Between all the different styles of photography, types of films, and different personalities of photographers, choosing a photographer can often seem like an impossible task. This guide will help you choose the right theme, and photographer so that your wedding photos are truly memorable.
Selecting a Style
The first point we will discuss is the style of photography. There are many different styles that photographers use, and the one you want for your wedding depends upon your taste. The two most popular styles used in wedding photography are photojournalistic and portrait. The two most common styles of pictures used are posed and casual.
The photographer who specializes in portrait style should be able to take both posed and casual shots. Generally, a photographer who uses this style will take more posed than casual pictures because couples usually prefer this style. It is fine if you are such a couple, but you may run into problems if you want more casual pictures later. One way to find out what style a photographer uses is by going through his portfolio.
A photographer who uses a photojournalistic approach usually takes shots that are not planned, and because of this the pictures appear casual. Often the photographer using this style has some experience in journalism. The shots taken are often spontaneous.
There is a third type of photographer as well. Whether it is a friend or relative, this person is a hobbyist photographer who will offer to photograph the wedding for free, or very low cost. Your pictures may not be top of the line but it remains an option if you don't want to spend on a professional photographer.
Film - A return to Black and White?
Color is the most popular choice in wedding photography, but black & white is slowly gaining popularity. Black & white film will give you a more artistic-looking album. It also lasts longer than a color film. Color is the more versatile of the two. Color pictures will give you a more accurate portrayal of your wedding day. They can be made into black & white prints, but won't last as long as the black & white pictures. Photographers who use the photojournalistic style are more apt to use black & white film. The choice is usually made according to the to-be-married couple's tastes.
Another consideration is the speed of the film. Most photographers will already have a standard that they use in certain situations. The couple don't need to worry about the film speed. When using a hobbyist photographer, a discussion about film speed may occur. Since most hobbyist photographers use a 35mm camera, the focus will generally be on 100, 200, or 400 speed film. 100 speed is best in strong sunlight and is the least grainiest of the three. 200 speed is the middle ground, and is often used for partial sun or partial shade. 400 speed works well in low light. 400 speed is most commonly used for wedding photography because it can be used for both indoor and outdoor shots.
Your Photographers Personality
Wedding photographers have a reputation for being high strung and haughty. Not all wedding photographers are this way, but some are. Most couples are looking for a photographer who takes great pictures, and also is sociable during the wedding. It is best if you interview the photographer before you hire him. Ask to-the-point questions and gauge his reactions. If you feel that the photographer is putting on an act, he probably is. Trust your instincts. Ask for references, and then follow up on them. Make sure to ask about the photographer's personality. If you feel comfortable with the photographer and vice versa, it will show in the pictures.
The Perfect Portfolio
Finally, always look through a photographer's portfolio. In case of a hobbyist photographer, look through albums of pictures that he has taken. These photographs will probably be the best that the photographer has taken, but should give you an indication of what to expect. Look for photographs where subjects are slightly out-of-focus, where attention is drawn away from the subject, muted colors, streaks in pictures, and so on. If you find any of these things, it's likely that the pictures of your wedding day will contain some of these elements as well.