How to Select a Wedding Photographer

by: Francis Formica



In her book It’s Her Wedding and I’ll Cry if I want to, Leslie Milk, who is the lifestyle editor of the Washingtonian, gives the following advice to brides: “Now that every Dick and Jane seems to have a digital camera, it is easy to underestimate the importance of having a true professional photographer with many years of experience.  Sure, anybody can take wedding pictures.  If they shoot enough of them, there are bound to be a few good ones.  But only a pro with years of experience can light pictures to make everyone look good.”

Styles of wedding photography that you might consider 

  1. Photo-journalistic or documentary wedding photography…It is characterized by a natural approach from the photographer who follows the couple and the guests throughout the day while recording the events of the wedding as they happen in an unobtrusive manner. Minimal amount of posed shots are taken. Some photojournalistic wedding photographers only use natural light for their photos.  Photos that are taken using only available light preserve the atmosphere and originality.  Some danger here as lovely natural light is not always available. Be sure that if you select this style be certain that the photographer will introduce artificial light using flash photography if needed.
  2. Conventional wedding photography… It is dominated by carefully posed shots of groups ranging from the whole wedding party to just the wedding couple themselves. 

 Combined photojournalism for ceremony and reception

  1. Fashion and Artistic wedding photography… It is partially inspired by editorial bridal magazine photography. The emphasis is on creating high impact visually interesting images. Although shots are set up, they are less formal or rigid. The photographer aims to find interesting spots as a backdrop and uses or creates strong light effects and unusual angles. The created images are often given further treatment in post-production.  It is then combined with photojournalism for the ceremony and reception.

First be sure that you select a professional with years of experience. These pros are facing the challenge being created by those newcomers who have just purchased digital SLRs and are virtually unskilled in the fine points of photography.  Some have jumped into the market with the philosophy of shooting a ton of mediocre images and handling the bride a CD of images a short time after the wedding for a low price.

Once again, Leslie Milk says it best. “Here’s the most important thing you need to know about wedding pictures:  Book the best photographer you can afford as soon as you set the date.  The wedding music will fade, the flowers will die, and you will not even remember if you ate, let alone what you ate, at the reception.  But the wedding pictures last forever.”

A wedding album is the first family heirloom of a brand-new family.  Think about the value associated with that statement.

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