Focusing on the big day
One of life's most important events is getting married. To remember the big day for years to come, photographers KC Chan and Philip Tsang share some tips on how to choose a cameraman.
Chan (www.chankichun.com) recommends looking for a photographer about six to nine months in advance.
'It's important to find someone you can work with for the whole day, during a lot of intimate moments,' the Hong Kong-born photographer says.
'Maybe look at three to five and you should be able to feel their response towards you, and figure out how efficient the photographer is.'
When viewing a portfolio, Chan encourages couples to view images from start to finish of a wedding day, not only 10-20 selected photographs.
'That way you can see the whole day, and find out if the photographer is consistent.'
Chan advises having a two-way discussion on what photographs should be taken and how. 'If all the instructions come from me that's not a nice way of doing things,' says Chan, who has 16 years' experience. 'The photos will come out looking more interesting if the couple are involved.'
Chan also advises couples to clarify output details.
Will you receive low- or high-resolution photographs? Will there be an extra charge for high-resolution images? And does the photographer charge overtime?
Tsang, of Philip Tsang Photography (www.philipphoto.com), recommends booking as soon as the date of the wedding and venue has been confirmed. 'Many couples book more [auspicious] days. So, if you choose a particular day, many couples will have already booked in advance,' he says.
In picking the right photographer, Tsang advises determining what style of photograph you prefer.
'Some people like a more natural, photojournalistic style; some like it more like a fashion magazine, or maybe artistic,' he says.
Tsang describes his style as natural. 'I don't do a lot of posing pictures. But even if they are posed, I want to make them more natural and elegant. I want people to look beautiful, not funny or stupid.'
Couples should also inquire about the photographer's level of experience. How long have they been working professionally? How many weddings do they shoot a year?
'Couples should also ask how the images will be protected after the wedding,' adds Tsang, who stores his in three separate locations: at his office, in his home and at an off-site location.
'A wedding is one of a couple's most important days, and the only thing they have to preserve their memories are the images.
'Computers always have technical problems, so you need to reduce this risk.'
Chan agrees wedding photographers have a huge responsibility in preserving memories. 'It's a lot of pressure to be a wedding photographer because there is no take two.'