A couple about to be married asked me recently how one can distinguish truly good photography, so I decided to set out some criteria and my thoughts on how a couple can tell what good wedding photography is.

More and more professional photographers tout the quality and unique style of their work. Is that a good thing? It depends. If you went to buy a car, would a salesman ever tell you it’s not worth it and send you elsewhere? Of course not! For the same reason, any photographer is going to promote his work any way he can. The difference is that a car has certain quantitative, qualitative and financially measureable characteristics that can be compared, while photography is largely an intellectual product without a tangible measure of comparison, except through prints and digital albums. Most couples make the mistake of comparing photographer prices on the basis of prints and free gifts offered in the package. But what about the artistic and intellectual side of the product? What about the dream of those unique, spontaneous photos we wanted to keep from that special day?

What most couples realise right after their wedding is that they don’t remember anything about their wedding day! They expect their photos to keep those moments alive and show them highlights that they themselves may not even recall. The conclusion is that the photographer should inspire confidence that he can cover the event just as you would like to remember it.

A second important criterion in selecting a photographer is his personal perspective. Beyond just making a record, a good photographer can go a step further and highlight a powerful snapshot or detail that you might not have thought important or even noticed. That snapshot gives a more authentic look at the event and is directly related to the photographer’s perspective and the way he works. The angles he shoots from and the lenses he selects are an example of that.

A good indication of the above is to ask the prospective professional photographer to make a complete wedding presentation – from start to finish. That will give you an overall picture of the way he works and the result you can expect. I’m sure that after two or three presentations, the couple will be in a better position to judge and make a confident decision. If you are still not sure, you can always seek advice from a friend who is more familiar with photography in general.

More wedding photography tips for couples


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