Ten suggestions while finding / dealing with individual photographers for your wedding

[Post by Amrit]

Note: the pictures below have been used out of context – the comments below are not directly related to a particular event of which the photograph is.

1. Book a good photographer for christ’s sake. Money spent on this is probably one of the few good things on which money is spent on a wedding, if you think about it!

2. You should always have both a) a good candid photographer (who is more like an artist and whose works speaks for itself and b) a local small time photographer, probably from some studio (it does not matter much who in person, is that photographer – he is more like a technician whose job could be restricted to just shooting posed pictures or instructed pictures). You almost never need anyone else ( a good candid photographer can afterall, if request beforehand, can always also shoot few nice contemporary posed pictures of the couple for the purpose of framing and all).

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3. Don’t tell a candid photographer that you are ‘also’ engaging a regular photographer for posed shots, only to inform the candid guy bang at the venue that – ‘hey, you are the only one shooting’. That’s just so unfair. Especially when, someone or the other in your guest-list, starts requesting the candid guy to shoot posed pictures.

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4. There are weddings which get over in 6 hours and then there are others which don’t get over even in like 14 hours – be ready to pay more if the effort is more (and be flexible to have a candid photographer only at select times if your budget is low – you can’t first say that you need someone from six in the evening till 8 in the morning and then scream at hearing the price for that)

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5. Try not to irritate a candid photographer by asking him to shoot this and shoot that – the best that you can do is, introduce him to about 10 key people whose pictures you would like to see the most in the final set – after that, get busy with your event and forget that a photographer is present (also explain the concept to others in your family who might try to get bossy during the event).

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6. It will only help the pictures look better if you can make sure there is enough light at all locations. If someone is using on-camera flash to shoot candid pictures (because the light is simply too low), he / she is making a fool out of you (flashes work fine for posed pictures but kill the feel of candid photographs) – so when you book a venue, tell them to switch on, all the lights that they possibly can and also ensure that if there is a stage somewhere, there are good sources of light fallin on the stage where people would be sitting / standing

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7. Never expect a candid photographer to take the responsibility of shooting a nice candid moment of each and every important person present in your wedding – it is simply not possible – some get lucky, give nice expressions, are more visible and get captured a lot; some guests are simply invisible, always moving around with same expression or are sometimes mere unlucky to have their expressions captured – you can only maximize the chances by having two candid photographers instead of one (that’s where a regular photographer for posed pictures comes in handy – you don’t want your mom screaming at you telling that oh my God, there is not even a single photograph of your dad’s sitster’s elder son-in-law who came all the way from Kazakistan to attend your wedding)

8. Unless the girl and the boy are more or less talking to each other and smiling at each other all the time (and that generally either means its a love marriage or if arranged, the two of them have known each other for quite some time) – there is no way, they will look too good in a candid photograph. Unless they are professional actors.

9. Never ever compare prices of different photographers – if you wanted to book Salman Khan as an actor in a movie you were producing, would you ask him why he is asking for 20 crore  when Govinda can do it for 20 lakh? Nahi, na?

10. If your budget is low, have the candid photographer work for just one to two hours during receptions (especially those receptions where the only activity happening is the couple standing on a stage and the entire city queuing up to shake hands, pass on gifts and get a picture clicked with the couple).

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The author

I started ShaadiGrapher.com in the spring of 2012 to experiment with wedding photography. Prior to that, I studied at IIT Madras (2003-08) and worked as a business consultant in PwC for four years. Since 2014, I have also been making documentary movies on a variety of subjects and issues (3minuteStories.com). Phone: +95525 89252 Email: amrit@shaadigrapher.com To get quote for wedding photography / cinema, please provide city, date and approx duration of all the functions. I am location independent and shoot across India - without any additional charge for travel.