"Jude Lazaro, a Bangalore based wedding photographer wrote this storming article 5 years ago just before he himself got married and it is still so fresh & full of information for every couple who is getting married. Give it a read and share your thoughts on this."
I'm getting married in a months time and for the first time in my life I realize the stress and strain that a couple go through when planning a wedding, whether or not your family is a big help, the meat of the pressure falls on the couple's shoulders. Honestly, people ask me, "whose gonna shoot your wedding?" and the truth is I'm still trying to figure that one out. But in the process of getting that answer, I've realized that there are a couple of questions that need answering from a photographer, so now I've put down my thoughts.
Most of the photographers I've met over the last couple of months, speak a whole load of Mumbo Jumbo. By this I mean, they spew out a whole load of technical jargon and reasons for which they can't do what you want them to do for you. The truth about the Mumbo Jumbo is, they've made it all up. They have no clue that I know something about photography, so they've been their enterprising self and concocted a whole knew science of Photography to prove that what I want is impossible. So if you are asking your photographer to do something that you've seen done before and if he gives you Mumbo Jumbo, then he actually means: "I can't do it", or "I don't know how to do it", or "I don't have the equipment for it" or "you can actually do that?!?".
Attraction is the first step to a relationship, its only after this phase that you "get to know somebody and figure out the details". You've got to be attracted to your photographers work, it has to make you go "wow" or "beautiful!!" or "where's my jaw gone?". Now the reality that hits you hard on the head is "budget", I can't afford him/her. At this time you need to sit down with you partner or your parents and make the decision of "is he/she worth it?" "isnt this guy who is much cheaper as good as he is?" The important aspect is to evaluate the value-for-money quotient, this is the biggest day of your life (your hopefully gonna do this just once) capturing it is important, but considering my budget is it worth it? One aspect that will help you decide this is to know what kind of a photographer you would prefer, this leads us on to the next point.
Do you prefer to capture the tear in your dads eye when he gives you away or do you want photographic evidence that your colleagues devoured the jilabees? There are 2 categories of photographers, the candid/artisitic type and the documentarians. The fact is both kinds have there pros and cons, I've known a lot of artistic photographers who have missed a pivotal point in a ceremony because they were preoccupied with something, but the pro is they produce stunning visuals. Documentarians rarely miss a moment, but all there shots look the same and the subject always looks like a deer caught in the headlights. Ideally if you've got the money, you should hire one of each, if you can't you need to make the inevitable choice.
You need to find out if his cost includes an album and if he would reduce that cost if he did not include that album. At the end of the day, he is a photographer not a printer, he would definitely charge you more than if you went to the printers yourself. Pay him for his core competence not for someone else's. If he tells you he has his own facility then let him show it to you, then that would make him a printer and a photographer. And that would make it truly cost-effective. Besides most of the album samples I've seen from photographers are pretty sad, especially the bound ones. I would suggest you ask a friend whose good at graphic design to help you out (there are a lot of them lurking around theses days), or if possible hire someone good.
Ok so thats my views on certain aspects of this matter, here are some pertinent questions as promised by the title. 1. What’s your primary style? Posed and formal, relaxed, documentarian, creative, artistic, candid, traditional? 2. Have you ever shot a wedding at our venue location before? How did it work out? 3. Do you use an assistant? Is there an extra charge for this? 4. Will you have backup equipment available? 5. What attire will you and/or assistants wear? 6. Do you shoot in color or black and white? Or both? Do you shoot in a digital format that can create both color and b/w versions of the same picture? 7. Do you colour correct all your pictures? 8. Do I like this person? Do I get along with them or get a good feeling from them? 9. Do I like their work as a wedding photographer? Is it well lit, focused, well framed? Looking at their portfolio, do I feel like I have a good feeling about him/her? 10. What kind of equipment will you bring with you? How intrusive will lighting, tripods, other equipment or assistants be? 11. How many other events will you also photograph that weekend? 12. Are you the wedding photographer who will actually take our pictures? If not, can we meet the person who will be? 13. What time will you arrive and how long will you stay? 14. Should the event last longer than scheduled, will you stay? Extra charge? 15. What are the refunds/cancellation terms? 16. Do you have any restrictions to the number of photos that you will take? Hope this helps!!
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