How To Film A Multi Camera Keynote Address Using Just One Video Camera Operator

Cameraman reveals his true brand

It’s one of life’s more reliable axioms that if a man has to tell you he’s a good dude, there’s a fair chance he is actually an insufferable gobshite.

who prides himself on seeing things the rest of us simply cannot grasp — took issue with a camera operator for, well, operating a camera. On the 7th hole, the surly pseudoscientist hit a mediocre greenside bunker shot and angrily threw his club — manufactured by Cobra and available from all good stockists — into the sand. After marking his ball —brought to you by Bridgestone — he had a testy exchange with a camera operator who captured this, before storming to the 8th tee in a pair of stylish Puma shoes.

optimism in thinking that being shown acting like a jerk would hurt his image rather than merely solidify it.

The world No. 10 — a ranking he has reached thanks in part to his Flight Scope — was sufficiently upset to keep talking after the round without bothering to note the hour on his Rolex timepiece. “For that to damage our brand like that, that’s not cool in the way we act because if you actually meet me in person, I’m not too bad of a dude, I don’t think,” he said.

Just a few weeks ago, he posted to Instagram an intimate, 15-minute movie in which a camera caressed him as he ambled from his bedroom to breakfast, lingered over his form during workouts, and gazed adoringly at him as he cruised the neighborhood in his convertible. It was a love letter to himself, part Narcissus, part Pee-wee Herman, set in a hall of mirrors.

 

How to become a Cameraman

I have been sent a few emails recently about getting started in television, and how to become a TV Cameraman. Before starting down this road it is worth asking yourself the question “Do I really want to become a cameraman?” You are about to embark on a career that could last the rest of your working life, so it is worth thinking about this one.   If you are wondering how much money cameramen make you may also be interest in this.

Firstly, here are a few pluses to being a cameraman:

1) You get to travel to interesting places.

2) You get to meet interesting people.

3) There is a creative element to the job, which can be very rewarding.

4) It is very varied, one day you could be filming a sunset in the Caribbean, the next you could be a in London sewer. (I am speaking from experience here).

Secondly, here are a few negatives:

1) Travelling can become excessive, and it is often beyond your control. If you are a freelancer it is very difficult to turn down work, as you get older and have a husband/wife/kids, you may not be as keen to spend months of the year abroad.

2) All most all cameramen are freelancers, I personally love this lifestyle, but it isn’t for everyone. At the first sign of a recession or slow-down in the economy, the first thing that happens is companies pull back on advertising spend, this in turn means broadcasters choose to spend less and commission less programmes and, therefore, work for a cameraman will drop off. For some people this is fine, they can spend the free time polishing their lenses or something, for others, it can be very stressful.

3) The freelance lifestyle is somewhat erratic. Here is a conversation that frequently goes on between all cameramen or women and their wives or husbands:

Spouse: “Are you around next weekend, I want to have a BBQ”

Cameraman: “Don’t know, might be in Cambodia.”

Spouse: “When will you know?”

Cameraman “Don’t know.”

This sounds ridiculous to people outside television, but if you work in TV it is totally normal.  Production companies are often waiting for confirmation of talent/flights/budget/people etc etc, it is a nightmare juggling act that the production managers have to deal with. Not every shoot is like this, but it is in no way unusual. For the cameraman, this means planning things in the future can be tricky, and it is something that effects not just you, but your friends and family.

 

Tips for Directing Great Live Video

Directing a live video production isn’t for the faint of heart. It requires the ability to deliver clear direction, quick feedback, and maintain a steady emotional equilibrium when dealing with others. Following are simple tips from a seasoned church production director that can help.

Use consistent terminology

Few things are more confusing for a camera operator than to hear a mix of different words, or to hear certain words used interchangeably.

Understand some camera basics

While it’s not a requirement that a good director have previously been a camera operator, it can certainly help. Often, if an op has a problem during a service or show, the first line of defense is to get on intercom and tell the director what’s happening

Take notes during rehearsal

The director, not the camera ops, is ultimately responsible for the quality of the camera cut. After all, the cameras are simply moving at the discretion of the director, who bears the responsibility for telling the story of what’s happening on stage.

