I came across this recent article in BRIDES Magazine and wanted to give some perspective and answers to the "questions" being asked. Are they really important to choosing a wedding photographer? In a nutshell, yes and no.
I will be fair, but understand that while it is the intent (I believe) of Brides Magazine to help future brides and grooms make great choices when it comes to finding photographers, as well as mine, many of the questions SHOULD already be answered by visiting most photographer's websites and seeing their work as far as style/editing goes. Questions like, "What kind of equipment are you using?" are akin to asking what is the brand of stove that your favorite restaurant uses to prepare your meal. If they said GE instead of Viking, would that stop you from going there?
I do feel a bride and groom should CHOOSE their photographer, rather than "ending up" with one. (i.e. lowest price, only available, etc) These images will hopefully become family heirlooms that will be passed down for generations. So trust me, I understand the importance of getting it right! So without further hesitation, here are my answers and opinions on this year's Bride's Magazine Questionnaire.
What's your shooting style?
- Opinion: If this question is being asked, have we taken the time to view the photographer's website to see their wedding photos? If we have, is the shooting style all over the place, consistent, or evolving? Even for an evolving style, elements of composition and perspective should be consistent. Brides' feels that a great wedding photographer should be able to all/many different styles of shooting. The reality is that many photographers choose to be specialist in a particular style/look. Similar to a doctor who only works on hearts, or a pilot who flies a a particular platform of airplane.
- Statement: I would like to think of my style as an evolving hybrid of reportage (photo journalistic/in the moment) and fine art portraiture. Continuously looking for the moments that will be cherished far into the future.
What technology will you use to shoot my wedding?
- Opinion: This is a very valid question if digital delivery and/or speed of delivery is important to you. If the final product is the most important, then the question lends more towards a time where Digital cameras did not produce the quality of images that film cameras did comparably. Today, it is almost impossible to tell whether or not a wedding was shot with a Full Frame or Crop Sensor, and whether it was Nikon or Canon. As a matter of fact, there are many weddings that are shot with cameras that cost as much as Mercedes Benz, or some that are as small as a box of "thank you" cards. Of all the questions in this section that I think are important, the one that I would consider to be of great value is the one that asks how does a photographer handle images in low light. THIS might be where the technology comes into play as well as the skill of the photographer.
Statement: I use professional grade equipment from many different manufacturers around the world. This equipment has proven tried and true from Aruba to Afghanistan. I am always more than willing to discuss what is needed for your wedding. As far as low light, between the use of available light, artificial light, light shaping tools, and camera settings/limitations, I am able to not only expose for a low light situation, but will also maintain the correct colors as well.
- To be continued.....