Now that there are fairly decent quality consumer grade digital cameras readily available

Now that there are fairly decent quality consumer grade digital cameras readily available, and you can check your results right after each shot to see what you got, it seems like everyone and their uncle wants to be, believes they can be and are trying to be “wedding photographers”.

Never before has there been such a total glut of “wedding photographers” as has appeared just here recently. The only trouble is most of these self-proclaimed “wedding photographers” lack any actual formal professional training or experience. And fewer yet lack any (or very little) formal training regarding  how to capture and tell the “STORY” of your wedding day.

Not everyone really has what it takes to be a good wedding photographer.  Some people may take good pictures, but may not be very good at handling other requirements, like being able to efficiently handle and work with people, being honest, being on time and reliable or in being able to run a business like a business.  But, hey, they are still going to try to be your “wedding photographer”.  Some will tell you anything to get hired for the assignment, even to the point of pretending to be really interested in all the details  “your wedding”.  [I, personally, only get really interested in someone else’s wedding details, once I know that I am going to be the photographer photographing it!]

What should you look out for ESPECIALLY TODAY in hiring a wedding photographer?

So, how do you know what you are getting nowadays when you hire a “wedding photographer”? First off, if I was hiring a wedding photographer for a wedding that was important to me, I wouldn’t consider hiring anyone who has not been photographing weddings for a bare minimum of 5 years or who has not photographed at least 100 weddings on their own, preferable more like 200 weddings. I can tell you from experience that during the first 100 weddings and 5 years, even with professional training and education, it’s pretty much on-the-job training with your wedding and reception being used as a personal testing ground for their gaining  experience and cutting their teeth as wedding photographers!!

Next, I’d want a photographer that photographed wedding on film for at least 3 of those five years, before switching over to digital. When you photograph with film, you have to get it right and you have to actually know what you are doing in order to get it right! So if you hire a photographer with film-experience, you are much more likely to hire someone who actually knows the how and why of taking good photographs.

To feel totally safe, I’d try to hire a photographer for whom photography provides their only source of income  and, even better if ONLY photographing weddings  provides 100 percent of his/her annual income, if I could find one.  My father taught me three things: 1) the gun is always loaded, 2) there is always someone in your blind spot when you are driving and 3) trusting in a part-timer always leads to disaster! (These may not always be true, but presuming them true sure can keep you out of a lot of bad but avoidable jams!)

If a “photographer” tries to show you his “wedding portfolio”

If a “photographer” tries to show you his “wedding portfolio” that consists of random photos of different weddings mixed together, get up and run as fast as you can! This is usually the sign that they are new to the trade and don’t have complete sample albums to show you. Anyone can show you a bunch of beautiful random photos combined from different weddings and have it “look good”!

What you want to see are actual sample albums, where each album contains ONLY one wedding as the album was delivered to the bride. Most good photographers can also show you slide shows of every single photo that they have taken at several recent weddings. By watching the slideshows, you can get a pretty good feeling about the photographer’s overall quality, thoroughness and ability.

If I am available to photograph your IN/OH/KY wedding, I offer you over 20 years of personal professional wedding photography experience, with 100 percent of my annual income for the past several years coming from photographing ONLY weddings. I was one of the very first in the area to go totally digital and haven’t used a roll of film since 1998!  I have complete sample albums of weddings and slideshows of complete weddings as recent as last weekend to show you.

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