Picture Perfect: Wedding photography 3/3

Today we bring you the final instalment from our three part series!

Insurance

A professional photographer will have insurance to not only protect themselves but also you and your guests. Photographers should have both Professional Indemnity Insurance and Public Liability Insurance with a good reputable insurance company. There are several who deal with photographers specifically, and not all cover for every eventuality and some are better than others. I personally have chosen the most comprehensive cover I can and believe me it is not cheap.

A very small number of venues even insist on having a copy of a professional photographers insurance prior to photographing a wedding. A photographer should be able to show you their insurance certificates and they should cover for both professional indemnity and public liability, and not simply camera equipment cover.

Work Ethic

The photographer's work ethic should also give you some assurance that the results will be there. A photographer should always do their best to minimise risk of making a mistake or losing anything. Backup and storage procedures once a photographer has photographed your wedding are equally as important as the work they do on the day.

Having worked in IT in my past life I know how unpredictable computers and technology can be. There can be no explanation at times for why a fault occurs, and with the number of viruses and security loopholes in Windows operating systems there is such a large potential for IT problems to occur.

A good photographer will have good procedures to minimise the risk of losing your work, so consider the worst possible scenario that can happen and ask your photographer what procedures they have in place to guard against it.

Equipment

A professional photographer will use professional equipment. Largely to ensure against the possibility of failure and the minimising of risk of failure, but also to ensure that the best quality image can be captured on your day. Professional equipment is not cheap and the most popular photographic equipment in use by wedding photographers nowadays is most definitely by either Canon and Nikon. Either of these two makes produce excellent results, with the top of the range models in terms of camera bodies and lenses being in the thousands of pounds rather than the hundreds.

Although everybody talks about the more megapixels meaning better quality, it still holds true that actually the lenses still hold the key to better quality results. Obviously megapixels is very much to be considered in terms of how big you can blow up an image, but the lenses will be what provides the clarity and the sharpness in a photograph.

A professional photographer will not only have one lens but will have several to deal with varying situations. F2.8 zoom lenses are regarded as the best quality lenses, and again I would recommend the manufacturer lenses such as Canon & Nikon. Also a professional should have a second camera body to ensure that if a fault occurs during a wedding day there is the assurance that the rest of your day can be captured without any worry for yourselves.

Finally

Although you may consider a photographer who is familiar with a venue to be more appropriate than one who is not, chances are they will take the same photographs they have photographed before at that venue. A photographer likes to work at different venues as it tests their creative skills and gives them more opportunity to try something different.

There is nothing wrong with a photographer having experience photographing at one particular venue but I don’t personally think it should be a deciding factor as to whether you choose a photographer or not.

Overall

There is no one thing that you should look for in a professional photographer, but a collection of criteria that providing they all suit you should help you choose a photographer you are happy with. The photographer should exceed your expectations and you should not only be happy to recommend that photographer, you should do so without even thinking about it, simply because they went far and away beyond what you were expecting.

Thank you for reading and happy wedding planning!

Damian James Bramley, BA(Hons), ARPS, ABPPA

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