Mentally plan the transitions

Nothing makes or breaks a service more so than transitions. A smooth one can make things feel like they’re all flowing together cohesively, while a poor one makes you feel like you just jolted to a halt as in a car accident.

 

Video Production Tips

If you work in the video production world, it’s very likely that at some point a client will hire your camera crew (or just a videographer) to capture video of a speech or presentation. Whether it’s for a medical conference, corporate event, keynote speech, short talk, or a live presentation, it doesn’t matter…the same applies to all: Preparation is everything. In other words, makes sure to get some pre-production work done before your camera team starts to film.

Pre-Production

For our production crew here in Vienna there’s never enough information the client can give us before any video shoot. Here are just a few points:

– Find out what kind of video the client wants. For instance, do they have examples of a style they’re looking for? In most cases the answer is yes.

– What’s the content of the presentation?

– Does the client want the speech / presentation filmed in its entirety? Or do they only need snippets? This determines how flexible the camera operator can be with the camera set-up.

– Will there be a screen/projector? And does this need to be incorporated into the final video?

– Location scouting! Make sure to scout the location beforehand and find out how big the room/stage is, where you can place the camera(s), is there be a PA system (sound board)? Will the speaker be holding a microphone? Wearing a wireless lav mic? Or will there be a microphone attached to the podium? Where are the power outlets, etc. You get the deal.

Audio

As with basically every corporate video shoot, recording high-quality audio can significantly differentiate an amateurish video from a professional production. If there’s a technician with a sound board on site, you can ask to get the audio feed sent directly to the videographer’s camera via an XLR cable. Another option would be to hand the technician an external recording device (Like a Zoom) so your video team has a copy of the audio file to synch later in the editing process.

Lighting

This can be tricky and might very well be out of your control depending on the event you and your camera team faces. Bigger conference centers usually have their own technical department that can/will modify the lighting on the speakers. However that’s not always the case and it could very well be that your video crew will find themselves filming talks and presentations in much smaller venues with bad lighting situations.

Don’t Film the Screen

Although what’s being projected on the screen might be necessary for the final video, don’t film it. Trying to expose for the screen and speaker at the same time will make your image look anything but professional. The cameraman is better off framing a tighter shot focused on the speaker (like a medium shot) and simply getting the presentation files from the speaker later in order to synch them in the editing process.

 

VIDEO RECORDING MEETINGS, EVENTS AND LECTURES

I don’t consider myself a video professional, but I’ve made a several budget educational videos, and recorded meetings and conferences.

So, you might expect me to be an enthusiast for video technology. In fact, I often urge caution, because making good video takes more skill and time and planning than audio. Good video kit is expensive, and often difficult to transport. Storing digital video can consume huge amounts of memory, and costs bandwidth to transmit; with both image and sound to kick into shape, the editing process is more complicated; and video technology and technical standards have been changing very fast. It’s been hard to keep up.

If video from an event will be no more than a speaker’s ‘talking head’ and some Powerpoint slides, I tend to suggest concentrating on a good quality audio recording. It’s cheaper, easier, and in the edit it’s so easy to improve a presentation by snipping out the ‘Ums’ and ‘Ers’… and you can’t do that as seamlessly in a video edit.

A technical revolution: video everywhere

Sensor chips for image capture came to consumer digital cameras and camcorders about 25 years ago. Since then, they have been attaining higher resolutions, better sensitivity to lower light levels, and have become cheap. What was once an exotic technology found only in space satellites is now in everybody’s smartphone! This revolution is boosted by ever more powerful video-signal processing chips, and the capacity and speed of solid-state memory, such as the near-ubiquitous SD memory card.

Ask: why are you doing this?

As in my audio-recording article, let’s start by examining possible purposesfor making video

The Process Of Hiring A Wedding Photographer

TOP TIPS FOR CHOOSING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

So, you have a dress, the suits, flowers, cake and a band….but what is the one thing that will remain an everlasting memory of your wedding day? Your photos should be a beautiful and timeless account of the most important day of your life and should help every bride and groom to re-live the romance and excitement allover again.

