Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Experience says a lot but it is not everything, look at the work to make sure there are many different situations at play. You need to make sure one can work in any environment.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. The ability to understand that a picture needs to tell a story. Will it be able to speak to a person in ten years time?
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Who will be photographing the wedding? How much time does the package include? How long do you want for the formal photos and do you have any ideas on how to make them go smoothly? What style album is included in the price and do I have any choices? Is there a charge for the negatives or files? Do they have any liability insurance? If you are having your images posted on the web, will they be handing out cards and setting up a display? If shooting digital will the photographer shoot RAW or JPEG?
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. One of the first things you will need to decide is what style of images you prefer. Like snowflakes no two Photographers are the same, they are all artists, the subject is your wedding and the canvas is the album. However, Photographers get categorized into three basic styles. Journalistic or reportage (meaning to report or document, the least obtrusive), traditional sometimes called formal (someone who takes mostly posed or staged pictures) and finally balanced, one who combines aspects of both. There are of course variations on these groups, for instance I have been called “artistic reportage” by one editor, but it is good to start with these main groups and then expand from there as you meet different Photographers.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. Have you worked at the location before? This is the question that I receive the most and the one that seems to be very important for couples. I am not sure why; perhaps caterers are instilling this fear to get the couple to hire their own Photographers, but a good Photographer can work in any venue be it familiar or not. Although it is nice to know the space beforehand, ultimately it is of little real value. Every wedding is unique and should be treated as such. If a Photographer does the same shot in a particular space for every wedding, you have lost the essence of that couples moment.