Often couples have said how overwhelming it is to find a wedding photographer. The wedding photography industry is oversaturated, everyone has an opinion on who you should you use and unlike other industries, ours is not regulated. This blog post today will debunk 10 of the most common myths of the professional wedding photographer and hopefully will help clients to make informed decisions when choosing a wedding photographer.
Throughout the industry there are well-established professionals with years of experience, then lots of new talent just starting up and desperately looking to photograph weddings for their portfolios but with little or no experience, others that the industry refers to as ‘the weekend warriors’ – those with other full-time jobs during the week and some simply looking to make a quick buck because they think it is easy. After being in this industry for seven years I know what the job entails. It is hard work every day but I wouldn’t change it because even after all these years, I can still stay I love my job. So let’s look at what I have found to be the common myths about wedding photography.
Myth 1 – To be a photographer, you just press a button, right?
Many believe with the clever technology of digital cameras today you simply point and shoot; however, this is simply not the case. You can have the best camera in the world but if you only use it on auto you might as well own a compact or iPhone. Weddings present many different lighting situations, for example, churches can be really dark and poorly lit, often flash isn’t allowed, if you use your camera on auto you are likely to be disappointed with the results. Light is key to every image and knowing how to set up a shot is critical to a photograph’s success.
Myth 2 – Anyone with a nice or expensive camera can be a pro
Being a professional photographer is more than just the gear and equipment we own. On the day it’s knowing how to direct people into group shots, how to blend into the wedding to capture candids, being in the right place at the right time and having a knowledge of when those little moments are going to happen rather than leaving it to luck. It is also about running a business and handling clients. It more about the photographer’s knowledge and experience than the equipment they use.
Myth 3 – All photographers are the same
Unfortunately not all professional photographers know or understand that to be a professional you are servicing the needs of a client and not your hobby. A true professional knows how to act and handle people in most situations that may arise. However, from my own experiences of being a guest at weddings, I have seen photographers turn up looking quite untidy, be rude to other guests for taking photos and completely overtake the day like its a fashion shoot. This high maintenance behaviour is always the sign of someone with limited experience or too much ego. This is not how a professional photographer should ever behave! Always meet your photographer before your wedding day- ” It is more important to click with people than click the shutter” said Alfred Eisenstaedt. Wise words!
Myth 4 – Everything can be fixed in Photoshop
Photoshop is another skill set altogether and you cannot make a bad photograph good in Photoshop. However, you can make a great image exceptional if your photographer knows how to use it to the best of its ability.
Myth 5 – Qualifications guarantees a good photographer
Becoming a professional photographer is like driving a car, the more experience you have the better you become. Qualifying is just the beginning. Many photographers new to the industry, some without qualifications, believe they need to charge the same amount as already established pro’s to prove their worth. However, they don’t have the portfolio or experience and I think brides and grooms should watch out for this as its becoming more common. Ensure a photographers price reflect the quality and ask to see a number of weddings in full if in doubt. If you chose to take a risk on a new photographer in the market I believe its only fair this is reflected in the price and the couple knows the risk.
Myth 6 – A wedding photographer only works on Saturday
Photographing the wedding is the fun part; but then there are the days when you are editing, packing, unpacking, designing, travelling, scouting, finding future clients, marketing, working on the portfolio, updating your website, writing blogs, updating social media, sorting through receipts, finding locations, bidding for props and equipment, handling accounts, going to meetings with new clients, returning calls, emailing and marketing. Trust me it’s a full-time job!
Myth 7 – Nikon is better than Canon – and vice versa
This is a debate which dates back many years but in all honesty, all digital cameras and even camera phones these days offer a good quality image. Sony is now a massive contender in the debate but the truth of the matter is that the megapixel war will always continue but remember it is what you do with it that counts.
Myth 8 – Filters make up for a bad photo
No. These should enhance a photograph to create a style you like but they will not cover up a critical mistake such as poor exposure or focus.
Myth 9 – Photography is a glamorous job
Just like any other job, photographers have to undertake all the same mundane office tasks and I work long hours. My husband rarely see’s me in the summer months and I am always working on social occasions. On average a normal wedding is usually a 14 hour day including travel and backing up the memory card the same night. It’s not quite as glamorous as some may think!
Myth 10 – A professional can photograph everything
Most photographers specialize and become great in one subject if they focus their vision and skills. The saying “A jack of all trades is a master of none” stands true. My speciality is people luckily this lends itself very well to wedding photography in terms of how I capture a wedding. I may arrive at your wedding as your photographer but for most of my clients, I leave as your friend too. My main job is weddings and after photographing hundreds I have honed my skillset for most situations that may arise.
If you have any questions about booking a wedding photographer please get in touch or if your a photographer reading this and think I have missed something out let me know for part 2 in the future.