Style. It's one of those things you notice about a person right away. We make judgments about people based on the clothes they wear, how they wear their hair, (or missing), and even what kind of car they drive. Style is a way to get noticed or how we can melt into a crowd. Style isn't everything, but it's a way to identify people we assume may fit into our tribe or even those we may choose to exclude.
But Shawn! Surely there are exceptions to the rule! Of course, and one of the reasons I'm so proud of my kids is that they have friends that don't all match their styles. It's a beautiful thing to step outside our comfortable bubbles and get a taste of what else the world has to offer.
When you hire a photographer, however, it's vital that you are aware of their style and happy with the product. Our style is fundamentally what sets competent photographers apart!
We put a little piece of ourselves into every photo we edit, and it shows in our respective styles. Hiring a photographer with a style that doesn't suit you is akin to buying a car you don't like. You know darn well that every time you sit in it, you're going to have significant regrets. Is that how you want to feel about your wedding or maternity photos?
Let me put it another way. If you're going to look back on your wedding photos and have any regrets, I don't want them to be because you felt like you should have hired someone with a photojournalist style rather than my own, which tends to be moodier with more profound contrasts.
Here's an idea as well. Ask for samples of their recent work. I need to do a better job of updating my portfolio regularly, and I know other photographers are in the same boat.
When you dress for church, a wedding, or a hot date at that new chic place in the city, are your clothes ten years old and out of style? Do you still dress as you did as a teenager? If you do, more power to you (Especially if you can fit into those jeans). But I'd guess that most of us turn over our closets with some measure of frequency. Our tastes evolve. Photographers are no different.
There are lots of places on the web that will tell you what to look for in a photographer. The internet is full of bad advice, like trusting your buddy with his new digital camera with your engagement photos. The best place to go when seeking information about hiring a wedding photographer is the photographer him or herself.
My style, as I said earlier, leans more towards moody but colorful. I try and make adjustments based upon the location and situation.
You'll rarely find high quality and cheap, we know better than to just book an event without asking questions, and we want to make this process as easy for you as possible. Why? Because easy for you means easy for us of course.
My advice to everyone is to spend the most on imaging services (photographer and videographer) and the rings. Make us aware of your budget, make sure that you're comfortable with us as people, and most importantly treat us with respect. And for heaven's sake people, MAKE SURE YOU LIKE THEIR PHOTOS!
See below for a couple of photos done with a different style. Light and Airy courtesy of Alexis Brooke Photography and a more photojournalistic style from Carden's Photography (who also does fantastic videography work).