The right wedding photographer must have technical knowledge and proficiency for sure. He or she must know his camera, his equipment inside out. He or she must understand light, see details no one else see, know how to compose a image and he or she need to know how to tell a good story. Your story.
Wedding experts and sites will advice you that when looking for a wedding photographer you must ask to see his or her work, complete albums and not just his or her best images. They are right. Only by closely paying attention to a photographers work and getting to know him or her you will be able to tell if he or she is right for you. But what most expert and sites fails to tell you is what to look for. Well, you may think, we are to look for beautiful pictures. Well, yes, but you need to look for much more if you are to find the right wedding photographer.
In the first place, you need to get to know the person behind the photographer's mask. Is he or she all about himself? or Is he or she really interested in your wedding? Is he or she interested in you as a person? Tell him or her about your wedding, about how you felt in love, how he proposed to you. Watch how he or she reacts. Is he in a hurry to get to the next appointment? Are his or her eyes glazing over with a blank stare wondering when will you shut up? Does he or her only interested in selling to you? Yes, what we do is a business. It is how we pay bills and take our families in vacation. But it is a service industry, and we are there to serve you. Get the picture?
Because every photographer interprets the wedding through his or hers eyes, mind, experiences, ideas, you need to find out what he or she thinks of marriage, weddings, love, romance. If she or he is married, how they talk about their spouse? Does he or she cries at the weddings they shoot? How do they speak about their previous couple? What are they passionate about? themselves? your wedding? photography? Does he or she tell you the story behind his or her images? Are the excited about his or her work? All of that will tell you about his sensibility and motivation toward your wedding. Can you see how that will impact the way he or she capture and document your wedding?
Secondly, look at his work. Look at as many images as you are able. Look at them carefully. Not just for technical proficiency or to see if they look pretty, but to see if they tell a story. It does not matter if it a whole wedding or individual images, they need to say something about the people and the event. A wedding album is not a collection of pretty images and faces, but it needs to tell the story of your wedding.
Now days the word wedding photojournalism or documentary are in vogue. Great! But what does that mean? Ask the photographer that uses them what does they mean to him or her. Ask him how he accomplishes it. Are just an euphemism for old times "candid" shots? Is it an excuse for bad technical proficiency? Or the photographer knows how to capture your wedding in such a way that it really tells the story of your wedding day through pictures?
Documenting a wedding is much more than just taking pretty pictures of what happened in the day. Now days cameras are so sophisticated that anyone with a very good quality camera and a decent knowledge of how they work can do that. The right wedding photographer interprets what happens through a true artistic eyes using his or her technical proficiency and photographic knowledge and skills to create images that preserve forever the essence of your day. Noticed that I didn't say "take" photographs? It is because the right wedding photographer takes what is there and takes it to the next level. He or she does not just push the button, he knows how, when and why.
Hope this tips helps you find the right photographer for you. He or she is out there, you just have to ask the right question and look closely to him or her and his or her work. That will tell you if you are in front of the right wedding photographer.
Don't forget... the Right Wedding Photographer shoots wedding from his or her heart.