The most important thing when choosing a Wedding Photographer
So you have set the date, chosen your location for the ceremony and secured a date for the Sunshine Coast or Noosa Wedding reception. With the million other details you also have to find a photographer photographer to document your day.
The obvious things like budget and liking the photographers images is important. Getting on with the photographer helps as well but it is unlikely you will employ someone you do not like. Topics like this have been discussed to death.
In my opinion the most important consideration when selecting a professional wedding photographer is someone you can choose and then not have to worry about. Please let me explain.
Choose a wedding photographer you do not need to worry about
Will the photographer be on time and deliver on promises he or she makes. We all have that friend who is habitually late and notoriously unreliable. We love them but they drive us crazy. You could have the greatest photographer of all time but they are not much good to you if they forget about your wedding day or take six months to deliver your photos.
The best bet is to look at the photographers testimonials and see what his or her clients have to say. Maybe have a look and see how long it takes for the photographer to complete the photos. You should be able to get a sense if they are dependable.
One who uses actual professional equipment and has equipment backups.
As dry a subject as this is it in in fact critical. In a nutshell, a professional wedding or event photographer needs to use robust professional camera equipment with backups. The cameras need to have two memory cards for real time backups in case there is a failure. The cameras need to be able to handle all sorts of conditions. Additional cameras and lenses are required as immediate backups. In the sad event a camera gets damaged or just stops working you need to be able grab another camera and keep working. For a more in depth look at professional camera gear click HERE and see a list of my equipment HERE
For example if I am photographing a beach ceremony at Mooloolaba or Noosa and I drop a camera in the sand or the water I need the camera to keep functioning. Professional cameras are weather sealed and can withstand such mishaps. Or if I am photographing a hinterland wedding at Maleny or Montville and somehow manage to drop a camera over a lookout and smash it I need to be able to grab another camera and lens and continue on with the day.
To find out what gear a photographer uses, I would simply ask what equipment they use. If you need advice on if they are using pro gear you can contact me if you want. I would be happy to help even if I am not photographing your wedding.
Has public liability insurance
This is a topic that is as much fun to talk about as going to the dentist. But it is quite important so bear with me. The reason it is important is it can protect you as well. Say a photographer drops a five kilo camera and lens from a balcony from your house where you are getting ready and hits someone. Assuming it does some serious damage...what happens then? Or a light stand gets knocked over and hits your grandma moonwalking on the dance floor. Who is responsible for what could be substantial medical expenses? To be honest I am not too sure. I spoke to my lawyer friend and he gave me a long winded answer full of the usual vague lawyer answers. Logic says the photographer. What about if the photographer no money? Who do the lawyers look at after that to get compensation from? Chances are that they might look at the bride and groom as they are hosting the event. I know this is incredibly unlikely but personally I am not taking the chance. I have insurance for 20 million dollars. All businesses require insurance. Not to have it is simply irresponsible.
So how do you find out if your photographer has this? You can simply ask your photographer for an insurance certificate for your event naming the venue as an interested party.
Calm under pressure
A wedding day has a lot of moving parts. Despite carefully laid plans things always seem to change for some reason or other. Your photographer will be with you a lot of the day and the last thing you need is someone adding to the stress of the day having a hissy fit and waving their arms around because things are changing. I actually speak from personal experience here from my own wedding. The photographer is in a unique position where they might be the person you spend the most time with. Ideally that person should be a calming presence and not adding to the stress.
Again, the best bet would be to look at the testimonials and see if you can get a sense of what sort of person they are.
I have a computer background. The importance of backups is so entrenched in me that they may put on my tombstone “He Backed Up Data”. I will not ramble on about it here but I go to great lengths to backup all the photographs that I take whether it be a wedding, sports club photos or even family Christmas photos. Backing up data is a critical part of ANY business. In business's such as photography or any other business where you cannot recreate the work makes it even more important. I am stating the obvious but photos from an event like a wedding cannot be recaptured and it is very important that every wedding photographer have robust backup strategies in place.
If I was checking out a photographer, I would just simply ask the question how they go about backing up the images. If you are not sure if it is a good answer you ask someone who is knowledgeable in computer practices or you can ask me. Again, I don’t mind helping people out.
If the photographer you are looking at ticks all these box's, then in my opinion you have gone a long way to choosing your person. Then all you have to decide is if you like the work and think you will get along with them
I am a member of many wedding facebook groups. I really really feel for many of the people asking for help because they have not got their images. It happens too often because some photography disaster has happened. I actually suspect that a lot of the time this happens after the event because of unprofessional workflow habits. We have the ability to backup data and ensure photos are not lost. It is not like the film days where if the lab wrecked the negatives then you were out of luck. We have progressed a long way since then and in my mind there is no excuse for being unable to complete photographing a wedding day or delivering the images.
I admit this is not the most exciting wedding advice on the internet. It is missing emotional considerations like is the photographer fun, do you connect on a personal level, do the images move you and all that good stuff. These are things that are as equally important but are no good to you if the photographer cannot be relied on.
If I can be of any help please do not hesitate in emailing me.