When it comes to wedding photography there are two questions I always get asked. The first is, “how can I tell if my photographer is going to do a good job?” and the second is “Why is wedding photography so expensive?”
The answer to the first is – choose a reputable photographer who is registered with the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography). Choose someone who can show you a portfolio of high quality images and ask for references from their previous clients.
I also tell couples to choose someone they click with (pardon the pun!) because you’ll spend a lot of time with your photographer on the day and if you’re comfortable with them it will be reflected in your photos.
The answer to the second question is always the same – You get what you pay for. I’ll say it again – You Get What You Pay For. Since the advent of the digital camera everyone thinks they are a photographer. But they’re not. There are a lot of cowboys out there who undermine the standards of wedding photographers.
The reason wedding photography is costly is because there is a lot of effort involved.
Your photographer will sit down prior to the day and work on a plan for your images, they will scout the location. On the day they spend almost 6-8 hours (or even longer) with you. After the wedding there is post-production, photo-shopping, image correcting, printing and album-making. And trust me, this takes a lot of skill and practice. But you’re also paying for your photographer’s expertise. For their eye.
A good photographer will capture not just your likeness, but the emotion of the day. Look for the cheap option and you will be disappointed.
So how do you find a good photographer? Recommendations are the best way. Read bridal magazines and look for work you like. Check out the real-life wedding stories in Bride Magazine and on bride.com.au and make a short list of photographers who are of interest. It’s also a good idea to visit brideadviser.com.au – this site allows couples to rate and review their wedding suppliers, so you can read about other couple’s experiences with the photographers you’ve shortlisted and see which photographers other couples have recommended.
You should also make sure your photographer is a member of the AIPP. The AIPP has just launched a free app for iPhones that lists all their accredited members by state. All photographers listed on the app have gone through the accreditation process to become accredited members. To ensure that their skills as a photographer remain of a high standard, as of January 2011, all AIPP accredited photographers must participate in a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program, so you know your AIPP accredited photographer is always at the forefront of technology and professional practice. You can find out more information about the app at www.proweddingphotography.org.au
For more advice and tips on choosing your wedding photographer, pick up the December issue of Melbourne Bride, Sydney Bride or Australian Bride magazine – on sale December 10 at all good newsagents and at Borders.