As a photographer living in Guernsey and also planning my own wedding next year, I have had time to reflect on what it is like to be a client. There are some fantastic photographers in Guernsey from amateurs to long seasoned professionals, so how do you pick someone for your big day?
Budget is often the biggest restriction on who you can book, but bare in mind photography shouldn't be your default cut back. In short you get what you pay for. If it seems too cheap it probably is and if it is too expensive speak to the photographer and see if there is any leeway or ways you can save. Photography may seem like a budget sponge but they are not only your memories of the day but my clients tell me that I capture a lot of things they missed.
Style is another big player, some prefer the more traditional approach, church, posed couple shots, family line ups, speeches, cake cut and first dance. I prefer to record a day as it happens without taking any posed shots other than a few line ups. I know I don't want to look back at my wedding photographs and remember the photographer telling me where to stand and how to smile, I want to look back and see what a great day we had with out friends and family around us.
Recommendations, reviews, following and experience are something else worth checking out, you want to know you’re in safe hands and that they are going to show up on the day. I have been shooting weddings for ten years now and have learnt a lot since I started out. I am now at a level that I can relax have a good time and capture beautiful reportage wedding photos without overthinking things. If alarm bells ring about your photographer, please please do your research.
All the gear and no idea. It seems everyday on Facebook I see someone else advertising themselves a photographer. I will put my hands up when I started out, I created myself a myspace page but it was a hobby page not a business. I think people are too keen to make a quick buck to pay off the expensive camera they just bought, before they have learnt to use it.
Unplugged weddings are becoming more popular where guests are asked to leave phones and cameras at home. This makes photographers and people in general uneasy but it can be rewarding in a sense that when you walk down the aisle you cant just see phones but peoples faces. It also stops the crazy uncle phenomena who likes to follow you around all day just in case you miss a shot...
What ever your budget check what you’re getting for your cash, the cheapest photographer can quickly become the most expensive if you have to pay a fee for high res files, or you have to go through them for albums and prints. Also beware of packages and fluffy bits, people often list things in a way that makes it look like you’re getting more for your money. Theres nothing wrong with that its business, but make sure you know what you are getting and for what cost.
Finally, what clarifies someone as a professional, well some people would say someone who does it full time as their job, others might say someone who has been away to university to get a degree in photography. In my opinion it’s someone with a beautiful portfolio to back up the claim.