Get the best from your wedding photographer

What you need to know:

  • How to. What you should keep in mind while choosing and managing a photographer for your big day, writes Bash Fahad Mutumba. 

Photography is one of the most important aspects about every wedding, and unfortunately is also among the most underestimated by those who plan weddings. With bad handling of the photography, you risk failing to capture all the costly pomp you have paid for, and the priceless moments of friends and family.

Herein, we take a look at what you should keep in mind while choosing and managing a photographer for your big day.

Get someone you know

This sounds like a counterproductive thing to do, because sometimes when you hire people that are so familiar with you, they take jobs for granted. However with photography, it pays to get someone you are very comfortable with, as he could make a possibly stressing day less stressful.

Many people often get photographers from recommendations by friends and family. This works. But if you have a photographer who did a nice photoshoot for you before, ask him if he does weddings too. Chances are he does, so hire him instead.

Photography is a lot about dealing with people’s personalities than it is about clicking the shutter.

Ask for their portfolio

One mistake most people make is thinking that since a certain photographer made great images of your friend’s wedding, he will automatically make great images of you. Their touch might differ depending on the wedding, so when you look at their entire portfolio, you might realise a particular wedding they shot better to your liking.

Art is subjective, so what you liked about their work might be something they never liked and already moved away from. Avoid getting disappointed in the end, and make clear what you expect your pictures to look like.

Some photographers like less retouching and naturalistic colours, yet others prefer glamour retouch and cinematic colours.

It is possible that they can do either of them, even though they favour one over the other. Ask your photographer  if what you seek is achievable or not, and make a decision about hiring him.

Photos are important

Committee members are normally the biggest obstacle to getting a good photographer for your wedding. True! Your auditor cousin is good at his job, but when it comes to getting a photographer, your opinion should count.

Passing on a good photographer for reasons like small margins of price should not happen on your watch, or else you risk compromising on quality for the biggest day of your life.

Don’t be afraid to pay a market price

Photographers never sit together under some cartel to decide prices to charge for their wedding services, but photographers are worth their salt, all end up charging around the same price range.  Equipment is so expensive to buy, hire and maintain; and they are one of the service providers that require a big team to deliver a complete piece of  work.

If a photographer’s price looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Most inexperienced photographers starting out try to charge very low prices to attract clients, and this is risky on your side.

Don’t use more than one photography company at the same  wedding

This is not because of the possibility of intrigue by one on the other,  which to be honest is possible but is not the biggest concern. Space can become limited at a wedding for even photo and videographers from the same company not to interfere with each other’s shots, so it will definitely be worse if you add a second company.

Listen to your photographer

After you have hired a photographer, trust him in his professional capacity to choose what works, in what position and at what angle. If you already told him what you expect right before, then let him handle it at the wedding. Also, the best-man and bridesmaids are artistic, but this is not their show; tell them to let the photographer do his job.

Feed your photographer

This is by far the most contentious issue at Ugandan functions, but it really should be a no-brainer. The photographers have been with you since 5am and have probably not had anything to eat till 3pm at the reception, it is just decent to give a plate of food to each one of them.

I once heard a story about a photographer who was denied food in a village where the closest trading centre was kilometres away. He gathered his team and was about to drive with them away to have lunch, at a time when the bride and groom were dancing into the reception tent. Cooler heads prevailed and they were fed. His approach is not something I agree with, but it is understandable.

Lately, most photographers include in their contracts that they must be provided with a meal, so it should not be a problem anymore. Some people just hate the idea of feeding a service provider, even though food is in plenty — pretty selfish if you ask me.

Delegate someone to handle the  photography team

You will probably be the only one that has rapport with the photographer among your entire family and friends, and it might get hard for them to get to you in case of anything. It is always better to introduce them to someone beforehand, who will be in charge of their interests.

Stick to agreed delivery times

It is true that some photographers delay to deliver work, but delivery times should be agreed upon beforehand. You should be concerned if the photographer fails to deliver by the agreed date, however you should not be calling him asking for the pictures, less than a day after the wedding. They are probably still even traveling back home.

Professional photographers will be firm about this, but others might rush the work just to keep you happy, and end up delivering a substandard product.

This is by no means the only way, but it is a good guideline to follow if you want the best memories to be captured on your wedding. No one will see the expensive decor you had, just a day after your wedding, but the images and videos will last forever.


Tell guests not to interfere

The most annoying thing to any photographer is reaching an important moment such as the exchange of rings and a family member suddenly interferes with the shot, to take a photo  with her smartphone. At this point, you as the bride might not see the harm in your aunt trying to capture your smile, but you will remember how bad it was, much later when images from this important point are missing from the photographer’s side.