In France the majority of searches are still done with the yellow pages. It seems to me that this is the ideal because there is nothing to separate the marriage specialists from the generalists or even the lab laborers nor to differentiate the true photographers of report of those who manage stores. Moreover, it is like looking for photographers in only one region.
Do not hesitate to consult a very large number of websites in order to make a selection. You will find a lot of genuine wedding photo specialists on Google by typing wedding photographer, or wedding photographer followed by the city name (eg wedding photographer Paris).
Do not hesitate to do your research in English with keywords like Wedding Photographer, Wedding Photographer Monaco or Lyon or Brie Comte Robert or even wider Wedding Photographer France.
The photo budgets for Anglo-Saxon weddings are very much superior, (as well as their qualitative expectations for that matter) all the best photographers if they speak English are fighting on this niche. Do not hesitate to contact photographers outside your region as in some cases your contacts may have the desire to move and ask for reduced travel expenses.
Because they must receive a lot more contacts than the others before finding a couple whose budget sits with their rates, the best photographers are also most often those who do the most advertising on the internet. They therefore appear over very large geographical areas.
It will not be uncommon to see a wedding photographer based in Paris s display under the headings: wedding photographer Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Rennes, etc. All the cities easily accessible by TGV, or farther away Lausanne, Geneva or Madrid or Rome for example which are cities easily reachable by plane and at a lower cost. You will find them also in the commercial links of Google and Yahoo because they will have the budgets which is far from the case of most wedding photographers.
They are generally not the best photographers who are present. Already because their diaries are already too full when the wedding season begins to be able to amortize the expenses of the salons, then because their first source of customer comes from the Wedding Planner.
For a show to be profitable it is necessary to conclude as often as possible on site. So those who take stands tend to forge. Consequence those on the salons are mostly excellent sellers rather than excellent photographers. Of course there are exceptions to all the rules and I have sometimes seen very good photographers on salons.
On the other hand for the bride and groom, it is the occasion in general to see the most recent products in terms of albums, enlargements or others and to judge the quality of the images in real size which is not always Obvious on websites.
The bride and groom will also be able to meet and interview a few benevolent agencies about the selections of photographers they most often advocate. It is however a double-edged sword because for too many wedding planner the ideal photographer is too often the one who does not wave where that leaves them the highest commission.
I will probably come back soon to another issue about the French and foreign wedding planners and their relationship with the photographers.
You are surely wondering how to choose the photographer for your wedding? Here is a procedure that is certainly incomplete but that, if you follow it step by step, you will avoid many disappointments.
Before you set out to find the pearl rare, it is essential to discuss among you your expectations and your desires and decide why to call a professional.
If you want to just like everyone else or to please the family it is better to ask a friend to take pictures especially if it does not bother you, that he can not enjoy this day of celebration with you.
However, the experience of a professional is essential. He alone will have the perspective and the outside to bring an exhaustive and complete report of this day. (Especially when there is no Wedding Planner, as it is usually the photographer who serves more or less as master of ceremonies). If on the contrary you want a true work with a high artistic added value a professional is obviously required for many reasons.
I will only mention two:
Because a professional photographer will have invested in a very expensive material.
Find on the sites the list of materials of the photographer that you wish to retain, and search in the prices on Internet. However the material does not automatically bring talent, but talent will not be able to express itself correctly with a device dating from prehistory or low-end optics. Indeed, optics first price, besides their low definition, have a small opening. They allow less light to pass and thus have a great depth of field. It's great for landscapes, but not for people. In portrait, we seek a shallow depth of field to isolate the subject on a blurred background. This requires targets from 1500 to 2000 ??. Because the wedding photo requires a specific know-how that does not improvise.
The control of flash and exposure is difficult during a wedding, because the bride is in white and often overexposed. The groom is often in a dark suit, but the worst enemies of the photographer are extreme contrasts. One can not expose so as to obtain a white which is not overexposed without losing detail in the dark parts.
Stress is particularly intense for the wedding photographer as his responsibility is great. He has no right to make mistakes. The exchange of alliances or the entry of the bride and groom takes place only once. He must put at ease the bride and groom who are rarely in the habit of posing, anticipating their movements, reactions of guests, crowd movements, being on the lookout for new things, trying innovative attitudes while staying in touch Of the requests of all and respecting the conveniences. Not so obvious!
The Academy in France is still today the great majority of photographers. They report externally and without interfering in the course of your day. Some will be good but the vast majority will be press-button.
