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8 Essential Things Your Wedding Photographer Wants You To Know
We speak to four wedding photographers about eight things they want couples to know about wedding photography.
Wedding photography is undoubtedly a crucial component of weddings. It is also undeniably the most misunderstood element of weddings. It takes more than the pressing of the camera shutter to yield beautiful keepsakes of a wedding day and not everyone fully comprehends the process and amount of work wedding photographers undergo to produce quality work.
To help couples better understand wedding photography, four experienced and popular wedding photographers, Jerome Goh from Jerome Goh Photography, Cino from 50nFifty Productions, Melvin Lau from Multifolds Productions and Fiona Sng from Smittenpixels Photography, share with us eight things wedding photographers want couples to know about wedding photography.Photo by Smittenpixels Photography
1. Why wedding photography costs so much.
This is undoubtedly one of the most commonly asked questions by soon-to-be-wed couples when it comes to wedding photography. And if you are one of them, consider this: photography, especially wedding photography, is a specialised skill set and a physically and mentally gruelling profession – more than you think it is.
“From capture to final print, a lot of passion, dedication and man hours are devoted to the craft and it is hard work,” Fiona Sng, founder and lead photographer of Smittenpixels Photography, explains. “A lot of behind-the-scenes work goes unnoticed, such as the amount of years spent honing our skills, equipment and business, and the many all-nighters we pull to meet our strict deadlines.”
And wedding photography isn’t just about capturing those precious moments during your pre-wedding photoshoot or on your actual wedding day. Meticulous selection and post production of the images captured by your photographer is also a crucial part of wedding photography.
“For busier wedding photographers, they would have full-time assistants and digital artists to help them post process and edit the images captured, and that adds on to his cost,” Jerome Goh from Jerome Goh Photography reveals. “It takes anywhere between 2 – 5 days (or more, possibly) to edit a set of wedding photographs, depending on the size of the wedding. And while it may be possible for the photographer to personally edit the images captured at the beginning of his career, this task becomes increasingly untenable as his business grows simply because of the number of days that he would need to be out of action to complete his editing for the weddings he has covered.”Photo by Smittenpixels Photography Linh and Yong Xi’s Lavender-Filled Hort Park Wedding by Smittenpixels Photography Photo by Smittenpixels Photography
But above all, what you are really paying for when you hire a professional wedding photographer is his/her experience and expertise, the quality of their work and the service they provide. “Anyone can call themselves a “photographer” with a basic camera kit and easy access to modern photography equipment these days. But to label it as a “service” would be entirely wrong,” Cino from 50nFifty Productions contributes. “Photography is an artistic craft – doing it and doing it well could mean a world of difference.”
As Jerome shares with us, “Beautiful wedding photographs last a lifetime and you want a professional photographer to document and capture your wedding beautifully and that takes a wedding photographer years to perfect and learn.”
2. Why there is sometimes a second photographer.
Having a second photographer covering your wedding is definitely a good thing. “Because a second photographer’s responsibility is to capture the main highlights of the wedding beautifully while the main photographer stretches his/her creativity in creating unique shots,” Melvin from Multifolds Productions shares.
But whether a second photographer is necessary or not depends on the size of your wedding, your budget and the working chemistry between the main and secondary photographers. “If your wedding is a small celebration or an intimate solemnisation with just family and friends, then engaging one photographer to cover the event is sufficient,” Jerome says.
“Some photographers are more comfortable working on their own while others are good with working with a second shooter to cover different angles,” Fiona shares. “Thus, it is important for couples to know that they should pick a second photographer whom the lead photographer is comfortable with to avoid complications and miscommunication.”Photo by Jerome Goh Photography
3. Shots lists should only be a guide.
Raise your hands if you’ve been guilty of browsing weddings on Pinterest and Real Weddings to pick out shots that you’d want your photographer to capture for your pre-wedding photoshoot or actual wedding day like I was!
It’s only normal for brides to come across beautiful wedding photographs and want the same shots for their own wedding, but it’s important to know and understand that it’s almost impossible to recreate the exact same shot for their wedding. Some of the reasons include the location, time of the day and of course, every wedding is different and had its unique moments.Photo by Jerome Goh Photography Photo by Jerome Goh Photography Photo by Jerome Goh Photography Photo by Jerome Goh Photography
While you may prepare a shots’ list for your photographer, the list should be prepared with the intention of informing them what kind of shots or moments you want them to capture, for example, shots with your bridal party or quiet moments with our groom, and not with the intention to replicate.
“Professional wedding photographers know what to photograph, after shooting so many weddings,” Jerome explains. “I know what I need to photograph and because every wedding is different, I let my creativity flow and capture every wedding differently and in its own unique way without a shots’ list.”
“You really have to trust the photographer,” Melvin stresses. “Most photographers do know what they are supposed to do on their clients’ wedding day.”
