How To Choose A Wedding Photographer

How to choose a wedding photographer


When you look at wedding pictures, it's very easy to get swept up in the pretty detail shots of the flowers, and shoes, and dress.  It's important to look at the rest of the work and think to yourself, what else do they have?  Do they show diversity?  Are all the pictures taken during sunlight, with outside weather that is perfect and lovely?  What time is your wedding?

Most brides I know like to have the ceremony right at sunset, which is at the best sunlight.  But, what about after sunset?  Do you see technical pictures after sunset?  Anyone can take a pretty picture in perfect daylight.  On your wedding day, what if it rains?  What if it's overly cloudy or  if it's too bright and sunny? Look for examples that show different situations, and not only that perfect daylight picture.  This is especially true if you are getting ready to hire your photographer. If he or she shows no ability either prior or after sundown, but only in perfect weather, you could have a real disaster on the day of your wedding.

A professional photographer does not TAKE pictures.  We MAKE pictures.  How do you create a picture?  We feel the mood of the moment.  We look at the story.  We think, how do I want the viewer to see this picture I am about to create? I may want a more engaging, emotional, or mysterious look for my photo, which is all based on the mood at the time of the shot.  Where do I place the bride and groom, and what lighting is required is all a part of creating the mood for the perfect picture. Sometimes we use shadows, other times we may shoot into the sun when we shouldn't, just for the mood.  We can counteract the exposure with lighting. Look, we all create a mood in our homes by using lights.  Photography is the same thing. We ask a lot of questions before, and during the shoot to figure out the vision that is in our client's head.  Does the photography have the ability to create what's in our client's head? It does.  And once we figure out the vision, we implement it using our learned skills.

Let's say a client has a vision.  She wants a snowy white owl, in a barren tree branch with snow all around, with icicles hanging down, and a large full moon in the left hand frame of the photograph.  How does that happen?  How do we make that?  The client has PAID me to make a picture.  I may think this picture is unrealistic, but that's what the client wants.  Where can we get a snowy owl where it will sit still on our barren tree branch?  We know we can get giant icicles and a full moon.  How do we create the snowy owl and keep him from flying away.....unless it's dead?  The moon has to be so big in the picture, bigger than the owl.  So, you zoom in on the moon, but you have to get the tree and the owl in the shot in focus, and the moon is not gray, so getting a proper exposure becomes a problem. The only way to get this photograph is to shoot multiple pictures and create a composite.  Having the ability to understand exposures, composition, lighting, and composite creation is what separates a professional photographer from one who has the ability to shoot pretty pictures under ideal conditions.


If the photographer you are considering shows only examples of ideal pictures under ideal weather conditions, please ask for more samples to get a better idea of the overall work.

Don't get too caught up in the emotional aspect of hiring your photographer for your special wedding day.  If your chosen photographer only shows you pictures during sunny daylight hours under perfect weather conditions, then he or she is probably not capable of handling your full wedding.  A couple detail shots at daylight does not make your wedding photographer able to cope with all the problems that not only can occur, but often times DO occur. Besides having the technical skills, a professional must also problem solve on a dime.  Problems do happen, butI'll save that for another day. 

Just remember, your wedding day only happens once.

To see more wedding photos, please click on wedding photos.  Thanks for looking.  Steve

To view more vineyard weddings, please click on Bluemont Vineyard, or Breaux Vineyard, or Stone Manor, or Weatherlea Farm Vineyard or Veramar Vineyard2.   THanks for looking!

To see a mixture of all wedding types , please click on weddings


Steve Whysall