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I'll chime in a bit with a personal observation. I've found that no matter how fancy or exotic the location, the photos are still about two people in love and their long awaited day of celebrating their commitment to one another.

 

So my view is that the couple must really be beyond worry about the credentials and skill of their photographer, and really must have full trust in what the photographer asks of them.

 

They really need to be relaxed and completely open with each other as well, even as they are being closely watched and photographed. The idea is to capture some of that magic of what's going on. It's funny though. When a young couple in love gaze into one another's eyes they so quickly forget all else! I love it!

 

So it's a balancing act for the photographer. To be there without interference, but to know when to step forward with suggestions for more creative, or romantic, or just plain fun situations.

 

There is so much more to photography than business and technical skills. Those skills you should be able to take for granted with your top picks. Look for the artistry and creativity, and the romance. That will show in the images and will often be subtly enhanced with great post processing skills following the wedding.

 

IMHO

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Amen to that! Unfortunately, just about the only way to find out in advance if your Photographer is any good at this is to shoot an engagement session with him or her.

 

I observed a "professional photographer" one day at a local park. He must have had some credentials, because he was shooting two Hooters girls in their "work clothes" shall we say.

 

He was an older gentleman, and had the two girls posed on a rock. In the most monotone of voices he kept saying over and over again "one...two...three <click>....one...two...three <click>

 

The girls couldn't have looked more bored. I'm sure it showed in the photos.

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Thanks for all of the info! It hopefully will help alot of new brides. The main thing is that you communicate with potential photographers, talk with other brides that have used the same photographer that you are thinking of using, get referrals. Make sure they are the type photographer that you want.(posed vs photojournalistic (sp?). Find out how they edit, do they do B&W, sepia, selective coloring ect.

 

Just my two cents.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by COFPhoto View Post
He was an older gentleman, and had the two girls posed on a rock. In the most monotone of voices he kept saying over and over again "one...two...three <click>....one...two...three <click>

The girls couldn't have looked more bored. I'm sure it showed in the photos.
Thats funny. Kind of sounds like an old film shooter and not wanting to waste any shots on film. Not quiet the norm these days.

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Evan made some great points and I just wanted to add some specific insights into a couple of them.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan Baines View Post
3. Who makes your books?

A storybook album is a storybook album, right? Not really. Wholesale prices on books vary from two to four figures and everything in between. Some books are built for the long haul, some aren't. A photographer probably won't share his/her wholesale prices, but they should tell you what book manufacturer they use. If you can't see the books in person beforehand, researching the company that the photographer uses can tell you a lot about what you can expect from your album.

I tried a few different manufacturers before I settled on my current album supplier (the same as Evan actually). There is a big difference in quality as well as service between vendors. One vendor gave me an "ok" album delivered in 9 weeks, now I get a fantastic album in less 2 weeks.

 

Quote:
4. Tell me about your second shooter! Show me examples of his/her work!

Seems like every studio these days offers "two photographers." That "second shooter" could be the next David Beckstead, or he/she could be the photographer's 14-year-old son or daughter who just got a their first DSLR.

So true. I prefer to shoot alone (I *love* when there's no video guy!) and don't use many second shooters, but the ones I do use had better be good, otherwise its just a waste of my time.

 

Quote:
5. Most importantly, show me more than one complete wedding!

Ever hear the one about the monkey and the typewriter? Being a professional isn't about getting a great shot every once in a while: its about producing professional quality on-demand. Beware photographers who only want to show you greatest-hits reels or who only have one wedding to show you. They may not be able to reproduce their best work.

I love proofbooks for this reason. I often show them more often than albums. you can really get a feel for the style and tone of the wedding (and the photography!).

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also to consider: work permits, visas. Is insurance valid at destination

 

Some questions posed are a bit harsh. If he is ill in the middle of nowhere, he is ill. If you are paying for a team of photographers, the price will be considerably more

 

I strapped my back up and put on a stiff upper lip in CUBA once when my back went just before a shoot. Bloody painful, a lot of tablets and rum (later in the day) helped a lot. Murdered the rest of my stay

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