Finding Your Wedding Photographer

Previously, I wrote about the process of finding you wedding photographer. It is a very difficult decision, made harder by the sheer number of people calling themselves a professional photographer. There is a wide range of abilities and price differences between the photographers and I have to say, like all professions, you get what you paid for, Generally.

There is a lot more to wedding photography than being able to compose a photograph in camera. Most people that get into wedding photography, start with an interest in photography and then get asked by friends to cover a wedding. All very well, except there is a big difference to taking photos for fun and the expectation of a wedding shoot. Suddenly, if you stuff it up, there is no come back. No real way to go back and re shoot the event. Even if you had the resources, the photos are never the same.

So the basics of wedding photography begin with an understanding of the camera and it’s settings. Modern cameras are amazing. Really, anyone can pick a camera up and take a really nice, well composed photographs. Cameras come with face recognition technology, large file size, incredible low light capability, motor drive, this list go on. What is does not come with is composition, lighting and posing. Your photographer has to be able to do that.

Where you separate yourself as a professional from the want to be, is in the use of light, positioning of those being photographed, exposure and in the end, how the image is finished using programs like Photoshop. On Photoshop, when you start is amazing. It can “fix” a range of photographic problems that the professional photographer should get right in camera. There is a limit to how long you can fix it in Photoshop before you get sick of it and go back to the basics of the original in camera capture. Get that right and the rest is easy, sort of.

One of the great ways of getting a good photographer is to check their professional association memberships. The Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) or Australian Commercial & Media Photographers (ACMP) are two such associations. Membership requires an assessment by fellow professional photographers as well as a continuing education and assessment process to maintain membership. This means you constantly have to remain up to date with current technology and trends in the industry.

One of the assessments is the APPA’s, the AIPP’s annual professional photography competition. Four images are submitted and assessed by Masters of photography, people who have been in the industry for years and have a wealth of experience. This is the best way of learning what is required as a professional photographer. Judging can be brutal, but as a learning experience there is nothing like it. Does your photographer enter the APPA’s?

Silver award 2012 APPA’s

For further information please contact Malcolm during office hours.