The Most Important Thing to Look for in a Wedding Photographer
In our last post I went over why Chicago wedding couples want to invest, not simply budget, in a good wedding photographer. Today, I want to address the big question everyone googles before putting down a hefty deposit -
What should I look for in a wedding photographer?
The last post mentions looking through wedding photographers' portfolios to check for basic things: are subjects in focus? Are they blinking? Can you see what's going on? Portfolios are the photographer's best work, and if they have those easy mistakes there, you don't want to see what the rest look like.
If they pass that test, if their photos look beautifully composed, in-focus, have wonderful colors, if eyes are open, then MAKE SURE you look out for the most important indicator:
THIS is the true test for a wedding photographer. It means they understand shutter speed and f-stops. It means they know it takes more than an Automatic setting to get you good photos during your reception or mood-lit ceremony.
You need to look for MOVEMENT in these low-light situations. Why? The beautiful bride at the top of this post - her veil blowing in the breeze - not blurry, in focus. BUT - that's EASY to do when you're outside in full daylight.
Dark reception halls. Candle-lit ceremonies.
You see the image above with the flower girl? Blurry. Not a single thing in focus. This is not acceptable. Especially if all of the low-light photos look like this.
Cool lights but whaaat is happening here? You can't tell if this is a wedding or a high school prom. Your photographer needs more than the camera flash to save them, or they'll get harsh shadows. That may mean off-camera flashes to fully light the scene:
Or to add backlight so you and your spouse don't disappear into the dark background:
Your photographer should know how to use the available light provided to take a photo, and know when to use extra light if it's necessary:
If you're not seeing what you need in portfolios, ask to see a full wedding album from a single event. Ask if there are multiple photographers - one may know lighting better than the other, and you don't want to get the amateur who is using your wedding as practice.
Have questions? Ask away. I want brides and grooms to be happy with their photos, even if they don't end up using us. Everyone deserves frame-worthy photos.
Happy planning, Chicago wedding couples!