Steve Fisher from Visual Chaos reveals a few things to consider when choosing a wedding photographer.
When couples are looking for a wedding photographer they can often be split into two groups. There are those that want someone within a given budget, the cost-conscious couple. And there are those that have a specific style or “image art” in mind and focus on the photographer’s quality and ability primarily. There is of course no right or wrong route to take, as every wedding is different as is every bride and groom’s tastes or view on what art is and what wedding photography is.
The fee a wedding photographer will charge is often no indication on the potential outcome of the photography either. You may think that an inexperienced photographer will be exposed as they will charge less than a professional or more experienced one, or that a professional will naturally charge a lot more, and be way outside your budget, but this is not the case. Most photographers charge what they believe their work is worth or what the market will support. So it is not uncommon at all for someone who got a new digital camera for Christmas to search on Google what their local competition is charging and set their prices the same! Likewise, I see many professional photographers dropping their prices to deal with the hard economic environment we are all in.
There is one common point that you should always have at the forefront of your mind. ‘Do I want to trust the capture of some of the most important memories I will ever have to a person who has no experience, training or qualification? Or to someone that I have not met, not viewed their work and not decided whether I liked? Your can’t hold your wedding day again should something go wrong. Around 80% of your wedding budget will be spent on how your wedding looks or is perceived visually. Unless you have a photographic memory, what will remind you about the cake that was eaten, the car that showed up briefly and was gone, and the boys’ tuxedos which have now been returned to the suit hire shop? Quality wedding photography.
I would also argue that we all have a responsibility to document our lives for our descendants, so that they can participate in our memories and enjoy the moments that they either can’t remember as they were not even born or too young to experience. The wedding album is the definitive heirloom.
Steve Fisher is an experienced photographer for Visual Chaos