We get this question a lot, and I am sure many of you other wedding photographers out there do to. It probably starts like this “I have a great friend who does photography and they offered to do my wedding but I am just not sure. What is the difference between a photographer and a wedding photographer?”
With at least one family member in every family owning an entry level DSLR the term photographer gets thrown around pretty loosely. This by no means discredits anyone who does photography on the side or who is pursuing their photography dreams. Rather this boils down to who are you going to trust for the biggest day of your life! So here are a few points that differentiate a photographer from a wedding photographer.
1) With many different types of photography, from portraits to product most photographers specialize in one area. A wedding photographer however has to understand all of these different forms of photography and unify them into one day. For instance a wedding photographer must understand how to shoot the bride in a dimly lit, unflattering room getting her hair and make up ready while at the same time photographing her dress, flowers, shoes, jewelry and many other details of the wedding day. Then we have to understand timelines and how to keep the day running smoothly while keeping everyones stress level down and making sure they are having fun in the process. We have to understand all lightning situations and be prepared for them to change rapidly. In short, we are a jack of many different trades.
2) You are different! Every wedding client is different and each wedding client requires a special type of relationship. You aren’t just hiring us for a portrait shoot your hiring us to document one of the most amazing ( and stressful ) days of your life and there are NO do-overs. Your not looking for a few images, or the “money shot”. Your’e looking for your wedding story, and you want the entire day to showcase that! You’re going to have a vision for your day, and we as wedding photographers must be able to take your vision and give you realistic expectations for what we can provide for you.
3)Knowledge of the industry. While everyone who calls themselves a photographer can pick up a camera and expose properly, we wedding photographers know how to collaborate and communicate with other industry professionals. We might even be able to point you in the right direction to other wedding vendors who fit your style ( videographers, DJ’s, Cake Decorators, ect ).
So when it comes to entrusting someone to photograph your wedding, make sure you are choosing someone who knows weddings. Its a lot more than portraits, or details, or photojournalism. Its being able to handle all of these different facets of photography and creating a cohesive story that communicates who the bride and groom are. Its being able to keep calm in stressful environments and making sure your couple understands the difference between a wedding and a marriage ( Ill do another post/video on this soon ). Its about having fun with your clients and making sure they have fun in the process because we always do!
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