid professional skill level.
. (A) Associate. A photographer who has reached a high level of understanding & creativity.
. (F) Fellow. A Master Photographer
Therefore to conclude: A photographer that has the letters FBIPP FMPA or FSWPP has been awarded the highest honors available in the UK.
As a result of Social media we are more visually aware than ever before. Furthermore we get to see celebrity weddings in glossy magazines; model couples looking flawless. Therefore as a result of this constant bombardment of photographs of pretty couples we take it as “normal.” Consequently it has bought the press or magazine photographer into weddings, often referred to as “reportage.” Quite frankly the reasons for the couples looking so good do not lie solely with the photographer.
Magazines & papers all have experienced re touch experts. Furthermore celebrities have the very best make up artists & more often than not naturally look great anyway. More often than not a press photographer would not have a clue regarding timing on a wedding day. Sensitive handling of people full of emotion, making them feel relaxed is a skill. A press guy would most certainly capture the moment; that is what they are trained to do. But lighting a bride or couple for a portrait, showing the dress off are totally different skill sets. To conclude; A Master wedding photographer will be able to successfully photograph the whole event. A great set of wedding photographs should consist of; natural moments captured, portraits, details & groups of loved ones.
So what about Uncle Bob!?
We all know someone with a good camera these days. But while cameras are better than ever before, people are still the same! As a result you are far more likely to achieve a well exposed, sharp, bright image, yet no more artistic. This is the same as buying my mum the finest paint brushes available & expecting her to achieve artist status overnight! The skill of a great photographer is not about how good his camera is. The competent understanding of light & composition alone, takes years of study & practice. Therefore would you trust an inexperienced, yet enthusiastic member of the family with such a precious event as your wedding?? Consequently its not fair to them and an impossible task they might please you with the results. I have seen so many family & friends fall out over this very situation, please do not make this mistake & use a professional.
About The Author
My name is Simon John. I have been a professional wedding & portrait photographer all my working life. In the past have had large studios with many photographers & staff, although these days I prefer working from home. I keep it personal now & get to know my clients & their needs. If you are looking to commission a photographer for a wedding or portrait session take a moment to have a look at these galleries: wedding / Portrait
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