The classics A lot less numerous, they permeate their brand to your report, realize exceptional sessions of couples where everything must be perfect, where every fold of the dress must be in its place, so the rest of the day is often a bit withdrawal. They apply methods from the fashion photo or studio. In France many are members of unions like the GNPP or sometimes the UPC. Abroad the ISPWP or the WPPI.
The Photojournalists Since about fifteen years the Anglo-Saxon model of wedding reportage is spreading more and more in the world. The goal being to account for every detail of the feast of every little thing that brides would never see if the reporter was not present. The lens is fully achieved when you want to put bubbles on your photos with a caption that would be the same as your photographer. Among the best in the world, many are listed by an international association: the WPJA.
The Unclassables For them each image is a piece of art. They will spend hundreds of hours in digital studio to make each picture a unique image. Editing, editing, coloring, technical mastery of computer tools are their credo. None resemble the others. They do not belong to any real category and if they are members of associations or unions it is more by gregarious instinct or by need of conviviality than by need of classification or recognition. But in fact most of the time they do not want to comply with the constraints imposed by these organizations. Do not be surprised in these conditions to find at these photographers tariffs that reach and even exceed 5000 Or even much more.
You have now decided to take a professional photographer. You have chosen the style you are looking for and found numbers of photographers sites, remains to be found what are the good ones? There are enough good specialists everywhere so as not to be mistaken in following a few simple rules.
You could start by consulting the associations mentioned above: GNPP, UPC, WPPI, WPJA, ISPWP, AGWPJA which especially for the last three are at least a guarantee of quality due to their mode of recruitment.
Some of their criteria of selection of the photographers are very useful to adopt to make you an impression.
1. An experience of at least fifty marriage as a photographer and not only as an assistant.
2. A website exclusively or very predominantly dedicated to wedding photography.
3. Presentation of wedding photo galleries by wedding.
4. Make sure that only 20% to 30% of the images of a wedding represent subjects looking or obviously aware of the presence of the target.
5. Only a small part of the photos have to linger on items of detail, dress or shoes of the bride, wedding rings, table decoration. Some photographers (great specialists in low-floor marketing) have become specialties of this kind of photos very easy to realize but which impress many young lay couples in photos.
6. The most delicate photos to make are those of the evening. These are among other things these photos that make the difference between a good and a very good photographer. To achieve excellent image quality, many masters of the discipline will transform your reception room into a photo studio with flashes all around the room. The result is most often up to the task. The disadvantage is that these images, so beautiful they are, will have no more pictures of evenings. So you have to take a little risk and pay for yourself by throwing yourself into the crowd and working as close as you can.
7. The originality of the images is a bottle in the sea. It is only by looking at many sites that you will progressively make an idea of what is new and what is already seen .
8. A photographer who often works far from his or her base will likely be a good professional even though it may be just someone who speaks several languages or has a very spin-off family. However, this remains a good criterion.
These associations and criteria are valuable but not sufficient because, as I explained earlier, many photographers do not, rightly or wrongly, want to join such groups even if they share many values.
So how can we judge the quality of the work of all those you have seen?
A website allows to judge the inventiveness of the photographer because it will present very varied images, angles, attitudes that you would not see elsewhere. You will also be able to judge the exposure of the images, their framing, their colors and their post treatment. On the other hand it is futile to try to judge the definition, the pixelation, or the treatment of the noise according to a website. Simply because the variable display size changes absolutely everything. The larger the sites the larger the pictures will appear. The full-screen photos are impressive but slow down the display too much. The photographer will therefore tend to compress them too much. He will constantly have to compromise between quality and speed of display.
There is no point in wasting time and wasting time on photographers if your budget does not match their work. A Saturday in high season, (weekdays prices may be significantly less) we must count for delivery of royalty free photos on Dvd without a minimum album of 700 to 1000 ?? For an average photographer, 1000 to 1500 ?? About for a good photographer and from 1500 to 2500 ?? For the best.
However, do not rely exclusively on these figures as they vary from region to region.
On the other hand, it is clear that below these rates I advise you to run and ask a friend or a family member to take pictures. Wedding photography is a specialty where competition is fierce. A photographer sets his rates according to his services and the price that his clientele is willing to pay for his work. As a result low prices are almost always synonymous with poor quality work. Moreover, apart from the hours of preparation and the hours of presence on the day of the wedding a real report requires between 50 and 150 hours of post production work. What professional worthy of the name will accept to work for even half the minimum wage?
