Seven stops to happiness
This article isn’t about commissioning the best photographer money can buy, nor is it about the world’s greatest photographers of all-time. Here, there are no named references in a mind-blowing line-up of photography legends. What you will find is, a matrix table with a model that provides a rough guide to assist those looking for a local photographer that will best suit their own needs. Every private or business venture has its budgetary limitations; at some time, someone somewhere will require the service of the novice photographer. As long as risks are recognised and acknowledged on both sides, no harm in that! If we assume overall price is the influence, then there is a non-skilled or skilled photographer for everyone’s budget!
If you are looking to hire, then this is about trying to match-up a service that is best for YOU! Occasionally everyone needs a photographer; let’s take weddings as an example. Weddings are a mixed bag, sourcing the best photographers out there just means sourcing the wedding photography service that is right for you as a couple, your perfect photographer doesn’t necessarily have to produce the finest images but the service provider must deliver the goods and be your preferred choice for all the right reasons.
I suppose you can apply the reference table to most photography genres, just use the table subjectively!
What’s too salty for some won’t be salty enough for others, aligning aspirations with expectations.
Matching performance alongside expectations and price is a starting point for choosing the best photographer, or at the very least, I hope it will offer some guidance that can point you in a positive direction for the best results. Like all aspects of life what’s good for one won’t be good for another, this is so true with wedding photography, a miss match of expectancies doesn’t benefit anyone.
Getting it spot on and choosing the right style of photographer for your Scottish wedding is different for every bride & groom; costs against final expectations play a key role. Maybe the above competency table will offer guidance to couples looking for a little more inside knowledge. Bottom line, try to match your needs with a photographer's strengths. I suppose who and what depends on when!
When you need quality, dig deep! When you want free, tread carefully!
So, who will be a suitable photographer?
Found your ultimate venue, the perfect photographer should be an educated choice & compliment other decisions. Getting married in the perfect venue, say Edinburgh Castle or somewhere else in Scotland that’s just as romantic. What will your choice in wedding photographer be, surely you want it to be an educated choice. We have to consider that what’s best for client A might not be the best for client B. It may depend on what side of the fence your wallet is on! See photography budget for weddings.
Phenomenal results, name your price, enough said!
Choosing a highend pro, at this level the benefits of professional wedding photographers as a rule of thumb will turn out very good to outstanding results with little risk in nearly all situations and locations. When choosing this option the drawback is the heavy financial outlay, extremely expensive costs are not out of place, at times as much as 10% or more of the wedding budget will be absorbed in photography services. To top that, restrictive copyright/license terms on the photographs usually apply. Normally there are a limited number of photos provided. Suggested for weddings in tricky to photograph settings and appropriate for flush couples where money is not a major concern or for couples willing to put in a significant part of their wedding budget on photography.
Choosing a middle of the road wedding photographers has an upside. The benefits here can be price and value, usually very reasonably priced. Admirable results in most conditions with a liberal license for all images and a generous number of photos provided. The drawback is the risk (no mistake and exclusion insurance in some instances) and cannot perform effectively in some conditions. Suggested for anyone on a budget, however couples have to be willing to accept a little risk in order to receive exceptional value.
Choosing the beginner or novice photographers yields potential problems. The benefits here are that it is usually free with no restrictions on photos. The drawback is the significant risk involved, very much dependant on the particular skills/equipment of people taking the photos. This option suggested for anyone with a little or no budget for a wedding photographer, with snapshots from friends and family being the only source of material.
How heavy an impact do you place on skill level?
Ability, is experience an important factor?
If you are you swayed by price, influenced by results or apprehensive about risk, then this page just might be for you. The decision process factors in many influences, your course of action leads to one of several alternative possibilities. Ranking abilities and matching up options that graduate from the novice to the ultimate masters of wedding photography. The good and the others that could be better, we take a look at skill levels from the novice photographer right through to the master photographers.
Influences you can’t ignore when choosing a photographer!
A critical review implicating photography results at different levels, including the significant influences you can’t ignore!
Associated risks range from catastrophic to none, the skill level ranks from novice to highest level professional.
