We choose our wedding photographers by looking at their work and talking to them. When you look at their catalog there will be signs that this photographer knows how to make his clients pose and he knows how to compose the shot. Moreover, when he talks to you he should inquire about the guests that will be in the group shots.
I will tell you more about each of these topics.
This first quick tip will help you spot a lousy photographer. Do his shots appear dynamic or are the bride and groom just standing there doing nothing? If these photos look dull, you should skip this photographer and find someone that knows how to do poses. A professional knows how to stage and capture intimate moments. Example of dynamic shots would be- the bride and groom staring into each other’s souls, are they in an embrace or sharing a laugh?
A common pose used by professional wedding photographers is the Hourglass Silhouette pose. This pose is easily recognizable and is done by having the bride bend her front leg so that her weight rests on her back foot. This reduces the silhouette of the legs and makes the hips look bigger. So if you see this pose, then this photographer is competent.
Also when going through the catalog watch the brides’ posture. Are the women in the photograph slumping their shoulders and backs ? or are their backs straight and strong. A good wedding photographer will make sure his subject’s profile is at its most pleasing, and so if the bride or groom has a bad posture it is because the photographer did not do his job.
Another noticeable sign of a good photographer is that the subject will always be doing something with their hands. This is because people standing before the camera either get bored, stiff or anxious. Their mental state often appears through their hands. So the photographer will keep their hands busy by having the bride or groom do stuff like hold a bouquet, adjust their tie, play with their hair, etc.
If your groom is reading this and wondering why there aren’t any instructions for men, fret not! There are some. When shooting men we want them to look imposing so often we will have them lean forward. Also unlike brides, we like to have your arms more prominently in the shot, we do this to show off how big and tough they look. If you have weak skinny arms, well hit the gym buddy!
For a wedding, photography composition is not a vast subject but it is nevertheless important. You see there is something called the horizon line. In every photograph, the horizon will appear or be implied in relation to the subject. Good photographers ensure that the horizon does not appear at the elbows, knees, hips or ankle.
Knowing the guests
A sign of a good photographer is that he will ask questions about the guests so that he can plan the group shots. They ask questions so that they can avoid awkward situations, like putting exes in the same shot or keeping people with grudges in the same shot. Moreover, he will want to know which people are close friends so that he will group them together to make some fun & dynamic shots. If he has not asked you these questions, then you know you are dealing with an amateur.
This guide will help you spot the professional from the amateur. Have an amazing wedding and congratulations on finding the love of your life!