Image quality/style

The quality of a photographer’s portfolio should be the first thing that captures your attention. A good photographer should be able to offer clients a variety of styles, capturing the personalities of the bride and groom and showcasing the happiness and fun of the day. Be clear on what style you would like and make sure the photographer can provide this in their portfolio.

Personality

As a bride and groom, you put a lot of trust and faith in your wedding photographer. In order to get the best images and a true account of the most important day of your life, it is imperative that you feel comfortable and relaxed in their presence.

Value for money/cost

This can often be a deciding factor for a lot of brides and grooms and although it is a vital element, it should not be the basis for your decision. High-end prices do not always guarantee the highest quality but likewise, reasonable pricing does not always depict low quality.

Experience

The experience a photographer has will play a large part in the organisation and structure of the day. I am sure many photographers will agree that they have often played the role of coordinator, photographer, master of ceremonies and children’s entertainer. Taking the photos is just a small part of being a wedding photographer and without the necessary experience and the ability to perform under constant pressure important moments can be easily missed.

 

Steps to Finding a Great Wedding Photographer

Unlike the work of your other wedding vendors (music, flower arrangements, cake), photographs aren’t things you can hear, smell, taste or even see at first—you don’t really know what you’re getting until after the fact. That means careful research and selectiveness regarding professional skills, artistic style and personal demeanor are extra important when choosing your photographer

Settle on a Style

Before you begin researching photographers, you’ll need to first decide what type of photography style you prefer, as that will help determine which kind of photographer you’ll want shooting your wedding. Get inspired! Spend time pouring over any kind of imagery you love, from décor shots to a fashion blogger’s Instagram feed. Once you have a good collection of inspiring photographs, try to narrow in on what draws you to them specifically and dissect what feels most authentic to you and your partner. Maybe that’s formal-posed portraits, a classic photography style or a lifestyle, photojournalistic feel. If you love sharp and contrast-y shots, perhaps a photographer with a flair for the dramatic is the right choice for you. Remember that you don’t necessarily need to narrow in on one style in particular, since many wedding photographers can do a blend of portraiture and documentary-style shots, a mix of black-and-white and color images and so on. But if there’s a special style you love, make sure to focus on photographers who specialize in it.

Do Your Homework

Start your search by reading reviews from recent newlyweds and browsing local listings, like the ones on The Knot Marketplace. Carefully review potential photographers’ websites and blogs to check out photos of other weddings they’ve shot, which will give you an idea of their style. How do they capture the moments important to you, like a mother bustling her daughter’s gown or an emotional first look? The design of the website may also have clues about the photographer’s personality and sensibility. Check out their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages too, if possible. Is the feedback from clients positive? How does the photographer respond? How do they interact with their Instagram followers, do they seem friendly and personable? You get the idea.

Set Up Interviews

This is not a decision that can be made on looks alone—you must meet your potential photographers in person. If you like what you see on their site—and their fees are in your ballpark range—call to see if they’re available for your wedding date. If available, go ahead and send an introductory email with a bit about you and your soon-to-be spouse, you event and the vision for your day, and feel free to attach five or so of your very favorite photos from your research so they know what you love. If the photographer is already booked on your date, you may want to see if they have an associate or can recommend another shooter with a similar style. Set up in-person meetings with three to five potential photographers who are available on your wedding date to look at more of their work and assess whether your personalities mesh. Be prepared to talk about your venue, wedding style and what you envision for your photos.

