Wedding Photography 101


This is a post that I am forwarding from a colleague the fabulous Erin Gilmore:

Wedding photography comes with many questions and I feel that it is you, the client that would find the answers to these questions valuable. This is why I felt the need to spread the word and Erin was so generous to share this with us. I have wanted to write something similar, but I feel that she has touched on all of the points I would, so I am using her words and hopefully you will get some important information from it.

Vancouver Wedding Photography 101

For a few years now there have been some questions brewing…what is wedding photography…where is it going…and more importantly…what should it be.  Many of us photographers get together and discuss it but as I have seen the industry evolve, perhaps we are missing the big picture, the most important part, giving you the information, because ultimately, it is you that needs it most.

One of my biggest goals for this year is to help educate so here it is…photography 101.

The Cost

This is perhaps the hottest topic going.  Why is the cost of photography so varied?   It’s simple really.  There is no such thing as apples to apples when it comes to photography because when done right, photography is an art form.  No two artists are alike, their style, their experience, their abilities, their demand are all unique and as such, how they determine the value for their art will vary.  There is no set “accepted range” when it comes to pricing and what it comes down to is how do you value the art that they are going to be creating for you.  Find the one that speaks to your heart, not your purse strings because they are the one that you should hire.

The Gear

I am not going to enter into the debate over which is better  Nikon or Cannon.   This is a debate that will go on amongst photographers until the end of time.  What I will say is that in my opinion, it is not so much about what the gear is but how well the photographer knows how to use the gear they have.  I recently gave away one of my old cameras to a friend who after her first time using it, called to ask why her shots didn’t look like mine.  I can’t say this enough…It’s not the camera that takes the picture, it’s the photographer who knows how to work their gear that gets the amazing images.  That being said, a photographer that has a good range of quality lenses is sure to be able to capture more varied and hence more interesting images. Notice that I didn’t mention photoshop…PHOTOSHOP is not camera gear.  Is photoshop a great tool…yes..but with all things in life…good in moderation.

The Images

Do you want a photographer or a special effect person?  This is the question you need to ask yourself.   Really look at a photograph that you like and ask yourself why you like it.  Is it the image itself or is it what the photographer did to the image after they took it.  Many of the hip and trendy treatments are just that hip and trendy and may not be so 5 or 10 years from now when you look back on your images.   What is truly important is the quality of the images themselves in their true form because really…almost anything can be done to them after the fact.  Look for clear, sharp, well composed images that show creativity and unique style all on their own. A photograph should be made as it’s shot not created in photoshop later.


This is perhaps the most important of all.  You cannot put a pricetag on experience.  When your day arrives, you want a photographer who knows how to handle any situation because you just never know and it goes without saying…You can’t have a retake of your wedding day.  Does your photographer know how to deal with rain, snow & sleet?  Do they know enough about flash to get you amazing shots inside, in the dark?  Do they know how to powershoot in case you are running behind?  These are questions you need to ask because trust me, they are important.   Even better than asking, have them show you weddings that they have shot under extreme conditions. The proof will be in the proverbial pudding.

If you follow these few pieces of advice, you are on your way to finding the quality photographer that you deserve:

1. Research. Reasearch. Research. Look past the website and all the snazzy special effects and really see the images themselves. If they speak to you…keep going.  If they don’t…move on.

2.  Ask questions.  Learn about their experience.  Ask to see more than what’s on the website. Make sure they have a game plan to deal with every situation.

3.  If you have found the one, that perfect photographer who’s images speak to you and who’s personality will be a welcome addition to your day, then cost should not be the one factor that makes it or breaks it…any budget can be reworked to make room for perhaps the most important member of your wedding team.

To all of the photographers reading this…I hope that this starts a trend in all of us taking the time to not only blog our images and the news and events going on in our world but to spend a few moments educating others on the wonderful art of photography.  It truly is an amazing art form and we have the honour of sharing it with the world.


Thank you Erin!