Meeting Your Potential Photographer for Actual Day Photography (What To Look Out)

Are you still on the search for your AD photographer? Or have you just settled for what your bridal studio offered you?

Personally I would recommend you to pay more attention into scouting for your ideal AD photographer than for your pre-wedding shoot. My take would be there can always be a re-take for pre-wedding shoots. However for your wedding day, there will never be a second retake. Once the moment is lost, it's lost. The risk of just settling for any kind of photographers would be you will never know the skills of the photographer. So, are you okay to take such a risk on your big day?

So to help me feel ready and prepared before securing any photography deals, I came up with a checklist for myself and I decided to share it here! This time when you engage an Actual Day (AD) wedding photographer!

Before you even meet your potential photographer, be sure to do the following!
  • Know what you are looking for in your AD wedding photographs. 
    • There are basically 3 styles of shooting that's more prominent in the market now. So think about what kind is your preferred style.
      • Traditional : This is basically the kind whereby the photographer is more directive, sets up the poses and get everyone to look at the camera. In most of the photos, you will see the people looking directly at the camera. Nowadays we don't hear wedding photographers labelling themselves as that. Basically, the word "traditional" just puts people off.
      • Photojournalistic : In this approach, the photographer is like a Mr/Mdm Invisible. He/She will be focusing on capturing the interactions between the couple and their guests. Most of the couples will not be posing for the camera. Nowadays photographers will label themselves as the photojournalistic approach. It sounds cool, new and really artistic, isn't it? Imagine your whole day presented to you like a journal. Reviewing it will be such a joy.
      • Contemporary : I have recently started hearing photographers talking about this style and approach. Basically the focus of the photographer is to capture the "feel" of the wedding and presented through photos. There are lots of room for the photographer to experiment. For a layman, this sounds like photography became another form of art and that you and your HTB will be the leads in the series of artistic shots.
  • Read up reviews of the photographer from wedding forums, their official websites or from wedding blogs of many other married couples.
  • Look at the portfolio of the photographer (usually from their website). Mr OOPS will prefer to look at not just the best shots from one collection but rather the full collection of each wedding to have an idea what the photographer style is.
  • Contact them to know about their photography packages.
  • Fix an appointment to meet up with your photographer! It's always good to meet them face to face. Talking to them is so important because it helps us to understand their passion, their ideas and their inspirations.
And now here's some things you can think about before you meet your wedding photographer. I'm going to skip all the technical style and go into very layman language. And that's because most of us are just not photographers.
  1. Personality of the photographer
    • This is basically the person you are going to look at and smile at throughout your special day. So it's important that both you and your fiance likes him/her. Simple as that.
    • It is recommended that your photographer is someone that's engaging, friendly, spontaneous and soothing to your eyes.
    • He/She gives you endless ideas about how he's going to take your photos.
    • He/She does not try and smoke you with challenging technical terms which you don't understand.
    • If you find that you have challenges communicating with him/her, he's definitely NOT THE ONE.
  2. Shooting style of the photographer
    • My advice would be, unless you are a guru in the photography line, the style basically doesn't really matter. Most importantly, you get the shoots which you want.
    • In order to have a good understanding of the photographer's skills, look through the entire album taken as per every wedding and not just a collation of the best shots from all wedding. Usually what is presented to you will be the best shots out of the entire album. However, you need to remember that you are paying the photographer to take photos of your entire day. If you are only getting a small handful of good photos, then you may really need to consider again.
  3. Any hidden costs which is not stated in the contract?
    • Here's some examples of hidden costs: Early charges for photography before 7am, transportation costs, overtime costs...
  4. Any need for a second photographer?
    • If you having a wedding banquet of a large scale (25 tables and above), it would be advisable to engage a second photographer at your banquet. Reason is simple, you can't expect one man to capture every single thing unless that one man is superman.
    • If not, just get your family or friends to help out as a second photographer. Nowadays, it is not that difficult to find people who have a decent DSLR camera. Of course, it would be good to show them some thanks and appreciation at the end of the event by giving them a good treat or a decent angpow. Do note that by helping out, it will also mean this person will probably not have the time to fully enjoy the banquet as he/she is busy taking photos.
  5. Signing a proper contract in black and white
    • This is probably to safeguard that in case of any unfortunate event whereby your photographer is unable to make it to the event or equipment failure, there is a back up photographer or if not, at least a compensation amount which will allow you to engage another photographer.
    • Check with the photographer if there will be any EDITED photos, on top of the unedited photos. Some photographers may just shoot and give you all the soft copies they have taken while some photographers shoot and still spend time to go through the photos that they have taken, select some of the best photos and edit them accordingly.
    • It is important to read through every single terms and conditions and think about how it may affect you in every possible case scenario.
I hope you find the ideal photographer for your actual day.

Mrs To-Be OOPS


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