Portfolios of wedding photographers are the most important thing to be taken into consideration whether or not we should hire them. It’s not just about how we like to see those pictures. From their portfolios, we can figure out the style and how our photographer is going to work with us.
There are a lot of things to learn from their portfolios and even if that is the ‘real’ skill of our photographer. It will help you judge if they will be capable to do, for example, natural wedding photography as they said they could.
Style of photography
First, the portfolio is the best place to prove the photographer’s style of photography. Many photographers claim that they have a reportage or fine art style. It’s often a method to attract the attention of clients as it has a ‘cool’ ring to it.
This is a chance to find out about the photographer and see if he’s really taking pictures based on how he explained. Not all photography style can be executed well and even if they think they did, we still need to be able to decide and judge ourselves. Ask your photographer for an album of their other work which is a better way to judge their skills.
Be careful of an expert’s bias. We tend to trust in someone who seems like he has a good knowledge of something but is unable to discern if everything he said was true because he’s our referent. Finding out ourselves about these things is a way to avoid such biases.
Expressions of the people
What about the expressions of the people who are caught in the pictures? This is an important thing that has to be paid attention, too. Although there are people who were not comfortable in front of the camera, most of the time it’s the photographer’s job to figure out how to direct the clients.
You can check out the following site, http://www.bohochicweddings.co.uk/ for more inspiration on how natural wedding photography should look like.
The best way to do this is to also ask the photographer’s past work album. Most of the photographer’s pictures should be able to show the expressions of the people who are caught. If the photographer can escape several pictures with awkward pictures and show them through their portfolios.
Candid vs. Formal
Between candid and formal pictures, look at the ratio. Which one is the forte of the photographer? More than what he said about it, the portfolio can become the prove of it. Most photographers cannot lie about it. There are some who said that they do well only with non-formal pictures and they proved with showing a lot of candid and impromptu moments.
Others do well with posed and love to find spots and location in the wedding venue to have some pictures taken. Depending on your preference, whether you like natural wedding photography or formal posed pictures, you can decide for yourself which one is better.
Learning to look at portfolios help us to understand that photographers sometimes cannot describe themselves well, but their pictures already contain a very strong style. It’s the best reference we can use if we want to know if our photographer has the same style that fits our preference.