Choosing A Wedding Photographer!

Choosing A Wedding Photographer!

bad picAloha Brides, Grooms and Friends,

Lately we have had some interesting phone calls and emails about weddings. Brides who were married on the mainland are coming to Maui with their gowns just to get wedding photos. True, we have beautiful sunsets and magnificent scenery but that’s not the main reason they are coming to us. They are disappointed with their pictures and their photographer so they are coming to Maui looking for something better!

I remember my wedding and how I wished the photographer would finish already, especially at the reception where I just wanted to party and have fun! Now looking back 31 years later, I am so happy that he took every single shot. We look at those pictures often and wonder who are those young people? We remember every moment because it was captured for us as wonderful keepsakes. Our kids loved seeing them, our friends and on retro Thursdays on the Internet so many of our friends share their old wedding shots.  What if I was disappointed in mine? All those memories would not have been shared.

What do you do when you are looking for a photographer?  Now we are lucky because most professional photographers have web pages. You can glance at their work and choose which you think is best. Let’s talk about this method though. If you were a photographer and was creating a web page, what pictures would you put on it? Certainly not your bad shots, but of course all of the ones that really stand out.

In the course of a ceremony and an hour of pictures afterwards, a good photographer will take hundreds of shots. A great question to ask a photographer is “how many shots will you take”. If you are buying a 40 picture package, they should be giving you a nice variety of photos to choose from.  You don’t want someone you just shoots and shoots without putting thought into what they are capturing, but, within reason the more they take, the more great shots you should be able to choose from.  You are not going to like all of the proofs because you have a different taste than the photographer but they all should be pretty, focused, colorful, clear shots. They should show off the wonderful couple and how they were feeling at that moment. The photographer should have eliminated extra heads on the beach, or bright buildings or lights in the background. Sun glare should especially be kept to a minimum. The key to see if you had a great photographer is that you cannot just pick out 20, 36 , 40 or whatever number you agreed to pay for but want more!

IMG_7937Out of those really great shots are the ones he (by the way we have many wonderful women on island as professional photographers too) chooses for his web site. Another great question to ask when choosing a photographer is, “May I see a package of proofs from one of your weddings”. Then you can get a really good feel if this is the person for you. If he doesn’t want to share, hmmmmm.

Other things to look for in a photographer is whether they are happy in their job. How can you see this? Do the Bride and Groom seem to be laughing, shooting some fun pictures and genuinely seem to be enjoying their special day? It’s probably because the photographer is having a good time too. He is making the couple feel relaxed and helps them to enjoy this moment. Laughing and Loving seem to go together and that should be seen. Some serious pictures will be taken and most of the times they are beautiful especially of the Bride alone or the Groom alone. Together the couple will have some serious moments during the ceremony and together savoring their ceremony.  The others should show a couple in love and having the time of their life.

I didn’t even get into the price discussion. To be very honest with you, prices are all over the place and sometimes for a destination wedding they seem to be even higher. There are photographers who will shoot a wedding for less than $200 and others that will ask $8000. Sometimes you are getting $200 worth and sometimes you will get $8000 worth but the price they charge rarely aligns with the quality of work you will get.  That’s why it is so important to see a good variety of a photographer’s work, so you aren’t just handing out money. For only an hour’s work, and most of the work done after the ceremony in the editing room (or nowadays computer).  I have found that the photographer’s I hire are charging around $300-400. Add more minutes, before the ceremony, reception shots and the prices go up. You really cannot judge a photographer by their price. Look at their work and that will tell you how much they are worth to you and to your budget.

What I have shared with you are just things I have learned being a Wedding Planner. My biggest wish for lucky couple is that they have the dream wedding they want and stay within their budget. At Maui Aloha Weddings, we will customize to make it work. Needless to say, photography is something that we want you to have and will help you secure it.

Much Aloha,

Peggy