The recent appearance of auto entrepreneur status misleads the mind in the minds of many marriage candidates. They crumble under the proposals of pseudos photographers who are present on the wedding day but return the week coming behind their wicket at the bank, their pizza oven or the zinc of their counter. How could they find the tens of hours needed for the selection of ../images, their individualized retouching (I'm not talking about some automated and uniform improvements for the whole collection of images) ?
After this long research and prequalification work it is time to move on to the actual recruitment phase. Make an appointment with three to five photographers not without having checked their availability on the day of your wedding. Today most photographers, whose specialty is the wedding have schedule on their website. However, it is important to ensure that they are regularly updated and take into account the difference between options and reservations.
You can make a first request of contact by mail which will definitely reassure you on the availability of the photographer. The first contact must be made on the other hand by telephone to gauge the professionalism of your interlocutor. Will respond quickly to your posts. Does he seem to be involved, lovable, listening to you, planning for spotting, etc.?
You have the choice between moving you where to receive them at home. For the photographer, coming to you can be rich with indications about your tastes your lifestyle and it will more easily deduce the style of images that will suit you. But for you it is much more revealing to move to the photographer. See his studio, his material, decorate his walls with his photos of weddings or pictures of his holidays? Is it really a specialist wedding photographer or a casual? You will be able to judge of its organization, its methods, see different reports realized in the last years and most important to see the products it proposes, the quality of the albums, their size, finishes, cover models, Pagination, offers you genuine Books Albums or simply e-book?
He will be able to guide you in the preparation of the day and make useful suggestions. Do not forget that of all the providers the photographer is the only one with the Wedding Planner to be present all day. Moreover after a hundred weddings most photographers could easily compete with many Wedding Planner.
In spite of asking all the questions you want and analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of the benefits of each of the candidates of the last square, I am persuaded after covering soon 500 marriages that the only thing that ultimately counts in the choice of the bride and groom is The feeling they'll have with the photographers. From there to pretending that we are chosen as we say "at the head of the customer" there is only one step that I will cross cheerfully!
This is quite logical if you consider that it will be on your back all day but it is also the cause of quite a lot of disappointments. Also if I have a single advice to give you the first criterion of choice must be the skill of the photographer, before the sympathy that it could inspire you, and well before the financial side most of the great photographers are quite flexible in Terms of payment facilities.
Once your choice is made do not delay to tell the photographer because places are expensive among good professionals. (In 2008 I had 33 requests for the same Saturday in June!) Traditionally Saturdays from May to September begin to fill a year and a half in advance. Only the receipt of a deposit check assures you of the reservation of the photographer. The experience proves that many people do not feel committed by the signing of a contract! At worst if you have a hesitation, ask for a few days option. If you want to put a longer option (several weeks to several months) do not be surprised that the photographer will make you pay it even if the amount will generally remain modest.
Insist on signing a contract that engages the photographer on the date of your wedding. The person you meet must be the one who will be there the day. This must be specified on the contract. However, cases of force majeure exist and the best photographer in the world can have an accident or fall ill. It is therefore essential that it be specified in black and white that it is committed to finding you a colleague of at least equal level to replace it in case of failure.
The photographer must commit to having all the material in duplicate. I also advise you if you move to his workshop to ask to see this material and not just the shooting equipment but also all the necessary post treatment. The contract must specify all the services on which you will be in agreement and the tariffs for each of the possible options if there are any. This is very important especially for packages of photographers who still sell prints. The budget announced is often very far from the final price in this case.
He should specify if the photographer works in Raw or jpeg. The raw is the format of the raw files output from the camera. There are as many raw formats as device marks. Each photo occupies between 15 MB and 35 MB on the disk, which is heavier to process and requires an extremely powerful computer. Jpeg is an international format compressed so that everyone can read, exchange and open the same photo files. Its quality is reduced compared to the original file and each correction on a jpeg file still reduces its quality. To photograph in raw allows a real control on the final rendering of the photo and much more flexibility in the post treatment.
This is vital for a wedding where, ceremony, town hall, and evenings take place indoors in often dark spaces. The capabilities of the devices (sensitivity) are pushed to the extreme to capture the slightest photon of light and to avoid the yellowish appearance of artificial light. It is with a complex post-processing that one obtains beautiful tones and a beautiful definition. In addition, to deal with black and white the raw allows to have a much more important control, on the levels of gray. To evaluate the level of difference in the quality of the blacks and whites, I would even say that it is more than subjective that it is from the simple to the double. It is important accordingly for the bride and groom to ensure that the photographer who claims to work in Raw has in the background adequate computer equipment.