See a Few Full Wedding Albums

Don’t base your decision solely on what you see in a photographer’s highlights gallery or album. For good reason, photographers show prospective clients a portfolio of their best pictures, all from different weddings, so you’re seeing the best of the best. The problem with that is you won’t get a well-rounded idea of their work. Ask to see two or three full galleries from real weddings they’ve shot (not someone else at their company) so you can get a better idea of what your complete collection of photos might look like after the wedding. If you see that the full gallery photos are just about as good as the ones chosen in the highlight gallery (that is, they’re all so good it’s impossible to choose!), you’re on the right track. And ask to see at least one or two complete albums of weddings that are in similar settings to yours. For example, if you’re planning an indoor affair with dark lighting, don’t just look at weddings shot outdoors in natural sunlight. And if you’re planning to say “I do” on a beach at sunset, you’ll want to see examples of that.

 

Tips When Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

You’re engaged!   Time to celebrate and then start talking wedding plans.  If you are having a wedding there are a lot of little details to think about.  Where do you start?  Maybe you know you don’t want to have a large wedding and instead are planning an intimate destination elopement.  Hopefully you’ll want to have a photographer to capture your elopement as well.  No matter how large or small your wedding celebration is, hiring a professional photographer to capture all the love, emotion and in-between moments during your celebration will be well worth it to have images of your celebration to hold onto forever

Time to Research

Once you’ve set a date it might be time to start researching wedding photographers.  Generally speaking photographers are booked 6 months to one year out.  I know from experience narrowing down a photographer can be tough.  There are so many creative, talented individuals in this industry and I had a huge list of potential photographers to choose from.

Where are They Cutting Corners

I don’t want to claim all inexpensive photographers are not good at what they do; everyone has to start somewhere and many do have a great eye but as you determine where you need to cut corners on wedding planning maybe those insanely cheap photographers are also cutting corners somewhere too.  When you hire an experienced wedding photographer, you aren’t just paying someone to be a warm body to click the camera.  You are paying for the experience.  Their experience shooting weddings and THE overall experience from start to finish.   Your wedding day is going to be filled with amazing moments, emotions and don’t forget those little imperfect moments too…..  one of those imperfect moments should NOT be worrying about your wedding photographer

Have a clear idea of the STYLE you like.  This will help you narrow down the selection of photographers.   Are you attracted to more traditional photography, posed images and pretty smiles starting at the camera?  Do you prefer a documentary feel where the photographer goes unnoticed with no posed images?  Is a candid style that captures the big emotions and little details to tell the story of the entire day your preference?  Are you looking for someone who is going to unnaturally pose each image, interrupting the natural moments from happening or someone who is going to go with the flow, capturing the dirt on your dress while you walk through a mountain field, quietly soaking in the beauty of day?

Get to know your photographer.  Do your personalities mesh well?  Your photographer is going to spend a greater chunk of the day with you…. make sure you can tolerate them and maybe even like them.  😉  Just because your family feels obligated to use the local photographer you have known since you were a child…. doesn’t mean you need to.  I saw this happen once and said photographer ended up passed out drunk under a tree before the reception started.  NO JOKE.  It’s your wedding day.  Pick someone who’s work you are drawn to.  I love getting to know each of my clients better — doing this creates great rapport which is actually important when creating images filled with REAL emotion.  When you look at a photo, I want you to feel something

 

Tips to Choose the Right Wedding Photographer for Your Day

Wedding day memories and scenes are too precocious to be missed. So you need to capture them and preserve them in order to reminisce about them for years to come. That’s why it’s important to have the right wedding photographer by your side to click some of the best photos of your wedding day

Start your search as early as possible

Top photographers are always in big demand. Their services have many takers and you should not expect them to be available during the wedding season. After all, experts have their hands full year-round as far as assignments are concerned.  Some of them even get booked a year or so in advance and you need to understand that well.

Do a lot of research before finalizing one

When you do a lot of research into wedding photographers, you’re always likely to get good results. After all, there are different styles of wedding photography, different packages and costs to choose from. The more wedding photography website you visit, the better it will be for you in terms of finding the best man for the day.

Interview the photographer and check samples of the work

You should never hesitate to conduct an interview with the wedding photographer to be sure about their experience, expertise, and knowledge of the craft. It’s also important to prepare a list of questions beforehand so that you discuss in details everything you want to know from the photographer.

