A wedding album that is skillfully photographed will be one of the most adored and precious items that is kept and treasured many years after the wedding. Such an important occasion of your life should be captured by a highly qualified and experienced photographer. Good photographs do not come with chance and you have only one chance to get it right on the day, so it is not an advice to skimp on photography.
On that important part of the day, establishing a good rapport, an honest and helpful relationship is essential. The experienced photographers do more than just taking photographs. They will also assist in the planning, timing and other finer details.
Good professional photographers also use professional equipment, film, lab and albums which are much higher in cost, unlike amateur. There is also the time and other incidentals to consider. Even though you may only see the photographer for about 12 – 15 hours before and after the day, they will have to spend another 20 hours or so to get to produce the album.
To choose a photographer, referrals from family and friends may be a starting point. Browse through magazines and perhaps go on-line and study the credential of the photographer. Remember, not all photographers are qualified. In the wedding industry, any person can become a “so called” professional wedding photographer without any qualifications or credentials. Indeed, this can be rather scary. However, there are those with credential and possess qualifications and thus these should be the photographers of your choice. Yes, you do pay a little more but you are assured of their results and also one must remember that you are actually paying for the value of the photographer’s style, experience, qualifications and expertise and not just for time, materials and all other incidental costs.
It is never my recommendation to ask a friend or relative who has a great camera and an array of equipment to take pictures of the wedding event. It is not the great camera or equipment that takes great pictures. Even though a family friend or relative may be a great amateur photographer, he/she may not have the experience and knowledge of the working professional photographer. Artistic photographs and quality pictures do not happen by chance. It is achieved by the very creative eye of the photographer and one who has a genuine love for people . The photographer should be able to advice on things like time schedules, type of shots required, customs and traditions of the different types of weddings, difficult weather conditions and even have contingency plans if flash photography is not allowed in church. Therefore, even if budget is a constrain, you may like to think of ways to adjust your wedding budget to fit in professional photography.
It is certainly a great idea to book your photographer about 6-12 months in advance as the auspicious months and dates are very popular. Accredited and published photographers are also much sought after.
By Hilarion Goh, professional photographer