*This is a collaborative post.
It might be that you’re hoping to get married soon. It can seem like planning this process is easy on the surface, but unfortunately, this takes complex planning and practical consideration. However, if applied in the right way, it can be plenty of fun. There are many things to keep in mind when planning a wedding, not all of them obvious.
This can be perhaps most felt when hiring a photographer. Good food is good food, and so finding a competent catering company can sometimes be much easier to deal with. You read reviews, find the cuisine you like, book a day, and you’re sorted. But photography is art, and it’s also the act of documenting an event. For that reason alone, it’s harder to completely find ‘the best photographer,’ because what that means to you will be different to someone else
It might even be that you hope to try your hand at wedding photography. No matter your position here, the question ‘what makes a great wedding photographer?’ is increasingly interesting to tackle. And so tackle it we will:
Communication is key when it comes to any kind of event planning, but you can be sure communicating with your photographer is a stock requirement. They will understand the same. The best photographers will ask you plenty of questions about the scope of the wedding you are running, such as how many people will be there, what kind of theme you are going for, if you have any extra requirements, how long you require them for, and also if any other photographers are working the event.
If a photographer simply accepts the job without added information, it’s unlikely that they are fully prepared for your particular case. Thankfully, most photographers know how to schedule and plan for a range of different events or wedding expressions, and thus communication will be clear and concise. If a photographer seems very interested in helping you achieve the best result, as they will, be sure to answer their questions and speak with them cordially. They will return that attitude tenfold.
Of course, sometimes a photographer may be needed for a unique situation. Maybe those getting married are part of a particular culture, and so you may have certain requirements for how the event is photographed. A good photographer will be happy to make extra concessions, but it could be that for certain things, such as huge events or especially different circumstances (such as photographing the home preparations as well as the wedding), extra fees may be involved. For the most part though, photographers are an adventurous bunch with a keen eye and a real curiosity, and so looking for those who have both of these virtues to hand can be a great idea.
Clarity matters. A photographer will have no qualms about costing exactly what services they will provide to you, or let you know about certain elements they need to work towards the best result. Be wary of ‘yes men’ – they may promise you the world right now in order to secure your booking, and then only reveal their requirements soon before the actual day itself. The best photographers will have no issues telling you why and how they need certain preparations, or how they will work on the day. It’s part of their professional candour. They know how to work around the event and will wish to keep in perfect communication with you about the decisions they make.
That being said, do not confuse their clarity and willingness to be upfront about their services with the willingness to be completely directed by you. Respect their professional bounds, and they will treat you with professionalism and courtesy you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. It can sound overdramatic and silly, but this is why you hire a highly-professional technical artist – they know exactly what they’re doing.
Do not approach a wedding photographer with vague details. They need to know precise measurements such as how long your event will last, or how many people will be there, as previously described. That being said, a good photographer will also be able to accommodate you if you need them. For example, they may allow you to reserve a backup date in case you need to postpone, or if you wish to approach them and ask if they can stay an extra hour for an extra fee.
More than anything, professionals like this respond well to courtesy. We’ve made a lot of points in this article so far that make it seem as though photographers are some kind of pompous and pretentious professional as if you need to meet everyone single one of their demands or expectations before they’ll even slightly consider coming to your event.
They’re not. As a photographer, or someone hoping to use photography services, this interaction can be a very pleasant one. This is not a grim duty carried out, such as asking a cleaner to go through a property of yours that has been at the mercy of a hoarder for twenty years. A wedding is a day of beauty. It can be fun, and exciting. It can be enjoyable. That means when you discuss your requirements or your needs with a photographer, or if taking part in this conversation yourself, be sure to stay positive and have fun. Sure this is business first, but it doesn’t hurt to be optimistic and appreciative of the other party.
A great wedding photographer will have a great portfolio for you to browse through. Such is the case with professional services such as Vittore Buzzi Photography. All photographers have more than one ‘style’ they can work within, but they have an eye for things, and a preference for art, and a framework within which they apply their skills. Some photographers may show you their portfolio, and you may not like it. That doesn’t mean they are poorly skilled. In fact, they could be incredible. But sometimes, it’s just not what you’d like for your wedding. That’s perfectly fine. As a photographer, learn to expect this. As a wedding planner, don’t be afraid to be honest and find a better service, such as the one discussed earlier. It might just provide you with the backbone you need to understand the products you are getting.
There are many temptations at a wedding. A flirty bridesmaid or friend of the groom, an open and free bar, food as far as the eye can see, a dancefloor just asking to have plenty of disco moves performed upon it, a weaker person may dive into these interests, and while that’s happening, photographs aren’t being taken.
This means that professionalism is key. Look for those who are branded well, and have a nice website, and show you their testimonials, and perhaps even discuss with you their editing or colour grading process in simple terms. Professionalism is the hallmark of any craft and any service. So a craft as a service, you can see, is important to offer in the best manner.
It sounds simple, but if a photographer struggles to actually get to your event, well, booking them might be useless. Sure they may have many high-tech tools to help you realize the most beautiful capture of your important day, but they can do none of that without first attending the event. This might be worth keeping in mind when scheduling a remote wedding, or when considering your schedules.
With this approach, we hope you can find the best wedding photographer for your needs.