Landscape and Wedding Photographers are different

I was recently phoned by my cousin who had been asked if he would photograph a friend’s wedding. My heart immediately sunk as I knew what was coming, it’s not so much that my cousin is a bad photographer, but in his own words ‘I mainly do landscapes, and nice flowers’. The conversation revolved around, lenses, ISO’s (the camera’s sensitivity to light) and F-stops (how much light get’s through the lens to the camera’s image sensor). And within about thirty seconds I knew that although it was a very nice thought, my cousin taking photos for his friend as his wedding present to them would inevitably all end in tears.

‘Why?’ you ask. Simple, you don’t trust the recording of the most precious day in your life to a mate who’s got a camera. Just because you know someone who owns a high spec Digital SLR (DSLR) does not mean that mean they know how to use it? There’s a reason the word ‘professional’ is used in ‘professional photographer’, it means that the photographer in question knows their equipment, how it works, and most importantly knows how to work with people to capture them at their best.

Many people these days will trust their most precious memories to a total amateur. The emerging market for wedding day re-shoots or ‘trash the dress’ shoots as they are sometimes called is due, in part, to the fact that the wedding day photos weren’t as good as they should have been. Don’t get me wrong some people will pay thousands for a top notch photographer and then pay them again for the post wedding shoot. No, it’s those who when thinking of their wedding photos think ‘now we can save some money here’ who end up with serious heart ache as their friend doesn’t turn out to be the ‘Mario Testino’ they thought they were.

The proof is in the pudding


As the going says…the proof is in the pudding. If you like…no… love your friends photography, and I don’t mean they take a nice picture of a flower or landscape now and then, I mean their portraiture? Do they pose their subjects well, do they make the average person on the street look as if they have been lifted out of a glossy magazine? If not, don’t even mention wedding photography to them and you’ll save yourself from ruined wedding photos, and the possibility of loosing a friend.

By all means, if your friend is a professional wedding or portrait photographer then they are the ones to talk to. But even then you need to ‘know’ that you’ve chosen the right one.


To help you choose below is a short list of things you need to look out for when you choose your wedding photographer, and although it’s not foolproof it’ll help you think through your options.


1. Know what you want, yes I know this is about you and not the photographer, but you need to know what you want before you get there, don’t just assume the photographer can read your mind, they haven’t spent the months or years planning for your big day like you. They certainly don’t know the details, each with meaning and purpose that you’re putting into your day. They may not be able to tell the difference between the decorations from pound-land, and the lovingly hand made decorations made by you, your family and friends. If you don’t inform your photographer, that for example the groom’s cuff-links are a family heirloom and are of great significance to him, then how is the photographer going to know? A good photographer will want to know the details of your day, give them a list of ‘important photos not to miss’.To Photograph List

2. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again…do you love your chosen photographer’s style? Would you hang their photographs in your home? Whoever you ask, you need to know that you like their style, it’s not just the quality of the original photographs that matter, it’s how they edit them which gives each photographer their own unique style.

3. Ask your photographer to see a complete set of photos taken from a single wedding they’ve done. Anyone can capture a great photo as a one off, but you want to know that that result can be consistently recreated throughout your day?

4. Do you ‘click’ with your photographer? Getting on with your photographer is important, they will spend more time with you than a lot of your guests on your day, so pick someone you find easy to get on with.

5. Spend time talking with your photographer about your day, people who have worked in the wedding industry know a thing or two about weddings and will usually be more than happy to help you spot potential problems, especially when it comes to timings, before they happen.

6. Lastly, how much will it all cost? Some photographers hide certain costs and everything is extra. Make sure you get a grand-total before you sign anything.

There’s plenty more that could be added to this list, but if you’ve done all these you’ll be that much closer to getting what you are imagining as the wedding photos you’re dreaming of.