5 signs your Preston wedding photographer isn’t all they’re cracked up to be

Why it pays to pick a professional.

Browse this blog and you’ll find barely a word said about other wedding photographers because a) your reviews are the ones that count, not mine; b) I’d rather focus on what I do well, and c) I know lots of professional photographers and the vast majority are really good at what they do.

But (you just knew that was coming, didn’t you?) there’s a growing trend for wedding photographers to be of the home grown, ‘I’ve got an expensive camera and what more do I really need’ variety. And the problem is that to be a professional wedding photographer takes far more than a big lens (so to speak).

Yes, there’s always an exception to every rule. Yes, you may get lucky and know a really gifted hobbyist. But before you accept the first low price that comes your way, bear in mind the 5 most common Preston wedding photography mistakes I’ve seen this year.

1. Crowd control

Seriously, you know what your relatives are like when they get together – or worse, get a few drinks inside them. Fortunately, a professional wedding photographer will have years of experience (and a distant, faraway look) that shows they know just how much effort it takes to marshal a wedding party so you get the shots you want.

Contrast that with the non-professional, who doesn’t feel confident controlling large, boisterous crowds, can’t make him/herself heard, and ends up settling for what they can get, rather than what you want.

2. They don’t understand the technical stuff

You don’t care about blocking, focal lengths, light balance or the gazillion other things that go into composing a great shot. But you do want your wedding photography to look spectacular and that takes a real understanding of the technical stuff.

I’ve lost count (literally) of the number of shots I’ve seen this year where the focus is out of whack or the wrong subjects have prominence. Tip: if you see your Preston wedding photographer asking the chauffeur what’s the best way to shoot their car, you have a problem.

3. Timings start to slip

The problem with struggling to control your subjects is that the clock is ticking. Take too long and you delay the wedding breakfast and speeches, you annoy your bride and groom, and you’ll never get a fidgety wedding party to do what you want.

4. Their idea of reportage isn’t yours

If there’s a style I’m asked for more than any other it’s reportage, a name given to a natural, journalistic telling of events through pictures. Done well you get a fantastic ‘fly on the wall’ feel to your wedding photography, where images aren’t posed – they’re captured as they happen – with all the spur of the moment feeling and emotion that suggests.

Reportage wedding photography isn’t hiding in the bushes snapping like a sniper. It’s not wonky angles for the sake of them. And it’s not obscuring your subject with some big, obtrusive foreground object. Make sure your Preston wedding photographer knows the difference.

5. They can only work with some of your guests

In the age of the selfie we’re a lot less self-conscious about our image – but not everyone at your wedding will feel the same way, so you can’t adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach to getting the best out of your guests. A professional wedding photographer knows that, and adjusts what they do and the way they do it to get the best out of the subject.

The really frustrating thing, from my perspective at least, is that often there’s only a couple of hundred quid between a dabbler and a professional. So, before you take the “I know a friend of a friend who’s pretty good” route, let’s talk about getting your Preston wedding photography right. You’ll find me here.

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