Ask about the equipment, style, cost, creativity, and art

A good wedding photographer is one who is passionate about the job he/she does. They will have unique styles and tones to capture events and create visual differences. Some use only the latest camera and equipment and also have a back-up in case of malfunction

 

 

Mistakes To Avoid Choosing A Wedding Photographer

Some brides make the mistake of selecting their wedding photographer without researching what they’re really getting for their money. “You get your negatives” sounds great, but when do you get them? The original price sounds great, but how much are extra prints? So often, brides buy a package knowing they don’t want everything in it, but they think they’re getting a deal because it’s all together. Nope, sorry, photography is not like buying a “value meal” at McDonald’s! To be sure, you must research before you decide. Visit as many studios as you can. As a courtesy, please call them first and set an appointment. If they’re friendly or if they call you back quickly, they’ll most likely have better standards of service. Ask if they have any information they can mail or email to you. Meet the photographer. Search through their website with a fine-toothed comb. Do you see any loopholes or issues? The biggest reason people make mistakes in hiring photographers is that they don’t have experience doing it! They’ve never had to hire photographers, and most likely their last experience with a professional photographer was a friend’s wedding, and the grumpy, sweaty, old guy was either a bore or an annoying jerk.

Find someone who cares more about your wedding images than they do about their own packages and policies. Someone you know will help your wedding run smoothly and efficiently. Choose someone that you can communicate with someone that truly understands how you want your wedding to feel. How do you know? When you talk to her, she’s more interested in learning about you than describing all of the print sizes and prices.

Is this someone that will add to the fun and emotion of your wedding? Remember your friend’s photographer, the grumpy, sweaty, old guy that was a boring, annoying jerk? Steer clear of that! Get someone that will make the work of posed pictures fun, memorable, and exciting! How can you tell who’s cool? When you talk to the photographer, ask how she feels about your family members taking pictures over her shoulder! If she stays relaxed, then everyone will have a good time.

Look for someone who has some flexibility in styles. See what they have to offer. Some of the styles you may want to consider are Traditional, Black & White, Candid, Romantic, or Photo-journalistic. Check to see how they handle both indoor and outdoor situations. Can they do fine portraiture as well as a truly candid style? Find out what they have for you. Remember that the photographer’s creativity and personality (and your rapport with him/her) is what makes your wedding images unique, and your expressions more genuine!

Find someone who has as few restrictions as possible regarding packages, number of prints, limiting locations, and limiting the amount of film they shoot. Prepaid, pre-designed packages limit the creativity of the photographer. Creativity does not come from a pre-packaged album containing, for example, 24- 8x10s. If you’re paying for an album, it should look and feel like a storybook! Think of it, not like a photo album, but an illustrated storybook that uses no words to tell the story. In most cases, packages are NOT a good thing because the photographer “knows” beforehand what he needs to shoot and will only strive for those images.

Tips To Find The Best Wedding Photographer For A Perfect Wedding

tips on finding the perfect wedding photographer

Work quickly to find your dream photographer.

Wedding photographers book up quickly, especially the amazingly talented ones. During their busy seasons they are typically booked a year or more in advance. We also live in a big city where there are tons of wedding photographers available. Houston is large, but I also searched in Austin and Dallas for the perfect photographer just to be sure that I was truly happy with the end results. So while you are dying to try on the latest Jimmy Choo’s to go with your gown, remember that the shoes will be there, but that your perfect wedding photographer might not.

Avoid overwhelming your photographer with a list of shots that you found on Pinterest.

I LOVE Pinterest. Really, I do. I think it’s the best way to get ideas for many occasions, including weddings. I mean, have you searched wedding bouquets on there yet?! Wow, that was an overwhelming task. So surely you have spent a few minutes on there or just online looking at photographs from weddings. While this is good to get an idea of what you want, try not to tell your photographer 200 different shots that you just have to have. Trust that your photographer has the skill set and knowledge to capture the moments that are important. Of course, I think it is smart to have a few must get shots, for example, the only image that I requested was one of just my son holding my hand as he walked me down the aisle. This was the only one I requested. I know that Sally would have shot it regardless, but as a mama with a baby boy who was thrilled to “give me away” I had to have this image. Think of the images that are most important to you (maybe one of you and your favorite Aunt) but try not to overload your photo rapher so that they feel that they are working from a scavenger hunt list instead of capturing genuine moments.

