In every profession there are going to be ideas and stereotypes surrounding it. Wedding photography is no exception! As a wedding photographer I have decided to explain away a few of the common misconceptions about wedding photography.
The quality of the photos depends on the camera
There have been so many instances of me out shooting where someone will come up to me and say, “Wow! That’s a fancy camera, I bet it takes really good photos.” First of all let me say, yes I love my camera, but was it the most expensive camera on the market? Nope!
Nine times out of ten I could hand my camera over to the person that made that comment with the settings unset, and they would take the crappiest photo ever. In fact there have been many instances where I have given my camera to a person fully set and ready, showed them an example of the photo I wanted them to take and had them try to replicate it, and they still couldn’t get it right! That right there is proof that it’s not the camera that makes the photographs great, it’s the photographer!
So if your uncle Jim just bought a new fancy camera and offers to take your wedding photos, it may still be a good idea to hire a professional!
The only thing that matters is that you like your photographers pictures
When you are choosing a wedding or elopement photographer your obviously going to make sure you LOVE their pictures, but don’t stop there!
Believe it or not, loving your photographers photos and pictures style is not the most important part. There are a lot of photographers out there with similar picture styles and skills, but every single photographer is a different person.
The most important thing to consider when choosing your photographer is that you like their personality, and they make you feel comfortable. The best way to go about doing this is find a few photographers that have that style you love and then reach out and get to know them a bit more to see if they are a good fit. If they really care about what they do, they will be doing the same thing with you!
As a photographer I won’t work with a couple that I don’t get along with because I know I am not the best person to capture those intimate moments that make up the core of their big day.
Make sure you are comfortable with your photographer, because believe it or not you will be spending more time with them on your wedding day than most of your guests!
Everything can be Photoshopped later
Photoshop is a great tool and most photographers use it, however, it is not a means of changing reality. No, I cannot photoshop someone to make them look 30lbs lighter or change hair color, or insert the wedding cake “here”.
Not only is that falsely representing your wedding day but it is time-consuming! Most of the time while editing we photographers use shortcut software such as light room to edit our photos. This makes editing many photos at once much easier and less time-consuming. In order to do massive correctional editing in photoshop would require taking those photos individually and spending hours on each one to make the corrections… and nobody has the time for that.
If you want something to look a certain way in your photos, make it that way in real life! Keep your wedding photos as authentic as possible you will be glad you did 20 years in the future!
Wedding photography is not a necessity
I use necessity here with relativity, obviously photography is not as necessary as food and water, but neither is a wedding!
Weddings in their own right are a luxury and there are many optional luxuries that can factor in to a wedding day. The flowers, the cake, the party favors, the dress and so much more.
But here is a question for you, what is the point of spending time and money making sure every single detail of your wedding day is perfect and pretty, if you don’t have any way to preserve those memories forever and share them with everyone?
In a world where we have to take a picture of our food before we eat, it would be lunacy not to have a photographer to capture your wedding day!
Wedding photos have to be pretty and posed
When looking for a photographer you will see lots of gorgeous photos that look like they were planned out and set up, and you will think that these are going to be your favorite must have photos on your wedding day. While these are the photos you will gravitate to in the beginning, as time goes on you will find that the photos that capture little special moments hold more meaning.
The photos with mom and dad will be shared on their birthdays, and photos with gran will be cherished forever after passing. The most important photos become the ones loaded with meaning that take you back to that moment.
I love to focus 90% of my photography on capturing real and authentic moments instead of forcing awkward or cheesy poses. Even when it comes to your formal and epic photos, adding in the intimacy of a real moment shared between the two of you will make that epic landscape photo even more special for years to come!
All wedding photographers have the same style
This should be a given. Every person on this earth is unique, everyone has their own personal style in general, so of course the same would go for photographers and their style. Some photographers favor the moody dark look, or the retro film look while others describe their images as light and airy.
Because of this, it is important to chose a photographer that matches the style you are after for your wedding day. Don’t hire a wedding photographer that specializes in light and airy photos and ask them a week before your wedding if they can make your photos look dark and moody. You’ll be disappointed in the least or completely shot down at the worst.
Wedding photographers will work for free for exposure
Do you like working for free? Neither do photographers.
While building my photography portfolio I worked for other photographers, set up stylized photo shoots and started with discounted rates for weddings, but never did I work for free. Unless a photographer reaches out to you and offers to shoot your wedding for free (highly unlikely) don’t expect them too.
Yes, everyone has got to start somewhere but, everyone has got to eat too!
If you were thinking of “supporting a starting photographer” and having them shoot your wedding in order to save some money at the same time as “doing something good” just keep in mind that you get what you pay for. The best way to support someone just starting out is to offer to do a stylized wedding shoot separate from your actually wedding day. This will give you the opportunity to get additional photos that could come out really neat without the pressure of your wedding day, as well as help out a photographer that is just learning the ins and outs of wedding photography!
Wedding photographers work only on the wedding day
Wedding photography is way more than a one day job. Before a wedding is even booked the photographer is working a full time job, from marketing, keeping up the blog and managing the website.
Then there is the outreach and building of the relationship between brides and photographer, helping plan and answer all the brides burning questions. The engagement shoot and don’t forget the hours and hours that go into editing. Sometimes, editing can take more time than the wedding day itself!
Wedding photography is an easy job
This point ties so much into #8. Wedding photography is so much more than showing up and shooting. On the wedding day itself I am often running around like a madwoman trying to make sure I photograph all the important details and capture all the special moments.
I will often times coordinate a large part of the timeline and make sure everything is moving along smoothly and in a timely fashion. There are also many moments you will find me in very interesting positions to get that perfect shot, laying on my belly or climbing in a tree, camera in hand.
The thing with wedding photography is you have to love what you do, If you love what you do, then every day it will be worth it.
Wedding photographers aren’t good at taking other photos
I didn’t pick up a camera and decide I was only going to photograph weddings. In fact, I had been practicing my photography skills for YEARS before wedding photography even crossed my mind. Since becoming a wedding photographer, I have traveled the world for two years straight and captured the entire journey along the way.
I have photographed, maternity photos, head shots, and many personal photographs for myself. My skills go way beyond wedding photography and I always love to expand on them! My favorite subject to photograph other than weddings is the night sky. Wedding photographers can be so much more than a one hit wonder.