Picking a wedding photographer can be difficult. How do you know what photography styles you like? What if all wedding pictures look the same to you – how can you really tell the difference between great and average photography? Or perhaps you don’t know what else to look for besides pictures of a beautiful wedding dress. Lucky for you, we’ve narrowed in on the top ten things you should look for in a wedding photograph to determine it’s artistic value.
1. A Story
Can you imagine a story in your head when looking at the image? Are you curious what the person in the photograph is thinking by the look in their eyes? This is the reason the Mona Lisa is so fascinating!
Does the image make you feel something? Do you feel connected with the people in the picture? Do they look in love, or do they appear as they were asked to create that strange pose? Great wedding photos should evoke emotions in you, even though you do not personally know the couple.
Is there nice movement and momentum within the images? Or does the photographer’s entire portfolio consist of static, posed shots? People tend to look their best when they are in action, when they aren’t thinking about posing or looking in the camera.
Are there details in the wedding dress or is just a bizarre white shape? Does everything look dark? If a photo doesn’t have the correct exposure, no amount of Photoshop can save the image. This is an easy way to separate the pros from the beginners.
5. Use of Lighting
Does the photographer use the lighting creatively or simply blasts every image with direct on-camera flash? It’s great to have interesting lighting effects in wedding images, such as shooting into the light, flares from the sun, dramatic Hollywood lighting etc.
6. Artistic Elements
Look for graphical elements, creative use of light, original composition, reflections and silhouettes. The photographer should be full of creative ideas for what and how to shoot. Every wedding image should be a small piece of art.
7. People’s Expressions
Is the photographer trying to capture emotion, expressions, reactions or only presses the button at an awkward moment? Weddings are filled with so much emotion that if captured nicely, a viewer gets drawn into the photo just by looking at a tear running down the bride’s face (for example).
8. A Photogenic Angle
Was the photographer able to capture the bride at her best angles and expressions? Photographing bridal portraits requires a good amount of skill and an excellent eye. A slight turn of the head, a sparkle in the eyes, the way her hair falls – it all makes a difference.
A good combination of wedding images includes close-ups, half-body, full body, details and ambiance shots. It should be interesting to go from one picture to the next. There should be an element of surprise in every wedding image you see.
10. Post Processing
Wedding photos shouldn’t be overly Photoshopped – it’s better if they appear natural. If an image is taken right in the first place, little retouching should be needed.