Protect yourself and your photographer – sign a contract.

If you are working with a photographer, be sure there is a contract in place. Make sure it covers exactly what to expect on the big day… how many hours, what your collection entails, how long it will take to get the proofs, etc. By signing a contract you are ensuring that your photographer will not be a stressor the day of the wedding. I was actually in a wedding once when the bride’s photographer was a no-show. She didn’t sign a contract and was left without images, a photographer, and lost the deposit that she had invested. Be smart. Cover your bases and only work with a true professional if you value photographs from your wedding. There are many so-called wedding photographers that could care less about your day and only want to cash in. Don’t work with a wedding photographer that doesn’t have references and experience or you could end up regretting your decision.

Consider your budget… yes I said it.

Budget is unfortunately something we all have to consider when we are picking a photographer. That said, remember that once the big party is all over and done, the only thing that you have left are your photographs and a dress that you will most likely never wear again. The photographs will help you remember the day as it happened and even events that you were unaware of. After Sally sent us our gallery of images, it brought back tons of emotions not just for me, but for my husband as well. We loved sitting together and going through each image and talking about what happened, or what our friends and family must have been doing! Even though your Uncle Tom has a great camera, and can take a half decent shot, it does not mean that he would be a good wedding photographer. So when you are considering your budget, remember that while a fancy pants designer gown or an elaborate 10 course meal might sound like the best way to spend your budget, the only thing you will have left after it is all said and done are the images that your photographer captured of your beautiful day so be sure to pick a professional, they are worth their weight in gold. Trust me.

How will you use your images?

Are you a DIYer? Do you want to be able to design your own book? Or do you want the full package and someone that not only takes beautiful images, but also designs breath taking albums? Since I am a photographer myself and I have access to professional labs, I decided that digital images were the extent of what we needed. While I have absolutely no doubt that Sally’s design skills are impeccable (I mean look at her website, it’s beautiful!) I knew that I had the skill set to design an album and order it from a professional lab. I do not recommend designing your own album if you are not a professional (either in the design world or photography) and have access to a professional lab. There is a world of difference between an album from a chain store and the beautiful signature albums that a lab can create.

 

Steps to Finding the Perfect Wedding Photographer

Agree on the details.

There are a few critical things to keep in mind before you sign a contract. Most importantly, when will the photographer provide the final images? Be clear about the timeline so you know what to expect. If you’re getting married in the fall, do you want your photographs by the holidays? Do you envision making large-format prints to frame, or creating a wedding album? All these elements should be discussed and agreed upon in advance so you know what to expect post-wedding.

Review their work.

“Be sure to ask for three to four full galleries from past weddings,” recommends Ashley. It’s so important to see how a photographer is going to cover a wedding from start to finish, she explains. Don’t just look at the highlights in their portfolio (anyone can scrap together 30-40 great images for their online portfolio). In addition, ask for references. Talk to other couples about their favorite moments with the photographer as well as any aspects to learn from.

Make sure your personalities mesh.

So you’ve found a photographer you like. What’s next? And moreover, how do you make sure they fit with your style and personality? When crafting your first email, make sure to expand on simply the venue, date, and hours of coverage needed. “Share who you are and your vision for the day,” encourages Ashley. “If the photographer feels a connection with you they may respond in a more personal tone, creating an opportunity for sparks to fly.” Better yet? Don’t just leave it to email. If you aren’t able to meet in person, set up a phone or Skype call. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with this person on one of the most intimate days of your lives. “If you take the time to establish trust from the start, you’re likely to have the experience you want on your wedding day.”

Start with one vendor and the rest will follow.

Have you found the florist of your dreams? Ask them who their favorite photographers are. “The wedding industry is a close-knit community–don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from industry vendors,” she suggests. Another option is to look at their website to see who shot weddings they were a part of. “This will not only give you an idea if their styles might match but also if they’re going to fit in your budget.”

