It has been a busy day. Like every other work day. Yet, when you pick up a box of milk, you never fail to check the date of expiry. Why is it so important? You’re spending a tiny fraction of your earnings on something you can always discard if you realize later that it’s past its expiry date. Why then do you take so much care?
You have perhaps caught a whiff of where I’m heading. Let me dissect it for you if not. Do you pick a wedding photography studio because it’s the coolest thing in town today, and that all your friends are talking about it? Or, do you spend time figuring out if they can, as wedding photographers, give you what really matters — images that are imperishable and pictures of your wedding day that aren’t just trendy today and awkwardly boring a year later. Like a mannequin challenge, for example. Or the shot with the bride screaming, mouth cupped and all, and everyone around her shutting their ears. Only if couples would practice the same blocking regime for photographers and pictures that will hold little emotional value a few decades from now.
I’m pretty sure weddings aren’t just a formality. Not just a rite of passage. Shouldn't choosing a wedding photographer be more than a formality then? What I’m trying to say is you are making a decision for life — and for more than a lifetime. So, don't just "hire" a photographer, "choose" them.
Your grandchildren should be able to look at your wedding images and know a bit more about the life you lived. About how one of the most important days in your life was so beautifully celebrated. About how intensely people loved and connected. Isn't that something you’d like to pass down to your children’s children who may live in times when love and social bonding would be in short supply?
A personal choice
Choosing a wedding photographer should also be very personal. Like your taste in movies, music, or food. If you commoditize wedding photography, it is a certainty that you’d end up with wedding pictures that are just like everyone else’s. You could just swap the heads and the story will remain the same.
In reality, no two stories are the same. No two couples are the same. Your wedding day is unique. And only a photographer who is able to relate to your story, and connect with your personality, will know the difference. And capture it true to life. Not with a template, but with a vision.
When you look at a photographer’s portfolio, don't go by how cool the images are. Your decision should be based on how you’re able to connect with the images. You should be able to look at a wedding set and learn a thing or two about the couple that’s featured in it.
If you love movies and music that are offbeat, and the photographer exhibits a taste in abstractness and eccentricity, chances are that you have found a match. If the photographer’s images aren’t shallow and you as a person are intense as well, you’ve found a match.
Take it a step further and give the photographer a call. If it’s logistically possible, set up a time to meet in person. You might have a budget, but don’t make it a monetary decision alone. Consider what we’ve discussed and I can guarantee you that you’ll have wedding day images that are timeless.