Wednesday, July 18, 2012

On Finding a Really Good Wedding Photographer

Most couples that I know would eagerly allocate a big chunk of their wedding budget to well-reputed photographers. And I would do the same thing if only we had that "big chunk" of money to spend without hesitations.

So what do you do if you want to find the best photographer there is but don't have enough money to pay for their names? I'd say research.

One of the major pitfalls of relying too much on well-known names in the industry is that people tend to spend way more than they can actually afford. Marrying couples who have a Php300,000 wedding budget will look at photography services that cost a whopping Php100k. Of course there's nothing wrong with that, especially if it means preserving your wedding memories the best way possible. The problem that they overlook though, is the fact that 100k is already one third of their initial budget. And so they end up either scrimping on other details like catering, venue, and honeymoon or simply dealing with the stress of doubling their budget.

Ate Armi and Arvin's Wedding 
photo by Nice Print Photography

Being photo enthusiasts, I consider us lucky to have some skills to scrutinize each photographer that we encounter, and to be able to sift those who are really good with their craft from those who are just trying to milk the cow.

But for those who don't have a creative eye to see the difference between a photo that used depth of field from a photo that used the blur tool in Photoshop, the last things that you'd want to make as bases for your decisions are the following: 

Just because the service is expensive, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's one of the best. A not so mainstream photographer can give you the same services for half the price if you've researched well enough. If you couldn't find one, it means you need to search further.

People's reviews
Obviously, people's opinions vary. And you definitely should think twice before shelling out a hundred grand for the services of someone who's been reviewed by a person you'd ride in a random jeepney with. If you want to rely on people's reviews, have the supplier you're eyeing on reviewed by someone who knows what he's talking about so you can think more objectively.

If the kinds of feedbacks you're seeing are "They're really nice people","They're affordable", or "They're fun to work with", you're gonna need to slow down. Remember, you're paying for the quality of your pictures, not for the fun moments with these guys. At the end of the day, it's you who will be checking their portfolio and deciding on which style will suit you best.

Photographer's clientele
Not all photographers who have worked with celebrities are worth considering, especially if they're using their clients as their status quo, and if their prices are impossible for people who are living on a paycheck. Of course photos will look pretty if Georgina Wilson's face is in it. Heck it's going to look pretty even if it's a VGA camera! The real verdict is if the photographer can turn the faces of  a regular "ateh" and "kuya" into celebrities (without Photoshop, of course.) 

I'm not generalizing every photographer there is, but generally speaking, these are the things that should help couples think things through.

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