Be informed.

Understanding the costs for various products and services is the first step in making informed wedding decisions. “While many photographers don’t post their pricing online, use their portfolio to gain insights into the types of weddings they shoot.” Ashley recommends using their work to gauge their prices. If their Instagram is stacked with large private estate events or destination weddings with details galore, you can assume that their fees likely start at a higher price point than a photographer who may shoot smaller celebrations.

 

Find the Perfect Wedding Photographer in Simple Steps

Schedule a test run.

An engagement photo shoot is always a good idea — it’s a great opportunity to get to know your photographer and begin to feel comfortable having your photo taken, especially if you or your groom are camera-shy.

Go with your gut.

Once you’ve evaluated each photographer’s work and fees, and narrowed down the options, it’s time to make your decision. Don’t forget that you’ll be spending the entire wedding day with this person, so you want to make sure you feel completely comfortable with the photographer. Do you and your fiancé genuinely like this person? Do you feel like the three of you click?

Discuss the fee.

Some photographers’ fees include everything including albums, prints, and high-resolution images (saved on a disc or thumb drive); others have a flat or hourly rate, then charge you à la carte for any pictures or albums you want. Many photographers offer a price list that details several different packages they offer at different price points. Make sure that you understand what’s included. Ask how long the photographer will spend with you (seven to nine hours is ideal) and whether there will be a second shooter, as you’ll get more detail shots this way. Lastly, also inquire about when you can expect to receive everything, from a sneak peek of images (some photographers can give you a handful within a few days) to prints (usually up to three months) to your album (up to a year).

Interview the photographers.

Most photographers will email you a link to their portfolio of images before your first meeting. Be sure the collection includes recent weddings he or she has shot from start to finish, not just a “best of” highlight reel from dozens of different weddings. This is a more accurate way to gauge the photographer’s work. Also, ask if the photographer has shot at your venue and if so, request to see those photos. During the meeting, find out who exactly will shoot on your wedding day. Some larger studios employ several photographers, and even with single-person operations it’s not unusual for the photographer to have an assistant handle shots of the groom getting ready while he focuses on the bride and bridesmaids. In all cases, request to see the work of the photographer (or photographers) who will be handling your wedding.

Figure out the style of photography you like.

Do your homework and spend some time online browsing a variety of wedding blogs to get a sense of the style of photography you like. Maybe it’s bright and pop-y, with lots of saturated color. Or perhaps your prefer a more vintage look, with more washed-out tones and a dreamy, nostalgic feel. Once you’ve found a handful of photographers whose aesthetic jives with yours, email each person and inquire 1) if they’re available on your wedding date and 2) about their photography rates. If the ones you’re interested in are available on your date and if their fees are within your budget, then you can schedule initial meetings.

 

Tips When Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

Don’t “Uncle Bob” it.  Say your uncle shoots sports photography for your little cousins and since he does a great job you think he will do a great job shooting your wedding for free!     Money saved, right??   Not quite. You will in fact save money but your wedding photos might not turn out how you envisioned and that will be a sad day.  Wedding photography is a whole other game.  I would be lying if I didn’t say it can be stressful.  You don’t want to miss a shot or mess up on someone’s wedding day.  (Blessed are those who first hired me    years ago when I was just beginning my career.  To my dear Cousin, that includes you…. Thank you for trusting me enough to hire me at the age of 17).

Turn around time.  I think this is so, so, so  important to find out.   The photographer you are planning to hire offers a cheaper rate….. maybe it is because they have a full time job and photograph weddings on weekends.  With their full-time work their turn around is months.  Understandably because they are working another full-time job.  Do you want to wait 5-6 months to view your photographs?  Same goes with studios who advertise they shoot 100 weddings a season.  Do you want to wait 6+ months to get your wedding images?  What is your client experience going to be like…. can your photographer give you individualized and thoughtful attention if they are shooting a bunch of weddings or will your wedding just be  another number?