4. There shouldn’t be a need for awkward poses.
Thankfully, there isn’t much posing involved for wedding day photography, since the day is about capturing candid and real moments and emotions. “We value real moments that are unpretentious and hope to get our couples to open up and be comfortable in their own skin while we’ll take of the angles and pick images that are flattering for them,” Fiona explains. “But, should there be a need for a posed shot, we will guide our couples along.”
To help you pose (or stand) naturally in a flattering manner, follow Jerome’s handy tip: “Try not to let your arms rest by your side when posing for a photography. Try putting your hands on your hips instead. That way, your arms will look slimmer.”Photo by 50nFifty Productions
5. You may need to wait up to three or four months for your photographs.
Typically, there is no limit on the amount of photographs returned for actual wedding day photography. While it varies between photographers and the size and grandeur of the wedding, a day of wedding photography usually yields between 300 – 600 images.
“I usually tell my couples to decorate their wedding venue well so that I will be able to take more photographs of their guests interacting with the décor and close-up shots of the set-up,” Melvin reveals.
Couples can expect to receive their wedding photographs within two to three months, depending on their photographer’s schedule, contractual terms and whether it is during the peak wedding season or not.Photo by 50nFifty Productions Photo by 50nFifty Productions
6. Set aside some time for shots with close friends and family.
There is really no limit on how much time you need to set aside if you want some shots with your bridal party and groom. Ideally, the more time you have, the more shots you’ll be able to dedicate to your bridal party and groom. However, if time is limited, you should set aside at least 30 minutes to an hour for photographs with your bridal party and groom.Photo by 50nFifty Productions Photo by 50nFifty Productions
7. Don’t ask your photographer to do something outside of his style.
Every photographer has their own style of photographing and editing, hence it is not prudent for couples to request for a certain style of editing from their chosen photographer. “We work very hard at what we do to establish our style of work and clients come to us because they already know what to expect by coming to us,” Fiona explains. “So, we do not do other means of post processing editing upon request to keep the standard of our work consistent.”
Like Fiona, Jerome, Melvin and Cino feels the same way. “When you hire us for our services, it should mean that you have done your research and have an idea of what we bring to the table,” Lawrence clarifies. “Asking your photographer to follow or mimic a certain editing style is tantamount to asking them plagiarise, which is a big no-no.”
“Most wedding photographers also do not practice blemish removal for actual wedding day photographs as an industry norm because there are simply plenty of photographs to filter out!” Melvin adds on.Photo by Multifolds Productions
8. What you should really look out for when choosing your wedding photographer.
Couples today are spoilt for choices when it comes to choosing a wedding photographer and when the market is so over-saturated with numerous photographers with the same price points and sometimes, even similar shooting and editing styles, it can difficult for couples to decide on one.
Experienced and professional wedding photographers, Jerome, Cino, Melvin and Fiona, firstly list two essential things you should consider during your search for a photographer: their style, and the chemistry you have with them.Photo by Multifolds Productions Photo by Multifolds Productions
“Most importantly, the photographer’s style of work and photographs should be in line with what you are looking for,” Fiona quips. “Your chemistry with the photographer is also equally important. You should feel comfortable and at ease with him/her to trust them to handle your big day well.”
Lawrence, too, echoes Fiona’s sentiments. “Book an appointment with your shortlisted photographers and look through their full wedding albums,” he advises. “Since photographers tend to be more selective when posting their work on social media platforms, what you see online may not be an accurate barometer of the quality of their works.”
Aside from chemistry with the photographer, Jerome also cites personality and trustworthiness as two other factors to consider when choosing a wedding photographer. “Reviews from past clients allow couples to see how well the photographer interacts and bonds with his clients and gauge his reputability and trustworthiness through other couples’ experience with him.”Photo by Multifolds Productions Photo by Multifolds Productions
According to Melvin, one other discerning factor couples should look out for when choosing a wedding photographer is his/her creativity. “Most photographers always ensure that every couple gets unique shots for their wedding – something different from what he/she did for their previous couples,” Melvin explains. “Hence, it is important to research the photographer’s works to determine if his works are originals or replicated from others.”
“Ultimately, price should really be the last concern,” Fiona points out. “It is vital not to spend what you cannot afford, but it is especially important to spend what you can on what’s necessary and worth the investment.”
And there you have it – eight essential things your wedding photographer wants you to know about wedding photography. Of course, this list of eight only scratches the surface of what your photographer wishes you knew about wedding photography and other questions you may have. Most photographers will be more than happy to clarify your doubts and answer any questions you may have to give you a better understanding of the field of wedding photography and his profession as a wedding photographer. So, don’t be afraid to voice any questions you have during your meet-up with your shortlisted photographer!
Credits: Feature Image by Smittenpixels Photography.
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