Hiring a photographer for your wedding is kind of a big deal. You’ll want to be sure whoever it is will capture the important moments and not only that, but that they will be good quality! If you don’t know much about photography, how do you know you are hiring a good photographer? That’s why I put together five red flags of a bad photographer so you know what to watch out for.
1.) Overexposed pictures:
This is probably the BIGGEST issue I see in the industry right now. It’s on trend to have super light pictures which when done right can be beautiful and ethereal looking, but so much of the time it’s done wrong. What's the difference between slightly over exposed where the image looks light and airy verses too much over exposure where the image is trash? Look for these signs to tell if the photographer doesn’t know how to expose their images properly
A. Skin tones are completely washed out and too bright. You want to add some luminescence with light to people’s skin tones, but too high of exposure will wash out skin tones making people look dull and sickly.
B. Any white colored clothes are so bright you can’t see any detail in them. This is especially an issue with wedding dresses. They usually have beautiful lace and beading and with too high exposure will be completed lost.
C. The sky has no definition and is completely washed out.
2.) Images are too blurry or out of focus:
Now pay attention for this one, there is a thing professional photographers know how to do where they purposely blur the background or foreground of an image to pop the subjects and that is called “bokeh” and is so beautiful but photographers who haven’t mastered their aperture settings will end up blurring important people’s faces and that is not something you want! Your photographer should be able to easily change their settings from portraiture settings to large group settings to details shots quickly so each image is crisp and focusing on the right elements. I’v seen photographers that choose to not have Sharpe focus as their style to create a "softer" image and that is ok if that is your style too, but make sure to look at the photographers work and check to see that the subjects are in focus. Are the bride and grooms faces too blurry? Are the family members in the group photos out of focus? If they are then this could be a red flag for you.
3.) “Trendy” filters applied:
I might get flack for this one because unlike the previous two this one is purely my opinion. This one doesn’t mean that the photographer is bad really, but I included it to remind bride’s that going with a photographer that uses heavy filters and presets on their images might be trendy right now but might look ridiculous in the future. There is a time and a place for fun trends but your wedding photos isn’t one of them. Your wedding photos should be able to stand the test of time and if there are really trendy filters on them they defiantly wont. Just look at the colors and tones of the photo, If they are too unnatural looking or too “processed” looking I can almost guarantee you they will look dated and like a bad trend in the future.
4.) Awkward posing:
Ever seen engagement or wedding photos where the pose is awkward, weird or just unflattering? There are a lot of people out there that just don’t understand body positioning and camera placement to flatter people. Make sure as you are looking through a photographer's portfolio that you pay attention to people’s body positions and facial expressions. It’s the photographers job to make sure people look flattering in their photos, so check for it!
5.) A selfish photographer:
There are a few kinds of selfish photographers I have witnessed that I would recommend keeping an eye out for.
A. The unexcited photographer: Is the photographer excited about your wedding details and making it about you or seems not really interested or invested? I think it's important to hire a photographer who is genuinely excited about your wedding and who will be thrilled to capture it.
B. The off focus photographer: Are their portfolio shots highlighting the environment over the actual couple? Are 90% of the shots detail only or far away? These kinds of images are wonderful and dramatic and should be included in your album but if the majority of the photographer's work showcases these types of images it could be a red flag. It's selfish on the photographers part because it becomes all about getting that magazine worthy image instead of the couple which is all for the photographer and not for you. You want your pictures to mainly focus on you and your partner and then be complimented with details, far away and dramatic environment shots.
It's important to care if your photographer is selfish because you want to have a good experience with them on your wedding day. The reality is photographers are hired professionals dedicated to capturing you and your day and it should be all about you, not them. They are there to serve you just like any professional hired to provide a service.
BONUS tip: make sure your photographer has great customer service. Don’t allow yourself to ignore red flags like poor response time, bad communication, impoliteness, unprofessionalism and the like just because you love a photographer’s work. IT’S NOT WORTH IT. You don’t want to end up with a horrible experience but pretty pictures because trust me, every time you look at them you will be reminded of how annoyed you were with the photographer instead of just remembering your special day.
Hopefully these tip will help you if you are still searching for your photographer, call your attention to some red flags if there are any or validate your decision about your amazing photographer.