The phone rings in a wedding photographers office one day a long, long time ago…
Phone: “ring ring”
Phone Person: “Is that the photographer?”
Me: Err yes, yes it is (?)
Phone Person: I’m looking for a photographer for my wedding
Me: OK… what style of work are you after, and how much do you intend on investing?
Phone Person: “Investing?”
Me: Yes, it’s important to have an idea of what you are after and a cost too
Phone Person: Oh I’m open to any style and I’d say I’d like to spend 50p
Call me crazy, and some do, but this is no way to seek out a photographer. I have had this in the past, and even these days I find it amusing to receive such a call as rare as it is. Why? It’s just plucking numbers out of the air and making contact without really having an idea of the concept of booking a wedding photographer. It seems epidemic in this industry.
What bothers me is that searching for a brand of work hardy comes into the equation, but it is an absolute must in my view, because it is must vitally important. For me, I have a way of working and never break the borders of that philosophy. The industry is rampant at the moment with wedding photographers, and I use the term very loosely. You can hardly put a cigarette paper between many of them.
A couple candidly said to me recently that one “documentary” photographer seemed to have the usual lazy clichés like the groomsmen jumping in the air (ya, even in this day and age). They could not fathom it, it just did not fit their personalities and they certainly would not be entertaining it because it was not a representation of who they are.
In this fast paced digital world it is so easy to ignore the finer aspect of things. When it comes to somebody booking me as a photographer I demand it. If a booking does not feel right for me I will walk away from it with no excuses. It’s a one shot job. Think of the wedding pictures you want many years from now, what do you want them to tell you? Who can deliver this?
Best advice I can give is to ignore the “I can do any style for you” and book a specialist, that is what a specialist is there for, therefore you will get a photographer who you can rely on, because in my pinion there is no other way.
I’m a reportage wedding photographer, a documentary wedding photographer. But don’t just take my word for it, seek out my work where ever you can find it and at the end you will come to only one conclusion, because at the end of the day it is a one shot job, therefore making that right decision is vital.