• Natalia Langsdale

How To Choose Your Wedding Photographer - By The Professionals Themselves

As the dust settles on the euphoria of having chosen the all-important wedding date, now is the time to focus on your vendors.


Who is in your opinion, the most important (after the wedding planner of course!)... The photographer, yes! They are the ones who will capture all the moments to cherish for years to come. They are the ones who will make you look amazing. They are the ones who will blend into the day and unknowingly to you, capture every tender moment, every look and detail.




Who better to ask an opinion on how to choose your photographer, as well as the things to look out for, than from the photographers themselves!





MY RIVIERA WEDDINGS invited five of their all-time favourites with whom we have worked with to share their honest thoughts.





From top left to right: Christophe Serrano (Christophe Serrano), Linda Himsel (Himsel Photography), Jérémie Bertrand (Jeremie Bertrand), Photo by Thomas Audiffren (Thomas Audifffren) and Thomas Audiffren, Maja Kerin-Cosignani (Bluepineapple Art).



THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN CHOOSING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER




Style and consistency in the work. The experience and quality of service is determined by the quality of the photographer. The attitude of the photographer on the day, their capacity to adapt to all situations, own presentation. Your wedding planner holds the upper hand in filtering out quality by all of the above. Christophe Serrano https://www.christopheserrano.com


There's a variety of different wedding photography styles out there but there are two main things to look out for: photographer's consistent style of photography (social media, website and branding) and the connection between the photographer and the couple. This is as important as the portfolio itself.  Maja Kerin-Cosignani https://www.bluepineappleart.com


Find a photographer who is professional, declared and has experience working under pressure and in a wedding scenario. A professional wedding photographer is more expensive than an amateur, or a family member, but the piece of mind you will have by choosing a professional is paramount. A professional will also be able to give the correct advice on positioning, lighting, best situations and group shots. Jérémie Bertrand https://www.jeremiebertrand.fr

Above all choose a photographer for their style. Feel a connection with them and their portfolio and determine if dark or light is more what you are after. Remember that you need to work together on the process of what your likes and dislikes are to be on the same page. Sending inspirations of what is liked will help get a better feel also and build that relationship to have a two-way communication about the direction. Linda Himsel http://himsel.se


Do not talk too much about yourself, let the couple you meet do it… So… Let the bride talk. The budget for a wedding photographer should not be on the bottom of the list. The photos must reflect you and make sure to meet the photographer (or do a video call) to know if you feel comfortable with them. Ask them what their backup cameras are as there's nothing worse than having a photographer rock up with just one camera, which could fail. I personally always have at least four cameras on me. Thomas Audiffren https://thomasaudiffren.com




ESSENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHY ADVICE - THROUGH THE EYES OF THE PROFESSIONALS


THE WEDDING DAY

PREPARATIONS


Some photographers go for a narrative style and will ask to arrive an hour before the preparations to take photos of the venue, the wedding stationery, (which Christophe Serrano recommends to take an extra set), accessories etc.


Photo Thomas Audiffren


Choose a room with an abundance of light and make sure to remove as many items as possible, such as bags, unnecessary accessories, hangers etc.


Photo Christophe Serrano


Be mindful of timings and preparations (your wedding planner will be on hand to keep track of this for you and the vendors, hair and makeup team etc). The things tend to be longer on the actual wedding day than during trials. A recommendation to go for is to allow for an extra hour at least.


Photo Christophe Serrano


CIVIL CEREMONY


One of the most important things to remember as advised by Christophe Serrano, is that the celebrant in front of you is not the person you need to say "yes" to.


Look at your partner and just listen to the words of the celebrant. They are there to guide you but imagine your wedding photos without that special moment of eyes locking and true love showing in that special 'Yes I do" moment.


Photo Jérémie Bertrand

RELIGIOUS CEREMONY


A professional photographer will arrive in advance, make acquaintance with he priest, the rabi or the person conducting the ceremony. A professional photographer will know how to blend in and disappear, respect the venue and the ceremony.


This is very important as there are cases of photographers showing up, not respecting the dress code or disturbing the ceremony, standing in front of the priest at the wrong moment. There is etiquette to be respected and a professional knows the difference.


Photo Thomas Audiffren

BLESSINGS OR OUTDOOR WEDDINGS


It is preferable to be seated away from the light (south-west facing) , suggests Christophe Serrano, with the sun on your backs at the hour of your ceremony. Never have the sun facing you or you will have shadows.


Photo Linda Himsel


GROUP PHOTOS


Together with your wedding planner, pre-wedding, discuss the essential groups of people you wish to have photos with so as to keep to timings.


Ideally organise by:


Witnesses

Immediate family members

Bride and groom's family

Others


Designate a trusted person, be it the best man or matron of honour, to round up the most important people you wish to have photos with during the cocktail hour, with a glass of champagne in hand, such as with your best friend, parents, family.


Photo Christophe Serrano


COUPLE PHOTOS

Posed photos are best avoided, spontaneous and natural make the end result so much lovelier. Remember that golden hour, is the perfect time for that romantic shot, which is 15 minutes after sunset so make sure to remember to take that time to yourselves with the photographer.


Photo Bluepineapple Photo


EVENING

If you have agreed to the DJ or band bringing their own lighting, beware of pink, blue and green lighting as the photographer will be forced to go into black & white mode.


If you are after a romantic, soft lit ambiance for your photos, small lights or guinguette lights are the best! Good to note is that they need to be adapted to scenic set ups with anti-flickering mode.


Failing that, your photographer will need to be extremely talented and know how to operate this kind of a scenario using flash. A quality that is rare to find as not every even professional photographer knows how to do so.



Photo Christophe Serrano

TO SUMMARISE


The quality of a photographer is not determined by their style only therefore, but by the service and experience as a whole.


Do not hesitate to ask for a visualisation of the wedding reportage before choosing your photographer, says Jérémie Bertrand. This assures that the work is coherent and you don't end up with a pile of photos that you don't like. Be warned, this happens frequently says photographers.


They say memories are the most important keepsake, but at the end of the day, those memories will be brought back to life only through your photos, so ensure you invest in a professional photographer who you aspire to and feel comfortable with.



A snapshot of photos from the photographers who contributed to this piece.


Thank you for the insights and amazing talent!


___


PHOTOGRAPHY CREDITS


Photographer Christophe Serrano | Photographer Bluepineapple Photo | Photographer Jérémie Bertrand | Photographer Linda Himsel | Photographer Thomas Audiffren |


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