With the advent of the Internet and social media, hiring a wedding photographer has become much easier. However, similarly, it has also become easier for opportunistic amateurs to dupe bridal couples by creating impressive websites with stolen portfolios and fake details.
Photo by Renatus Photography
According to some professional wedding photographers in Singapore, there are a lot of aspiring photographers out there wanting to exaggerate their experiences by stealing or pretending to own great photos taken by other, more skilled photographers that have been posted on their websites.
So, if you’re a bride-to-be looking to hire an experienced photographer, how can you assure that the photographer you’re dealing with is a real professional? Here are some of the best tips from our expert friends in the wedding photography industry.
1. Notice the Consistency of Photos
Be diligent in browsing through the photo collection of your photographer and notice any inconsistency in the style. Do most of the photos have matching style? Is the editing techniques applied in each photo consistent, or you’re seeing too many different post-production styles? If the styles differ from photo to photo, you better start suspecting. Though professional photographers with years of experience can be very versatile, there is usually one or more elements that can be found in all their work. Finding these details will give you significant information about your photographer’s credibility.
Photo by Annabel Law Productions
2. Look for Photos with the Bridal Party
Many photographers, especially those who are still new to the field, build their portfolios through workshops and style sessions. While those are great collections to feature, the experience of coping up with the immense pressure and hectic pace of a real wedding is totally different. If a photographer presents you with flawlessly-styled bridal portraits but no bridal party in the collection, request to see an online gallery or sample album from the recent weddings they’ve covered. If it seems like that the party, including the bride and groom, is looking away in every shot, it could be that the photographer you’re dealing with is just among the guests at the wedding.
3. Set an Appointment with the Photographer
A photographer’s website will give you a pretty good idea about his photography style, but you’ll still get to know him or her more when you meet them in person. Get to know them, feel their confidence in their craft, and relate them to their sample photos. Also, be cautious when working with a studio that features a number of photographers. Oftentimes, they display works that represent their studio, but not necessarily their individual photographers. When working with a photography studio, meet the exact photographer assigned to cover your wedding and view his works.
4. Ask for References
To ensure safety of investment and quality of photos, it’s always important to research about the photographer’s background. Ask for references and allow plenty of time for comparison before choosing who to hire. In most cases, fake photographers don’t offer insurance, make very little income, and have no means of reimbursement in case of troubles.
Photo by Lushfolio Photography
5. Pay Attention to the Story
If you’re hiring a self-confessed newbie, make sure that his story makes sense. For example, if he admits that he’s new in the field but his wedding portfolio features shots in different countries, proceed with caution. Or if he says that he’s charging a low rate because he’s actually more into fashion photography, and his samples include studio shots of A-list celebrities – then there’s probably something he’s not being honest about.
This isn’t to say that these scenarios are impossible, but if your photographer gives you such an unlikely story, then make sure that you get other evidence to prove that he’s telling you is true.
6. Scrutinize Photos Posted In Their Website
Aside from the photos in their personal website, try viewing their Facebook page and other social media sites. Does the photos on the Facebook page match those in his website? If not, the more you need to be cautious. If you spot an impeccable photo in the photographer’s gallery, ask him if he has a link to a blog post for that particular wedding.
7. Ask to View the Entire Collection of an Event
It’s pretty easy to get one remarkable shot. But to get 300 or 400 keepers from a single event, that’s something only experienced professional photographers can do. So if you find an incredible shot from a photographer’s portfolio, ask to see the entire collection of that event. By doing this, you will know if the photographer is a really talented professional or just got lucky to capture one amazing shot.
Photo by White Link
8. Google the Name of the Photographer
This could be the simplest thing to do when finding out whether a photographer is a fraud or not – Google his name. Once a client wrote a positive or negative feedback about a person online, it can be easily caught by simple searching it in Google.
9. Consult with Your Wedding Coordinator
One of the many benefits of working with a professional wedding planner or coordinator is that you’ll be able to take advantage of their relationships with other vendors that they’ve worked with before. A professional planner who has been in the industry for years will have worked with a lot of other wedding vendors, and know the general feedback to each of them. If your planner hasn’t heard about your prospect photographer, he can check about the photographer with his network or suggest a different trusted photographer of the same caliber.
10. Search for Photo Credibility with Reverse Image Search Tool
To find photographer credits and image sources, try using a reverse image search tool. This online tool works by simply uploading a photo you want to check. The tool will then search the web for any similar sources with the same photo. Through this, you’ll know whether the photographer is the original source of the photo or if it’s taken from another source.
Photo by Chris Ling Photography
Although these tips are not 100% surefire ways to protect you from ‘faux’-tographers, these could significantly decrease the risk of you getting scammed. Following these tips would also make you feel more confident in hiring your wedding photographer and avoid any undesirable photography surprises.
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