a Photographer-where to start
Choosing a wedding photographer is often a confusing
process. You want to find someone who will take nice
pictures, but how do you know what to look for? Between
all of the different types of photography, cameras,
films and all of the different personalities of photographers,
it can often seem an impossible task. This guide will
discuss styles of photography, film and how to choose
a photographer that has a personality you can live with.
The first point we will touch on is style of photography
and pictures. There are many different styles which
photographers use, and the decision rests upon your
tastes. The two most popular styles used in wedding
photography are "photojournalistic" and "portrait".
The two most common styles of pictures used are posed
The portrait style photographer should be able to take
both posed/formal shots and casual shots. Generally,
a photographer who uses this style will take more posed
shots than casual because his/her experience has shown
that couples' tend to buy more of these shots. This
is fine if you are such a couple, but you may run into
problems if want more casual shots than posed. One way
to find out if a photographer uses one type over the
other is to look through his/her portfolio.
The photographer that uses a photojournalistic approach
usually takes shots that are not planned, and because
of this they are usually casual. Often a photographer
using this style has experience in journalism (newspapers,
magazines, etc.) photography. The shots taken are often
spontaneous motion shots as well.
There is a third type of photographer as well. It's
harder to gauge what type of pictures will result though,
for this type of photographer is not a professional,
and often has no portfolio. Whether it is a friend or
relative, this person is a "hobbyist" photographer who
will offer to photograph the wedding for free (or very
low cost). Your pictures may or may not come out as
well as if you hired a professional, and the best indicator
in this case is experience. Just as with any photographer,
you should interview and get references.
There are two basic types of cameras that wedding photographers
use, 35mm and medium format. There is some contention,
even among professional photographers as to which is
best. The 35mm cameras will give you a slightly grainier
appearance if the photo is enlarged than the medium
format will. Unless you plan on very large enlargements,
the only one that will notice this graininess is your
return to Black and White?
Film comes in color or black & white. Color is the most
popular choice in wedding photography, but black & white
is gaining a foothold. Black & white film will give
you a more artistic looking photograph no matter whether
you a prefer portrait or photojournalistic style. It
also lasts longer than color film. Color is the most
versatile of the two. Color pictures will give you a
more accurate portrayal of your wedding day. They can
be made into black & white prints, but won't last as
long as black & white pictures from black & white film.
Photographers who use the photojournalistic style are
more apt to use black & white film. The choice is usually
made according to the couple's tastes.
Another consideration is the speed of the film. Most
photographer's will already have a standard that they
use in certain situations, and the couple won't need
to worry about the film speed. When using a "hobbyist"
photographer, a discussion about film speed should occur.
Since most hobbyist photographers use a 35mm camera,
the focus will generally be on 100, 200 or 400 speed
film. 100 speed is best in strong sunlight and is the
least grainiest of the three. 200 speed is the middle
ground and often used for partial sun or partial shade.
400 speed works well in low light. 400 speed is the
most commonly used for wedding photography (by hobbyist's)
because it can be used for indoor shots or outdoor shots.
Wedding photographers have a reputation for being high
strung and haughty. Not all wedding photographers are
this way, but some are. Most couples are looking for a
photographer that takes great pictures, but is also sociable
while doing so. The best time to find out what personality
your photographer has is in the interview. Ask pointed
questions and gauge his/her reactions. If you feel as
if the photographer is putting on an act for your benefit,
he/she probably is. Trust your instincts! Ask for references
and then follow up on them. Make sure to ask about the
photographer's personality. If the couple feels comfortable
with the photographer and vice versa, it will show in
Finally, always look through a photographer's portfolio.
In the case of a hobbyist photographer, look through
albums of pictures that he/she has taken. These photographs
will probably be the best that the photographer has
taken, (or they wouldn't make it into the portfolio)
but should give you an indication of what to expect.
Look for photographs where subjects are slightly out-of-focus,
where attention is drawn away from the subject, colors
are muted or too strong (lighting), streaks in pictures
and so on. If you find any of these things, it's likely
that the pictures of your wedding day will contain some
of these elements as well.