Selecting the right photographer

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October 12, 2011
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Working in the wedding business, I get to see so many  great vendors pour their hearts into their work and its truly an honor to work with people like this. Its great to know there are people out there who actually have a passion for their career and take it seriously. I’ve witnessed some true masterpieces in every facet of weddings. From custom cakes that look like artwork, to table seating charts that resemble scrolls from the Roman empire, working weddings never fails to amaze me.

On the opposite side of that spectrum, there are some people that either don’t care or might be plain insane!! Photographers in particular really have stuck out the most in my opinion. Whatever happened to the customer is always right? What ever happened to I don’t care what it takes but were going to make this young couple’s day amazing. As  if there isn’t enough mayhem to worry about on your wedding day!!   Two instances have really stuck out as of lately.

So this is an issue that seems to get revisited every once in a while. As we know, many djs in New Jersey now offer Plasma screen packages with a “zap photographer” or “candid photographer”. Typically, one of the roadies would go out and snap away. The pictures then get displayed on the screens and it turns out to be a great addition. Guests get to see themselves on TV and relive the moments they just experienced.  Seems pretty straight forward and simple right? Nope. Now I would understand if the kid gets in the way of the photographer or if some crazy red laser pointer shows up in the photographer’s shots, but what could possibly be the problem? I also understand if there might be a confusion with the photos being associated with the photographers, but as long as it’s specified there should be no problem.  A select few photographers refuse to shoot  if the wedding dj has offered “zap shots”.  I’ve seen photographers take measures as drastic as threatening to leave the wedding!!  In my eyes this is simply unprofessional. What about every single guest with their digital cameras? Should they stop taking pictures as well? I had a photographer come up to my stage and yell in my face. First off, extremely unprofessional, all the guests can see this. Next, he ran to the groom right as I played a special request they had, grabbed him frantically, and yelled at the groom next!! It is up to us as professionals to work everything out together and simply MAKE IT HAPPEN. No ifs ands or buts.  Moral of the story, ask questions regarding this and you’ll feel the vibe very quickly. It’s just a matter of professionalism.

My second and final story, also happened recently. I understand there are some booking agencies out there and I’m all about success stories in any business. The wedding business is a very personal one though. Imagine spending a good 10-15 hours of your day with a complete stranger. Now imagine not feeding off each others energy. This will reflect on the quality of the shots. You want someone with a personality, who will make you feel comfortable. This will ensure the best possible shots. You also need to discuss timing of the posed shots and when is the best time to sneak out of the reception quickly. There are only 4 hours at most wedding receptions and the formalities take up almost the first full hour!! Make sure to plan ahead when and also what type of shots you care for. Feel comfortable with your photographer, and if possible, try to meet them before you sign your contract.

John Macaluso

Mystical Entertainment

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