Wedding photography is an art and choosing the right photographer is extremely important. Your wedding will be a day-long affair but the photographs remain for the lifetime. You may have invested several months in making everything about your wedding perfect from the venue, catering, decoration, cake, outfits, etc., to be according to your preferences and dreams.
However, the only way to remember those elements is through top-notch wedding photography. There are innumerable wedding photographers roaming in the streets but not all of them are worth your money. You should choose the right one after considering various factors, including your budget, preferences, reviews of the photographer, etc.
But before that, you must research along with your partner to know which kind of photography style would suit you. Wedding photography can be of various kinds – classic, traditional, portrait, photojournalistic, creative, candid, black and white, vintage, dramatic, etc. Then, create a list of photographers who are the masters of those kinds. After that, you should fix a meeting with them and then analyse their work using the steps mentioned below.
#1 Do Not Judge
A lot of couples tend to overlook the work of the photographer when looking at their portfolio. The couples pay attention to wrong details like the bride’s dress, the colour of the décor and flowers, the personality of the couple in the pictures, etc. These are not in control of the photographer and are pointless observations while reviewing the work of a photographer.
You should instead look at how the photographer has used lights, the frame of the pictures, the colour and composition of the photographs, and the angles. Then, match the photographer’s style with your own liking and conclude whether the style is according to your expectation or not.
#2 Pay Attention To What You See
You may have heard amazing reviews of a photographer and this could make you a bit biased towards them while looking at their portfolio. But you should trust what you see. You should try and identify how the photographer covers the subject, composition of the pictures, how they use lighting, etc.
The subject of the picture can be objects, couples, or decorations. When you look at the picture, you should be able to identify the subject immediately. This is because the photographer knows how to draw attention to that particular object. Then, look at how the subject is placed. The background should not be cluttered, distracting and messy, and there should not be too much dead space above the subject. The images should also have symmetry in then and look harmonious.
Beautiful photography is about how the light is used and not how much light is employed. While natural lighting is going to produce marvellous pictures, at night weddings, like an Indian wedding, usage of external lighting and flash is essential. Additionally, due to the venue, time of the day, the position of the couple, natural lighting can be too much or too little for capturing appealing pictures. So, you should try to find whether the photographer takes advantage of lighting or not.
Do not fall into the trap of choosing natural lights photographers and available light photographers. They will try to convince you that natural light and available light is sufficient and using flash is against their art. However, usage of flash is compulsory to add depth to the pictures and prevents them from looking flat.
Lastly, look whether the colour in the portfolio photographs looks natural or artificial. If you like vintage style, you may not want to see bright pictures. Apart from that, the couple should appear to be relaxed, natural, and happy.
#3 Cliché Or Creative
When you are going through the portfolio of the photographer, you should notice if the images are cliché shots or creative shots. A good photographer will ensure the images are creative and a lot different than the usual pictures. They would avoid those cliché photographers at all costs but due to the request of the couple, they may have to capture them. A good photographer will grant the couple their wishes and if that includes clicking commonly seen photographs, they will do that.
So, how do you differentiate between creative and cliché shots? Well, if the majority of their portfolio is filled with those common images, this could be because of the lack of the photographer’s creative mind. They may be a master of photography but if they cannot create new photographs, they are probably not worth it. Also, if photographers are creative, it shows that they are passionate and willing to deliver their best everything, which is completely desirable.
#4 Ask The Photographer For Real Images
The portfolio can be edited to lure the clients. However, the photographer may not deliver those perfect pictures to their clients. Photographers tend to use basic corrections in the pictures which take a few seconds to be finished. While post-production requires the investment of time and effort. The portfolio you will see would not be the pictures they send to their clients. So, ask for real images that they have given to their clients.
The Bottom Line
Evaluating the wedding photographer’s portfolio using the tips mentioned above would give you a clear picture of what you should expect from their work.