Ask about the DETAILS.  What is included with the package?  Are the images fully, individually edited?  Will they only be edited with an additional fee?   Will the photographer try to sell you the digital files in addition to the original package price?  TIP: Make sure your photographer has a contract.  For that matter make sure you sign a contract with all of your wedding vendors.

Insurance.  Since we are talking business stuff  ask your photographer if they are insured.  Professional photographers should be covered in case something happens to their gear   or something accidentally happens to one of your guests involving the photographers equipment…. like a light stand falls over on a guest on the dance floor and injures them.

Backup.  Backup equipment is crucial.  PLEASE ask your photographer if they shoot with backup equipment.  You don’t want your photographer showing up to shoot your day with only one camera body.  What if the strap breaks and   the camera falls to the ground before the ceremony has started.  What if the camera body is used frequently and the shutter breaks (this does happen).  Do they have multiple lenses incase it a guest accidentally spills a beverage on the one lens being used.   That being said, if your photographer is shooting with multiple professional bodies these can be $3,000 + each.  Equipment is not cheap and it needs to be upgraded, cleaned, calibrated on a regular basis.  Gear is not everything but the type of glass shot with can affect image quality and your photographers ability to shoot in inclement weather.

 

How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer

CHOOSE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE

If you’ve never thought about your wedding photography style, don’t worry, you’re not alone! We’d be willing to bet most couples don’t realize how many different styles of wedding photography actually exist. But, just like you need to know your wedding style before you can start picking out flowers or decor, you need to know what photography style(s) you love before you can start looking at photographers. We’ve actually got a handy quiz to determine which wedding photography style is perfect for you!

BROWSE OUR VENDOR DIRECTORY

We’ve made it our priority to connect couples with artists who can take the wedding photos they’ve always dreamt of, which is why our wedding vendor directory contains carefully curated lists of the best wedding photographers — and other vendors — all over the world. You can search in your region or, if you’re planning a destination wedding, you can search in any region around the world. Within our directory, you can see each photographer’s portfolio, get access to their website and social media accounts, and even contact them directly through our portal. We recommend you grab a pen and paper so you can make notes of all your favorite photographers — and reasons you love them so much. Trust us, you’ll want notes when it comes time to write some emails!

THOROUGHLY RESEARCH YOUR PROSPECTS

With so many professionals’ websites and social media accounts to pore over, it can be tough to know what you’re even looking for. The first thing, of course, is that they have a website. If the professional is simply using Facebook for their entire business, that can be a red flag that they may lack experience or professionalism. Once you’re on that website, there are a couple of important pages you should browse. The first is their portfolio, which is going to give you a feel of what they believe their best work is. Here you can get an idea of the types of weddings they enjoy producing or capturing, as well as a feel for their overall style. You may notice a consistency in their work, and if it resonates with you, keep them on your list! You may also find that there isn’t a common thread through the work you’re finding in their portfolio. This may mean that they are versatile and are able to adjust and tailor their work to different clients, or it may mean that they don’t yet have a strong sense of what they’re best at. If you’re interested in seeing more of a certain style, make note of what you liked in their portfolio when you reach out and ask if they have similar work you can take a look at.

EMAIL YOUR FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPHERS

Once you’ve found at least five photographers who you would like to contact, it’s time to reach out and ask some questions. Keep in mind that this email is the beginning of a relationship with your future wedding photographer, and you’re making just as much of a first impression as they will with their response. Don’t just blast the same generic email to every photographer you find online. Get to know them, their work, and what you love most about their business. Then tailor each email to the photographers you’re genuinely interested in.

SET UP IN-PERSON INTERVIEWS

The only way to truly get to know someone is to meet them, which is why in-person interviews are a must when choosing your wedding photographer! What you’re really looking for in this interview is how comfortable you feel with the person behind the business. Like with any interview, the vibe you get from the person is just as important as the questions you ask. Would you feel comfortable having this person follow you around with a camera all day? Do you feel confident when this person tells stories about past weddings they’ve done at your venue? Does this person share a similar design aesthetic?

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