So you are getting married. You have booked your venue and now you are looking at booking a photographer. The usual professional photographer vs family friend who happens to take good picture dilemma has been discussed many times.
The question I’d like to focus on is…
Should you go with the well established photographer just because they are emmm… well established?
Photography as an art has progressed a lot from the day digital photography had been introduced.
In the past having the know how on how to operate an analogue camera was a big part of the deal. A craft and a skill in itself. People would go to their local professional photographer believing that that’s it – he will know what to do. He will know the poses. He will know how to run through the day and capture what they want captured. It feels as if the technical side prevailed over the creative side. It’s like going out for your groceries. You can go to Tesco or Sainsburys – but after all, an orange is an orange, right?
Nowadays everyone who owns a camera can go into automatic settings and take a properly exposed picture. To some extent the technical ability of the photographer is no longer an advantage over that of an avid amateur. It’s a number of other factors that decide who you will/should book for your wedding like the creative approach, the ability to tell the story, not just make you pose for photos, the eye for colours, the final product in a form of an online gallery that you will be able to easily share with your friends and family. These are just some of the important things many of which, just a few years ago, had not been considered prime factors in making one of the most important choices when planning a wedding! Times change.
It makes me immensely happy, that in this digital age, portfolios are online and before you even speak to the photographer, you can experience their attitude, personality, style and the way they see their craft online. You can see the difference. You can book someone from another part of the country, or another country altogether because you love their style. All of that without moving from your own chair!
Of course the pro graded bodies and pro lenses and all the other equipment that amateurs usually don’t own make a difference. Always have, always will. The experience and knowledge on how weddings are run, what to expect, how to deal with setbacks – they all matter. Experience matters. But by no means are these years or equipment an indicator of quality of the product you will receive in the end.
Go with your gut feeling, whether you click with your photographer. Focus on getting the right person to tell your story! Don’t be afraid to step away from the beaten track and book someone else than your sister, brother or best friend had booked for their wedding. Book the person whose style you admire and whose personality makes you want to jump in front of the camera.
Till the next time!
Radek Makar: Photomagician