Since we offer photography services here, I will try to be as unbiased as possible. Just some take advice to take to heart when you are searching for your wedding photographer.
Not photographer is a wedding photographer
Everyone has a camera these days in Singapore. Even your mobile phone should have a decent one. But while everyone can take pictures, not everyone is a photographer. Remember photography is an art and to professionals, it is a job. And wedding photography is a specialised genre. A wildlife photographer might know how to compose a photo but he might not be able to know what to lookout for in a wedding. For photographers who do 4-6 weddings a month, weddings are their bread and butter and they are in their element. They know what to look out for, what elements they have to work with and Asian traditions and protocols.
Avoid the cheapest deal
There are tons of hobby photographers in Singapore. They might offer to do your wedding for awesome prices. A fraction of which what some other companies might be offering. Yes, it might sound like a good deal, but you should always approach with caution. Ask yourself, if the photographer is good, or has experience, or has clients, would he offer his services so low? There are risks. We are not saying that every cheap photographer will mess up your wedding, but chances are, they probably would so thread with care when seeking the best deal. You might save a few hundred bucks but might not have any photo memories of your $20,000 once in a life time wedding.
Judge the work, not the equipment
Do not judge a photographer by what equipment he has or what brand camera he uses. Increasingly, it is easy for just anyone to pick up a camera for under $3000 and claim that they are a photographer. Ask to see his work. It is important for you to see at least 2 sample complete albums of 2 separate weddings. That way, you can judge the work by viewing the end product. Just going through a flip book of some of the best images he has taken over 10 weddings is not a good benchmark of what you will get. What you want is an album with lots of great images, not one with 299 bad images and 1 awesome one.
Ask the right questions
To really find out the true mettle of a photographer, ask these questions.
What’s your primary style? Posed and formal, relaxed, photo-journalistic, creative, artistic, candid, traditional?
Ans: No right answer. But he hesitates, it is a bad sign. That probably indicates that he does not even know his own style.
Are you the wedding photographer who will actually take our pictures?
Ans: Some photographers who present you with awesome pictures might not be the same guy who actually shoots for your wedding. This is more common with larger companies or studios. If his assistant shoots for you, chances are that it will not be as nice as the sample.
How many times have you worked specifically as a wedding photographer?
Ans: Ask specifically for the number of times he or she has done weddings. There are “wedding photographers” with 10 years of experience but with only 5 weddings under their belt.
How many other events will you also photograph that weekend?
Ans: If the photographer is fully booked for the week, chances are that he might be too exhausted to do a good job.
Can I get you a seat at the dinner?
Ans: A professional photographer will never accept this offer. Sitting down to eat at a table at a wedding dinner is not professional.
Do you like to shoot weddings?
Ans: Look for that sparkle in his eye. Weddings are lots of fun and are also very challenging. Wedding photographers who are passionate about their work, will love their job. If a photographer just does it for the money, it shows in the photos. Less is more If you are getting a coffee table book, get one that is simply designed. Avoid ones with curvy vines or montage heavy designs. These might look great now because they are trendy, but 10 years down the road, when design tastes change, they will make you cringe in agony. Go simple, do it tastefully and make sure the album is of high quality.
Find a style that speaks to you
Everyone has a different style to wedding photography and videography. Find one that speaks to you. Be it a fun colourful style or something more romantic and sentimental. Black and white photography can also be very dramatic, especially when printed on the correct medium. A rouge textured paper is ideal.
It is important to find a photographer that is friendly, well dressed and has good people skills. This is the guy who will be stalking you and your family for a whole day and the last thing you want is someone who you cannot make a personal connection to, or someone who will piss off your grandma!
Photography these days also entail creative touches like instant replay of cocktail images on the projector or instant print outs. Some photographers can add these into the package for not much money so do not be afraid to enquire more.