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Q&A for clients

Choosing a photographer for your special day will be a very challenging task.  There are so many photographers to choose from. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of people with cameras that advertise themselves as photographers but can’t deliver on all the promises.
You should have high expectations of your wedding photos and they have to be met, because this is your one and only very special day and the photos will have to reflect that.

When looking for a photographer keep the following 
in mind and ask the right questions:
1.  Is all the photos on the photographers website/blog their own photos?  Did they take the photos themselves?
This seems to be a weird question, but there are a lot of photographers out there using photos illegally from other blogs and websites.   

These days a lot of photographers make use of second shooters at weddings and then after the wedding they use (post) all photos (also photos from second shooter) in their own portfolios.  So, they can have great photos in their portfolio but did not take the photos themselves.

2. Is all the photos on the website/blog from weddings where the photographer was the MAIN photographer?

You might think it doesn't matter, just as long the photographer took the photo...  Well, let me explain it this way.  When you are the main photographer, you work under a lot of pressure.  When you second shoot, there are a lot LESS pressure.  I am sure you want a photographer who can produce great images when the pressure is on.

3.  Is all the photos in the portfolio of real weddings?

These days there are a lot of wedding workshops with the most beautiful brides, dresses, make up, light setups,  decor and venues.  Photographers go to these workshops and get some really amazing photos from the practical sessions which they use in their portfolios. I don't think that this is a true reflection of the photographers capabilities, skill and art.

4.  Second photographer?

I get a lot of questions about second photographers.  Why don't I have a second photographer part of all my wedding packages like other photographers?  Well the answer is actually very short but I will explain. 

I am part of a wedding photography community on facebook. There are now more that 1000 people in the Western Cape who is "wedding photographers".  

Because of the 1000+ photographers out there it is actually very easy to throw in a second photographer to my wedding packages.  I can easily get a photographer to second shoot with me  (some even shoot for free because they want to learn, get more experience and build a portfolio). 

So, the question you must ask yourselves is:  
1.  Am I really getting a Professional wedding photographer who is capable to photograph a wedding?
2.  Am I getting a "wanna bee" photographer who is still learning and trying to build his own portfolio to be a wedding photographer at a later stage?

This is why I do offer a second photographer as an extra option for an additional R5000.  The second photographers I use are photographers who are FULL TIME PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS.  NOT people with cameras who is willing to shoot for free, to learn, to get experience and who wants to build their wedding portfolios to get future work.

   A few more questions:

5.  What equipment does the photographer use?  Does the photographer have some backup equipment?

6.  How many weddings did the photographer shoot as the main photographer?

7.  How many years is the photographer doing it as a professional?

What about blogs and websites?

Well, everyone and anyone can buy an awesome template and impress you with the layout and all the bells and whistles.  You must look at the quality and variety of the photos.  This is what you will get after the wedding.

Also look at the amount of photos the photographer post of each wedding.  If the photographer post less than 100 photos per wedding, then there is not enough photos for you to see that he can deliver week after week. 

If the photographer post 100 or more good quality and creative photos week after week, then this will give you a good indication that the photographer can deliver consistent good work.  Consistency is the key word - you don't want a photographer who post 50 photos the 1 week, 150 the next and 80 photos there after - this is a sign that the photographer can't deliver consistent good work.

I am sure that you understand now the importance of meeting with your photographer to ask all the questions and to make sure that you get the right person for the day.  To be honest, there are a lot of "photographers" out there who take chances and who is not delivering on what they promote and promise... 


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