Wedding Photographer of the Year, John Ryan shares his tips on capturing the Big Day.
John Ryan started his photographic career purely by chance - taking a photo at a friend's wedding, 'I took some shots and gave her a set of them. She was so impressed that she showed them to her official wedding photographer Peter Barrow. Peter then contacted me and persuaded me to buy a professional camera'.
John took out a loan, bought a Bronica ETRS and got snapping. 'Karen, a friend of my wife, was getting married and asked me to become their official wedding photographer. I was terrified but did it and they were thrilled'.
Three years later John won his first Kodak Wedding Award and has never looked back. Now he is amongst Ireland's elite wedding photographers and here he shares his tips on how to get the best mementos of your big day.
How to find a good wedding photographer.
First ask friends and check out their wedding photos. If you are the first in your group to get married you can got to one of the big Irish Wedding Websites like www.simplyweddings.com and enter the directory. There you can choose from a list of photographers countrywide and check out their photos, style and availability.
Select several photographers in the style you like and contact them to find out their availablity and price.
Make an appointment to meet them. It is very important that you literally 'click' with your photographer. Your wedding day could become very stressful if you don't have a rapport and it is important that you shop around until you are completely happy. While talking to your photographer, make sure he or she shows you a full wedding set - there is no point in just seeing their best photos. You should see a complete album (between 24 and 100 photos) of a full wedding day to really judge just how good they are.
Decide on a package you are going to take. You can go for a basic traditional album of 24 shots of just the church, ceremony and family groups. These usually start at around €1,200. But you can go all the way up to the super deluxe Graphistudio Wedding Book. This consists of a main album for the bride and groom, two A4 hard back versions for the parents, and eight pocket sized books for the bridal party. There will be around 70 shots intotal taht will cover the whole day. The cost of the deluxe can bu up to €5,000 - so decide on your budget before you make your choice.
Book your photographer and pay a deposit this is usually around 10% of the cost of the package you have choosen.
Timings on the day. A couple of days before the wedding, go through the key timings of the day with your photographer - so he or she knows what is happening. This is usually when you pay the balance of your fee to the photographer.
On the day itself always allow time for the formal photos to be taken. People often don't realise just how long it takes to take good photos. Allow a full hour to take the formal photos after the ceremony.
People disappearing! The bridal party must all be available at the hotel for the group photo. If people disappear into the local pub there will be delays and unnecessary stress!
When you return from your honeymoon you should contact your photographer to arrange a viewing of your photographs. You then make your choice with the guidance of the photographer.
Eight to ten weeks later pick up your albums and enjoy your wedding photos for the rest of your lives!
infobox:- John Ryan can be contacted at email@example.com