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Berkshire wedding photographer Sapna Odlin shares her thoughts with us on how to get the best images of your big day.
What makes for a good wedding photographer are the four Ps: Picture Quality, Personality, Passion and Price.
The first is an obvious one. It's easy to quickly glace at the homepage image, and this is likely to be the photographer's best photo. Dig deeper and have a look at an entire session of photos, from getting ready, the ceremony, the confetti throw and the speeches to the first dance. That way you can see a range of photos. Any photographer can take a good confetti shot, but what are they like in low lighting conditions? Have they captured the personalities of the bride and groom? Does the session convey the happiness and beauty of the day? I am a story teller, and I love to capture events as they unfold in the day, from a natural light shot of the bride getting ready and the father of the bride's first look, to a stylish group shot of the bride and her girls and a decent flash for the dancefloor shots.
Weddings can be stressful. Your photographer will be dealing with a lot of people, like the officiant, the videographer, your family, the ushers, and your wedding planner. Do they have the confidence to remain calm under pressure and are they able to coordinate? You should be able to get a feeling of their professionalism from your initial contacts. How quickly and professionally did they respond to your emails? Do they have a system in place to respond to your emails and send contracts and fact finding forms? I send out forms to gather data on the timings, vendors, group shot requirements, contacts for bride and groom, et cetera, so there are no problems on the day. My camera bag also has tissues and safety pins and scissors, as you never know when your bride might need you. I'm a friendly person who'll put the party at ease, but I won't become the party.
Experience as a photographer is important, but make sure your photographer isn't burnt out. I only shoot a maximum of eight weddings a year, and only the weddings that suit my portfolio. Is the photographer you're considering shooting 40 weddings a year? Can you be sure they will bring the same passion to your day? It can be done, but have a look at their portfolio; are you seeing the same shots over and over again, or do they get creative and try new things? Check out their Instagram account, as they might update that more regularly than their website.
Cheap isn't necessarily bad and high end isn't necessarily good quality. My packages start at £1,200 for 8 hours. I have a minimum to cover my good quality memory cards, my dual slot camera (if one card fails I have a backup), insurance, travel, accommodation ( I wouldn't risk driving a long distance on the day), a backup camera, the time it takes to edit your photos and the admin required to ensure I'm fully prepared for your special day. If good quality pictures are important to you, with a range of styles, portraits, group shots, details, then your photographer must possess a range of good quality lenses. These can start at £500 upwards, each. Ask yourself: is the price you're being quoted really what a professional photographer would charge?
To find out more about Sapna's wedding photography click here, and for more great tips check out the dedicated feature in the Aug/Sept 2019 issue of Your Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wedding - on sale now.
Unlike a national magazine, Your Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wedding is packed with area specific features, venues in your area, inspirational real weddings and regular features on bridal fashion, beauty, photography, cars, stationery, flowers, cakes, music, entertainment, catering, hair & beauty, etc.
So when you decide to look for local suppliers, wedding retailers and service providers, our magazines can really help you plan your wedding.
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