Finding a wedding photographer or any photographer usually starts very early in the planning process. Not because it's part of the overall event planning but because it's the most crucial part of the overall event. How you will see your marriage/event/birthday/engagement etc. after it's done, depends totally on your photographer.
I have seen my clients struggling to find a good and reputable photographer until before they either met me or read my free guide below. With no further delays, here are my 5 Tips to Hire a Better Photographer.
TIP #1 - IS THE PHOTOGRAPHER INSURED ?
Start with asking your photographer if s(he) is insured and if the answer is No, do not pass GO and search for another professional. What is this insurance and why you need to make sure photographer has it. Great Question !! Photographer Insurance is your security and assurance to any damages that photographer can claim against any unfortunate event during your photography session. What if your photographer trips himself over and breaks his Brand New Camera during your session at your chosen location and after the photoshoot, sends you a large bill of damages. Bingo!!
Here comes a photographer with Insurance. Most of the photographers usually carry extra equipment just in case. What if your (Without Insurance) photographer was carrying just this camera which just broke. Think about it and don't forget to ask if your photographer is insured.
TIP #2 - DO YOU LIKE PHOTOGRAPHER'S STYLE OF IMAGES ?
Before you decide on liking Photographer's images or his photographic style, you need to know and understand what style you like. Using Pinterest or instagram to search for pictures you like is the best way to know what your style is and how you would want your pictures to be captured. If you have a mood-board or style already curated, half the job is done. You just have to look for photographer's images and his work to confirm if he is right for your session/wedding. If you like photographer's images, show him your instagram feed or Pinterest board and ask if he can match up those to your images.
A photographer is a visual artist and there could be a difference in what you see as an amazing picture might not match up to his/her brand, style or portfolio . So, if your photographer says he can't do it, ask him why ? Is it the pictures you selected or photographer himself. Trust me, a good artist will give you an honest answer.
TIP #3 - IS YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER A WEEKEND HERO ?
Like Technology is evolving day by day in today's digital world, every photographer's style of capturing an image changes day by day as S(he) gains more experience. You want your photographer to be professional to understand what's new in digital technology and visual style. You don't want a photographer who can afford a good camera, knows how to capture pictures and shoots on weekends to make some more money. May be you like his style of images so much that you want him to shoot your big day, but make sure if your chosen photographer is professional enough to greet your guests who will not be signing his cheques.
A professional photographer makes his living with the work, a weekend champion is already making one. Make sure to ask this question before you sign that contract in black and white.
TIP #4 - IS HE WILLING TO MEET IN PERSON BEFORE THE SHOOT ?
In person meetings are more than just doing business, they help you understand your photographer and his personality. You don't need to see your photographer on the day of your photoshoot. A Study says (Not Me) when you see a person for the first time, your brain will make a connection within 5 minutes. Meeting in person will help you make a decision if the photographer is the right person for your photoshoot or not.
For a professional photographer time is money. If you feel your in person meeting might not be detailed in 1 hour, request your photographer to spend more time.
TIP #4 - LAST & IMPORTANT, DOES HE SHOOT RAW OR JPEG ?
Back in the days when I got married I wish I had asked this question. My photographer charged me lot of money for my wedding shoot. I wasn't a professional photographer then. I wanted my pictures to look different and so asked my Photographer to give me the RAW files. The answer I got was, "we don't shoot RAW". If you didn't figure it out by now, I come from India and there are no returns in my country.
So, what are RAW pictures. Raw is a format captured by all digital cameras. This format allows photographer's to take their retouching or post processing workflow to next level.
JPEG are the processed images. Once the pictures are clicked in the camera under JPEF format, the post processing is done by camera's internal intelligent (Not so creative) system. The already processed images don't have full potential to perform post processing beyond limits. The JPEG format captured images might be correctly exposed but artistic.
Next time you hire a photographer, ask for the format S(he) captures images.
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