A typical question that we receive is why do we need 2nd shooters, or assistants? great question. There are a lot of things happening at a wedding at the same time. The lead photographer usually tails the bride and groom, but what about the rest of the event? that is when a good coordinated team come in. They need to be trained in capturing any possible moment that is happening while the lead photographer is shooting the bride or the groom. Therefore, we always recommend that at least 2 photographers attend a wedding if the number of guest are over 100. Past 300 we recommend a total of 3. More than 300 then you need more if you want a fully covered wedding.
It becomes a game of Quality VS Quantity. There are photographers that concentrate on quantity due to the high demand of engaged couples. They hire multiple photographers so that they can shoot 2,3 or more weddings on a given day. If you want cheap okayish photographer, then this is your team to hire. But if you are those that believe that you get married only once in a life time and that a wedding day is going to be a story to remember then you need the best story teller in town. Photographers such as David Sixt, or Dane Miller are among the very few that concentrate on Quality. They might not do as many weddings as other studios, but their quality is beyond belief. I highly recommend that you find photographers as such.
Have also in mind that some clients are working with a budget. Think to yourself that you can always purchase an album or additional prints later, but you cant change the quality of the photographs take at the wedding after the wedding took place.
The photographers interpersonal skills are very important when considering a photographer for your wedding, and here is why: You are going to be spending a full day with your photographer on the most important day of your life. If there are bad sparks going on in your photographer, you wont have the time to argue it out. You need someone you can trust, someone that has leadership, outgoing, charismatic, professional and honest. You cant have someone negative on your wedding because these negative attitudes can and will transmit to you, your guest, and even the venue staff.
Why are there so many wedding photographers? just here in San Antonio, i have counted 230 of them. Here is the reason why: Most of these "photographers" do weddings as a 2nd job just to get some extra income. These are the ones that have little experience and low commitment. With experience comes the anticipation of every important photo that happen on a split second, which means you've only got one chance to choose someone you can trust with that responsibility.
In my belief, here is an experience chart:
1-6 Weddings – "noob" (BE WEARY OF THESE!)
6-10 Weddings – Amateur
10-30 Weddings – semi-pro
31-40 Weddings – Experienced (If i was on a budget, this would be okay)
41-60 Weddings – Pro
100+ is a Veteran (This would be my 1st choice if i was to get married)
How To Find The Right Photographer:
Finding the right photographer is a very important part of the wedding planning process. Aside from the gorgeous rings, the pictures will be all you have left after the wedding is over. These pictures become the first record in your family's history as one of your greatest moments in life, therefore it is imperative that the photographer understands the huge commitment and sensitivity of this day, your wedding day. I understand this deeply since i had shot over 100 weddings and not one has regretted hiring me for their wedding day. The skill and style of the photographer you end up choosing will determine how those memories will be recorded. And here is the scary part; THERE ARE NO SECOND CHANCES!
Your photographer has only one chance to get it right. So how do you trust the right photographer from so many out there? I point out some key points to know before choosing the right photographer:
Equipment is just as important as my last tips. For this let me share a quick story of a poor wedding lady that screwed up by picking someone cheap from craigslist that stated in her ad "High Quality Professional Wedding Photography at a Budget Price." The bride was mislead. She believed that she indeed was going to get a bargain by hiring someone that was so cheap but had "professional services." This lady was really nice and told me that they had a great vibe from that photographer. The photographer seemed to have passed the "Attitude", "Team", and "Experience" tips. The day of the wedding day came, the photographer showed up on time and everything seem to be going great...until the photographer pulled out her camera. She pulled out an old Canon 3Ti with a flip up flash and a cheap 50mm lens. To make a long story short, the client was heavily unimpressed with the pictures and regreatted it. I found out about it because she later on hired me to try to retake the group photos, bride getting ready, and bride/groom portrait shots just so that they at least have some nice pictures in their wedding collection. I ended up feeling so bad that i didnt charge her. I asked her to show me the images and found out that they were all highly compressed JPEGs and there was no editing to any of the pictures along with badly framed shots. Moral of the story: if you are going to hire a photographer, please ask them what kind of equipment do they use and to SHOW YOU the equipment. Do some research online. In my eyes, these are the best cameras in the industry from best to last:
1.)Sony a7R ii (best performance, and best low light capabilities, my favorite!)
2.)Canon EOS-1DC (amazing machine, super expensive, great quality)
3.)Canon EOS-1DX mark ii (best lens selection)
4.)Nikon D810 (clear pictures and very reliable, bit better than the D750)
5.)Nikon D750 (clear pictures and very reliable)
6.)Sony a7s (smaller megapixels, best low light performance cam ever)
7.)Canon EOS 5D [mark ii or mark iii] (most popular pro camera, reliable)
8.)Canon 80D (my last choice but still good enough to produce good HQ pics.)
Now the lenses. If not, the most important pice of equipment in a photographers arsenal. Canon has the largest selection of professional lenses available. Their quality is among the best. I have personally chosen Sony because of their Master G lens series, because i believe them to be the best lenses in the world so far. If it wasn't because of their Master G series i would be using Canon without a second thought.
#1 Sony master G lenses (most expensive and newest, and sharpest.)
#2 Canon IS USM ii lenses (used by most pro photographers right now)
#3 Nikon ED VR ii lenses (used by pro and camera enthusiast)
#4 Sony regular G oss lenses (great lenses but small selection of them)
#5 Carl Zeiss (German company with great quality)
#6 Rokinon/Samyang (Korean company with best bang for the buck)
#7 Tamron (cheap startup lenses for a beginner pro)