10 ways your wedding photographer can ruin your wedding

30th April 2012
Choosing a wedding photographer is difficult, so I've written this post to help. By the time you've finished reading it you'll understand some of the pitfalls to avoid and how to avoid them. For example, I give you some of the questions to ask photographers so you can establish if they're an accident waiting to happen.

Here goes - in no particular order.

1. Over using flash photography
Don't get me wrong, flash photography can help create beautiful wedding photos that aren't possible any other way. Like this, for example:

However, some photographers will use flash for almost every photo, even when the natural light is far better. In addition, the constant flashing makes your eyes spin when it's happening to you all day long. Not exactly romantic!

How do you find out if your wedding photographer might be a 'flasher'? Probably the best question is to ask the photographer "do you like to use flash photography?" The answer the photographer should give you is something like "only when appropriate, or where I'm using it for creative effect".

2. Getting in everyone's way
I'm sure you want stunning wedding photos that bring tears to your eyes when you look at them. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to create photos like that. However, you don't want some bumbling great buffoon who is constantly in your face. Some photographers are so intense that they end up becoming a real pain because they seem oblivious to everyone around them.

What do you ask a photographer to find out if they might be too much of a distraction at your wedding?
Probably the best question is simply "How do you like to work?" A good answer would be that they like to keep out of the way most of the time, but that they also like to chat and take some fun interactive photos with the guests too.

3. Rude
No explanation required here. However, I have a little question you can ask which might offer an intriguing answer from your prospective wedding photographer. "Are you happy for other guests to take photos when you're posing the group photos?" For some insecure photographers this drives them mad, so if their reaction is less than casual then this could be a warning sign. The last thing you want is a photographer upsetting your guests if they get snappy.

4. Takes forever to get you your album
It's not uncommon for photographers to take months create your wedding album. Ask them how long it is likely to take before you give them the deposit. Try to get it in writing too. You could even agree a discount for every week that it's late.

5. The creepy guy in the shadows
This is really the opposite of the bumbling oaf I mentioned earlier. There are times during your wedding where you'll want your photographer to have some confidence and pizazz. They'll need to pose people with enthusiasm and humour and represent your family with courtesy. You don't want someone who mumbles and lurks in the shadows! They may be lovely people but they probably won't be right for your wedding photography. Wedding photographers need the right mix of confidence and humility.

6. They 'point and shoot'
There are few things more disappointing than seeing your wedding photos for the first time and being completely underwhelmed. some photographers do little more than 'record' the day. There's no creativity, no emotion and the photos just look, well, flat. Of course you can check out their portfolio, but even average photographers can rustle up a few decent photos to make themselves look better than they are. Ask to have a look at the photos of a whole wedding to see how many of them are any good.

7. Poorly equipped
Make sure your wedding photographer has back-up equipment. Nothing lasts forever and you'll be heartbroken if their camera dies half way through the ceremony. Ask to see all their equipment and make sure they have spares.

Also, if your photographer has poor quality equipment then they are likely to end up with blurred photos in a dark church. Ask them what the smallest number f-stop is on their lens - that'll impress/shock them! If the number is over 2.8 then their lens is likely to struggle in some situations in which case they're likely to be one of those 'flashers' we talked about earlier.

8. No insurance or guarantee
Every wedding photographer should guarantee their work. They should have the confidence in their ability to say that they will give you all your money back if you're not delighted.

In addition, ask to see their insurance details. If they don't have Professional Indemnity or Public Liability insurance then they're clearly not taking their profession seriously.

9. They go through the motions
You want your wedding photographer to be coming up with lots of ideas and really show their enthusiasm for their craft. They should be helping to educate you about the process and talking through all the options clearly and confidently. They should be visiting the wedding venue(s) a few days before the ceremony so they can suggest the best locations for the group photos and to establish where the light will be coming from.

They should be asking you questions and coming to you with ideas. anything less suggests your wedding photographer isn't as enthusiastic as they should be.

10 They talk about themselves too much
Your wedding day is about you and what you want. They should be eager to learn as much as possible from you. If they're not asking you lots of questions and are endlessly rambling on about themselves then move on. It's your wedding and you're the boss!

To sum up, this is what I'm trying to help you avoid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IxNVGYtW1g

Give me a call on 0792 358 3658 if you'd like to ask me anything about your wedding photography, even if you've already booked your photographer.

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