Choosing The Right Photographer And Getting The Most Out Of A Special Occasion

big eye by Stefano Mortellaro on flickr

Professional photographer Ronald Bogart offers advice on choosing a photographer for a special birthday or event.

Pictures are not simply worth a thousand words, they are worth far more. A brief moment in time can be captured forever with the click of a single button. Whether you’re looking to cherish the memories of your upcoming wedding, your recent engagement or the ever-changing first year of being a parent, choosing the right photographer to get the job done is important. But, where do you start? That’s the question we hear most, and we have a few ideas that should help you get the most out of your first session.

It All Begins with a Vision

Every photo shoot begins with some sort of emotion and a goal. Maybe you’re ecstatic about your baby’s very first birthday and want photos that you can send to the family who cannot be there for this ‘first’. Maybe taking the shots yourself would be too much of a burden on top of trying to plan and decorate. This is where a professional comes in.

Personal Connection: The Basics

When selecting a photographer, you want to make sure you connect with their work. Have a one-on-one sit down and discuss what the big day is going to be like and what you want it to look like. Is there a venue you’ve rented out? Are the photos going to be taken indoor, outdoor, or would you prefer a mixture of both? Don’t be afraid to ask for examples of their previous work so you can get a good idea which areas of photography they enjoy the most. Their photos should speak to you and make you feel something. Finding an individual who you connect with on a personal level is extremely important, as you are trusting them with helping you to document an important part of your life; whether it be a person, event or location.

Many first-time buyers aren’t quite sure where to begin and that’s completely fine. This is why a consultation is important. Allow the photographer to help come up with ideas. Once the creative energy starts flowing, you’ll know when you’ve selected the right individual to do the job. Speaking to them will be easy and intriguing.

Getting Lost in the Action

A great photo is all about capturing attention and getting lost in the moment. When you view your shots, they should mean something to you – helping you relive that special moment over and over again. While a photographer that ‘follows the rules’ is nice, you may want to consider one that has a more off the cuff technique and isn’t afraid to experiment a little. You want someone who can come in and make everyone feel comfortable, helping them relax and let their true personalities shine.

Deciding Where to Focus

If taking photos for an event, such as a wedding, you may want an equal amount of focus on the bride and groom as well as the guests. Having shots of the stunning venue, the beautifully decorated cake as well as the fun and games is a must. Candid shots capture some of the most beautiful moment because they are so true to life. There’s no way to plan a shot like that. You may be able to hand someone a prop and have them hold it a certain way, but to find a genuine smile as two people say ‘I do’ is a once in a lifetime type of shot.

Took a trip to an exotic location for the shoot? Capture that scenery and everything it has to offer: the wildlife, the beach, that sunset. Get those up-close shots that show off a specific guest who is completely engrossed in cutting the cake or a couple that are having a blast on the dance floor – completely lost in one another’s company.

Bringing Your Camera Along for the Journey: Best of Both Worlds

Just because you’ve hired someone to take care of the photography aspect of the day, doesn’t mean you cannot take any photos yourself. Having a mixture of professional and personal shots can mean a diverse photo album. Take pictures of the things you see that you want to remember forever. This may include what your guests are wearing, that squirrel that’s been peaking in the window from outside or the starry night from your hotel room. Not all photographs need to be planned, and this is why having your camera with you each step along the way is a fantastic idea. Instead of having people smile in their photos, get those shots of the kids wrestling on the ground or chasing the dog. These types of things are going to be much more exciting to show off and post on your walls at home than those ‘perfect’ photographs that you so commonly see in pre-purchased photo frames.

Ronald Bogart is a photographer by profession and is well known for his wedding photography in Peterborough. He finds distinct joy whenever he holds a camera. Besides his usual work,  he gives useful tips to newbies about photography and related issues on his blog.

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