Professional Wedding Photography

Professional wedding photographers bring a lot to the table that may be hard to replace. The professional is an expert at capturing subtleties of expression and nuances of the environment. Your friend or relative may be reasonably skilled with a camera, but unless he or she has professional experience, it is likely that the person will miss some of the fine details that a professional photographer would capture.

For traditional professional wedding photography captured on film, professional wedding photographers are extremely important. The lighting, film speed, poses and angles all affect the finished product and only the professional or an extremely experienced amateur fully understands the complicated interplay that goes into good posed shots.

Couples who choose contemporary wedding photography, such as wedding photojournalism, may not feel that hiring a professional photographer is necessary for them. Their shots will be candid, not posed, and will reflect the day as it unfolds. They may feel that a friend or family member will be able to capture these shots accurately.

However, it is important to keep in mind that a friend or relative does not have professional detachment in regards to your wedding. He or she will experience emotions, personal drama, and the gamut of reactions that come with attending a large family event. It is possible that even the most well meaning friend will inadvertently miss some shots due to other things that are happening throughout the day. Additionally, the photojournalistic style requires that the photographer remain completely uninvolved in the unfolding situation. This is a difficult position in which to put someone who obviously cares deeply about you.

Affordable professional wedding photography is available from trained wedding photography professionals. If your budget is truly tight, you may want to hire a wedding photographer who has just started out on his or her own and is eager to build business. Many times, he or she will have been well trained as a staff photographer with a larger company prior to starting his or her own company. Be sure to ask for samples of the photographer’s work, but do not write someone off simply because the business is new.

Also, consider hiring a wedding photography professional solely for his or her time plus the original media, forgoing expensive wedding photography packages. Explain to the photographer that you are on a tight budget and enlist his or her help in saving money.

Hiring professional wedding photographers has its advantages, but there are times when you could get away with not using one. For example, if your wedding is going to be a small affair with only a few friends and family, you could skip the professional wedding photography in favor of doing the photos yourself. For larger affairs, taking the time to fit a professional photographer into your budget is well worth the money and effort. Affordable wedding photography is available, and with some planned searching, you can find it.

Tips to Choosing a Wedding Photographer

Choosing your wedding photographer is one of the hardest wedding decisions because you can’t see the photographs you’re buying until you’ve already made the decision. This article will help you choose the best photographer to ensure you get the wedding photographs you want.

1. Price. Choosing a photographer based on price may not be the wisest decision. A photographer’s price not only reflects the quality of their work (generally), it also reflects how that photographer values their own work. You may be able to find a photographer advertising weddings for $299, but do you really believe that photographer places a high value on artistic quality? Do you really think they will spend hours culling, sorting, editing and retouching your wedding images? Chances are they will shoot and burn straight to a disk because, frankly, they’re not getting paid enough. Do you feel that you will get beautiful photos of you and your spouse to have for the rest of your life – to show your kids and grandkids? As far as wedding photography goes, you get what you pay for.

Note: Just because you have a smaller budget does not mean you have to sacrifice on your wedding photographer. Before you go asking your cousin’s boyfriend to shoot the wedding (because he has a nice camera), know this; there are many new wedding photographers who may be very talented, but do not have a lot of wedding experience. This does not mean they are horrible photographers, it just means they haven’t shot a lot of weddings. Because of this, you may be able to get reduced pricing, sometimes called “portfolio building” discounts or “introductory” pricing, etc.. It may be difficult finding these photographers because they may not be listed yet on search engines, as their websites may be brand new. So, you’ll have to do some digging.

2. Do some research: Ask your friends and family for referrals. People who love their wedding photos love to talk about their photographer! Search the internet. Go several pages back – don’t just look at the first page of search results. Check the listings of professional organizations like PPA – Professional Photographers of America or WPPI – Wedding & Portrait Photographers International.

3. Make a List: Once you’ve found 5-10 photographers that you like, make a list. Go to each photographer’s website and thoroughly review their portfolio. I cannot stress enough; the photographs you see in the photographer’s portfolio are the same types of photographs you will have of your wedding. How do you know if the photographer is any good? Follow these guidelines:

Are the images too light? Too dark? If the some images are too light and others too dark, or if they seem all over the place, that could indicate inconsistent quality.

How are the photographer’s Photoshop skills? Do the photos seem “over-photoshopped”? Do you see a lot of plastic looking skin or alien eyes? A good rule to follow; if you can’t tell the images are Photoshopped, then the photographer has excellent photoshopping skills. It’s like make-up – the best make-up is the kind that doesn’t look like you’re wearing any make-up at all.

Do you feel emotionally moved by the photographer’s images? Do they make you stop and stare? Gasp? Do you feel a connection with the images? This is the most important aspect of choosing a wedding photographer. You can spend all the money in the world on the most famous photographer, but if you don’t feel a connection with their images, you will most likely not love your wedding photos.

4. Check for Availability: After you’ve narrowed down the list, email or call your top 5 or so photographers. Check to see if each photographer is available on your wedding date, and get a quote or estimate. Emailing or calling each photographer will also give you a little insight into their personality. More on that later.

5. Ask for a Consultation: Your list should now be narrowed down to 2-3 photographers. Ask to meet each photographer – or at the very least, ask for a phone consultation. Talking with your photographer either in person or on the phone will also give you insight into their personality. Are they easy to get along with? Do you feel good about them? The photographer will be a big part of your wedding day and it’s important that you are comfortable with them. Some questions to ask:

What do you include in your wedding photography package?

When can I expect to receive my photos?

Can I review a copy of your contract?

Are you licensed?

Do you provide a second shooter?

Note: Be sure the photographer you hire is the same one who will shoot your wedding. Some photographers send their assistant or contract another photographer to shoot their weddings. Make sure you know who is actually photographing your wedding and ask to view their portfolio.

6. Make your Final Decision: Once you’ve talked with each photographer, you will now be armed with all sorts of information to be able to choose your wedding photographer. Remember, money comes and goes, but you can’t re-do your wedding day.

Welcome to Robert Valdes Photography. He is a San Francisco wedding photographer with over 20 years of experience. He specializes in Organic, Whimsical and Unexpected wedding photojournallism that is also very Natural, Elegant and Edgy. If you need San Francisco Wedding Photography and are planning a wedding in the San Francisco Bay Area and need a wedding photographer, please consider him