As the risk likelihood increase from probable to none, the risk likelihood ranks from catastrophic to none.
As quality of results increase from poor to excellent, it makes sense that the likelihood of risk ranks from probable to none.
Poor to excellent, when quality of results increase for the better; we can now understand that this fee is associated with the outcome.
Why picking the perfect photographer to cover your wedding is paramount. The pitfalls and highs of weddings, choices, what's right when choosing photographers & where the wrong selection can lead you to. What's right for you won't be right for the next bride, so which direction, how do you go about choosing an appropriate photographer to cover your wedding? Should you be cherry picking or is it more about the bottom line and how much money you can save by disregarding the benefits of a competent photographer’s expertise.
Making that choice
Exactly how much should you be paying for the privilege for your photographer’s capability isn’t an easy choice for some brides. With a high dynamic range no wonder controversy shrouds a confused bridal party. With skill levels ranging from the accommodating novice to the extravagant ranks of the true professional, how does a bride decide for the right outcome? Whether you consider appointing a master of the arts or Uncle Bob you must ask yourself this, what’s the significance of the price difference stretched out over a lifetime of marriage? In twenty five years will you really look upon your wedding photos and remember you saved a few bob hiring Relative Robert and his new-fangled camera. Ask me at your silver wedding what your preferred photographer choice would have been now!
I have to make a critique in the nicest possible way, opting for the novice where the incompetence is astounding may be the only choice for some and likewise hiring master photographers at national level will be out of reach for so many. Realistically the majority of bride and grooms will be in the midrange, this is where it becomes interesting and no doubt frustrating, so the challenge is on.
Today’s decisions are tomorrows truths, photography choices needn't be complicated but options do come in all shapes and sizes. Just remember the old adage, "good doesn't come cheap and cheap doest come good." So what does it all boil down to? Well, when it comes to choosing a photographer, there isn’t really any right or wrong, it’s more about expectations and the balance, trading value with results for a projected outcome. Your choices influence the final result, just be prudent and make decisions wisely, it’s your call! However, don't forget that a good camera does not make a good photographer. I'm sure enough people will continue to recognise this to keep photographers in business, at least for the immediate future.
There will always be amply wedding work for talented wedding photographers and the people who don t want to pay for their skills will get fuzzy photos, it’s that simple.
Amateur photographers rank just as highly as the pros, the difference being that the amateur doesn’t seek financial recognition or have a business model associated with their photography. To hear an interesting debate on the topic, Tony & Chelsea Northrup pick some holes and bounce some opinions around in their Picture This Podcast at What Makes a Photographer or Camera "Pro"?
Every decision-making process produces a final choice, bottom line, choosing a photographer who is going to work out in your best interest is different for every couple getting married, budget and expectations play a key role in the final outcome. What's perfect for some will not be perfect for others.
Worth a mention, for the sake of argument, I use the term professional photographer loosely, in reality, being a pro doesn't automatically mean you are an amazing photographer. Looking back, it used to be so straightforward in the past; your wedding and photojournalistic photographer would be considered the professionals of the day. Nowadays there are much more variables in-play, so it makes it difficult to nail down. Bizarrely enough, even skill level is subjective; a photographer can be unskilled yet still be professional.
There’s a lot of feeling behind the word professional, for the purposes of this table, the concise answer is referring to those photographers that are shooting with someone else’s needs in mind, skill level being only one factor amidst several other influences.
Are we attuned with each other? Compatible wedding photographers make the day a success. Budget aside, positive wedding photography is not just a one day relationship, it goes deeper. Evan before you draw a line under on your budget you should be thinking about your photographer’s personality. Being well matched goes a long way! After all we are going to be spending lots of time in each other’s company and that’s even before the wedding. Compatibility, photographer and client interactions are so important; that’s why we need to click from the start, you need to feel confident you have chosen wisely.
Hitting it off! The best attributes in any relationship is trust and connectivity. A wedding photographer and client relationship works best when you feel at ease and comfortable from the beginning, knowing your wedding photography is going to receive all the attention it deserves will give you peace of mind, leaving you free to concentrate attention on other aspects of the day.