The wedding photography market is changing, and in many ways the transition from old-fashioned practices to the new age of doing business is still underway. This has also meant that couples hiring candid wedding photographers aren’t completely sure what has really changed. Does it have to do with the quality of images — in terms of creativity, originality, and presentation? Or is it just old wine packaged in a spanking new bottle?
It is one or the other. Most often it’s the latter, if you hire a photographer without making sure your expectations are communicated or if you have jumped on the bandwagon of candid wedding photography only because it is the in-thing today.
So, how do you make sure you know what you’re getting into? By asking these 3 vital questions.
What is your style?
The reason candid wedding photography has caught on like wildfire is that it doesn’t follow a “template” like the good old days. Because no two weddings are the same, the images need to be unique as well. That’s the basic premise of candid wedding photography, wherein photographers shoot like photojournalists and also bring in a great deal of creativity to make special images.
However, the market has grown so big that not every candid wedding photographer operates the same way. Template offerings still exist, and they are often packaged as candid photography, and you might end up paying for “traditional” photography masquerading as candid photography.
To avoid this, make sure you spend some time going through the photographer’s portfolio and have conversations on what is unique about the images and how their style can be described best.
What is your business workflow?
With transformation, you need to be certain that business processes are modern as well. Ask your photographer what their workflow is like. Do they have a foolproof backup plan? Are their shooting and delivery processes smooth and customer-friendly?
Quite often, candid wedding photographers of today adopt archaic practices, but brand themselves as contemporary photographers. That is contradiction at best. Make sure you hire a photographer who is not just creative and original, but also has processes that are constantly evolving.
How do your edited images and complete sets look?
It is easy to put out 20-30 good images from a hundred odd weddings. It is also easy to shoot and edit a handful of good images. In fact, you can also be misled into believing your photographer is good by just looking at these images — and not know if the photographer is consistent throughout the wedding day and is also good in any situation.
So, ask the wedding photographer you have shortlisted to send you a couple of complete wedding image sets. This will give you an idea of how good the photographer is in capturing a variety of images, and good ones at that. It will also tell you if the photographer only makes creative portraits, or also shoots photojournalistic or candid wedding images. Besides, a complete set will also give you an idea of the photographer’s editing style and quality.
Before you hire a wedding photographer, have a conversation to understand how they can meet your expectations and photograph your wedding day the way you want. It is important that you hire a candid wedding photographer who is best suited to your tastes than hiring a photographer who may be good, but completely out of sync with your needs.