By Caneel Johnson
A well composed picture is worth a thousand words. A poorly composed picture is more like a blurb with bad grammar. Which would you rather have following your wedding or event? A skilled photographer can capture not only the scene but also capture the emotional experience behind the scene. A good photographer can convey the pure emotion of the experience.
Pictures can be one of the most important parts of your wedding or event, right up there with the apparel and music. Eventually every trinket will be forgotten or thrown away, but pictures will forever be a reminder of your special day. They can be put in a photo album and taken out to show your friends, family, children and grandchildren while remembering what you were feeling at that exact moment.
The fate of your precious memories should not be left in the hands of just any photographer. They should be placed in hands that you trust. Always be certain of the photographer that you choose. Take the time to get to know them and their work. It does not have to be the most expensive photographer, but they should have a good portfolio and be able to communicate well with you.
A lot goes into taking a good picture. It is not just pointing and shooting. Light, angle and lenses are just a small part of what goes into a good picture. There are a bunch of fancy terms that will probably not mean much to anyone who has never taken a photography class or is not a photography enthusiast, so I will not bore you with the details. When I started taking pictures professionally, I had no idea how difficult it would be to take a good picture. I, like many of you, have taken many pictures thinking they would portray the beauty and ambiance I was trying to capture, but when I saw the finished product, I was very disappointed. They were flat, cold and did not hold any of the feeling I tried to capture.
I eventually took a class in photography just to understand the basics of how to use the many settings and features of my camera. My hope was to learn how to compose a picture to get the result I was after. Although it helped and I learned a lot, I am far from a professional photographer. It is hard to take a truly good photo. Most of the time the scene I wanted to capture was over by the time I figured out the correct setting to use. What I really learned was that I had a lot more to learn.
Portraits are one of the more difficult forms of photos to take. Wedding and event photographers have their work cut out for them. A great wedding photographer has spent endless hours learning to compose the perfect portrait. Learning which light and angles are the most flattering. How to get people to feel comfortable behind the camera. How to pose people to get the best possible photo. They should know how to use their time efficiently to get your guests back to the fun as quickly as possible, and also be able to take random pictures without being too imposing.
There is a lot to consider when choosing a photographer, but it is very important to get it right. I have known people who have spent a bit of money and have been very disappointed with the result. These are your memories. Your physical representation of the remembrances of your perfect day, they should be perfect. A great photographer can make any venue look like a fairytale come true. Choose carefully and start early many photographers are booked months in advance. Be picky, do your research and make sure you are happy with your photographer.