So you have done your homework. You have asked your network of newlyweds to share recommendations. You have been through hundreds of wedding photographer portfolios.
You even have your shortlist of favourites. But what next?
Here are some things to keep in mind when you take the all-important next step, i.e. narrowing down your shortlist to the photographer you’ll entrust your wedding day to.
Look beyond the portfolio
A photographers’ portfolio is a collection. It showcases the best images out of their entire body of work. While these may give you a great idea about a photographer’s technical skills and artistic abilities, what you also want to know is how good is the photographer’s average? Your wedding photo album may contain hundreds, or even thousands, of images. You want a large majority of them to be great. What you don’t want, is a handful of brilliant images in an otherwise uninspiring album.
It’s a good idea therefore, to ask your shortlisted photographers to show you complete wedding albums, and not just a shortlist of images taken over many weddings. This will give you an idea of the overall quality a customer may expect from the photographer. Do ensure that at least one of the photo albums you see is a recent one.
Look for completeness
Now that you have gotten your hands on complete wedding albums shot by your shortlist, scan the images carefully. Put yourself in the shoes of the couple. Would you have been happy if this were your wedding album? Did the photographer capture all the rituals, all the moments you would like captured? In other words, did the photographer succeed in being at the right place at the right time to imaginatively record the many magical moments that occur in Indian weddings?
Look for relevance
Although the term “Indian wedding photography” is tossed around liberally, there is no such thing as a typical Indian wedding. India is a land of great variety and our weddings are as diverse as they come. Rituals, bridal wear, time of day and venues vary widely from region to region, community to community. When going through a photographer’s portfolio, it might be a good idea to see how much experience he or she has had in shooting the sort of wedding ceremony you are going to have. A photographer may be absolutely fabulous with Punjabi marriages, but may have to feel his way around a Malayali wedding. Familiarity with the rituals and rites of your region and community ensures that the photographer can let his instincts take over without having to worry about whether he/she is missing any of the important stuff. That may make the difference between a good wedding album and a great one.
Lastly, you may want to have a look at photographers.canvera.com for a great collection of wedding images and photographer portfolios, if you haven’t done that already.
Good luck with your search!