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Everything You Need to Know About Choosing a Photographer

February 1, 2019

We spoke to one half of EightNine Media, photographer Dave Lisk, about the most important things to consider when choosing someone to capture your event.

In your experience, what questions would you recommend a client ask their prospective photographer?

It’s not so much about specific questions I would ask; it’s more about taking on board their knowledge and experience of either how the day will run or how to achieve your vision.

For a wedding for instance, the photographer or videographer are the only people you’ve hired that will spend the entire day with you. The photographer’s input on timings and their understanding of piecing the day together is invaluable.

Do you meet with the client on site prior to the event?

Yes, this is really important. Whether meeting a bride or a commercial client, there is only so much that you can get to know through emails. It’s much better to meet your prospective photographer face-to-face when possible, to get a full understanding of what they want to achieve.

How many hours of coverage do you recommend?

This is different with every job. With Weddings we always suggest starting early. Having the prep and ‘getting ready’ shots adds to the story of the day, and allows more time for getting the detail shots like the rings.

We tend to not stay much longer than a few songs after the first dance. Everybody has camera phones now and it’s normally for the best that we don’t capture the messiest part of the evening, but we hate the thought of missing a shot so we normally hang around longer than we need to! 

What is your general photography style?

Natural is what we aim for. We shoot a reportage style, definitely preferring candid images to really posed shots. Even when just shooting the couple we will often take a walk or have them moving in some way, as this tends to lead to a more natural photo. We also try to use the available daylight as much as possible and not over process our photos.

What type of events do you cover?

We cover anything and everything, really. Each event presents a new challenge for us, which is something we thrive on.

We will never limit our time on-site, either – it’s all about creating the best end product for the client, and if that means spending more hours than we initially anticipated, so be it. Plus, as we are camera nerds, there’s nothing more fun; we’re like kids in a playground, only slightly more mature…

Tell us about how you like to work on the day.

We pride ourselves on our unobtrusive approach to every job. Being as invisible as possible helps people to relax and forget about the camera – there’s nothing worse than taking the limelight away from a couple on their wedding day. It also usually means we’re able to capture the raw emotion of the day. Plus, when the booze is flowing, people tend to pull some amazing faces – we’ll always be there to snap that embarrassingly funny moment.

Do you shoot digital or film? What’s the difference?

We’re huge fans of film photography, and both occasionally shoot with film cameras in our spare time. Professionally it’s just not practical, especially when there’s a bunch of ways in which you can emulate the look and feel of film photography – so for us, digital is the way to go.

For clients who are using your services for their wedding, would you recommend an engagement shoot?

Definitely, not only is it another chance to get some shots of the couple but it allows for a mini rehearsal.

Some clients are very comfortable in front of a camera and others aren’t so much. The engagement shoot is a great chance to get used to being in front of the camera if it isn’t something you are used to.

Do you like to receive a checklist of images from the clients listing what they want shots of?

If the client has asked for group shots then I always ask for a list of the groups. This can be given to one of the ushers to help us gather people and make the process as efficient as possible. As well as making sure you don’t miss any of the important shots.

How far in advance would you recommend booking a photographer?

We would recommend you booking them close to the beginning as possible, once you have your venue sorted.

We can be really helpful with planning the day – things like checking what time sunset is for the time of year and ensuring that we have this time available on the day to get some great shots.  This is something you might not think about when discussing timings with a venue or caterer and it might mean you miss the best lighting of the day.

Do you offer drone footage/shots?

Yes! I have PfCO permissions and we are fully insured to fly drones. It is worth noting though, this will always dependent on the venue as well (proximity to airports etc.)

Do you have backup equipment?

We do, we always have back up cameras as well as plenty of memory cards. There is never an excuse to be trying to clear space on cards by deleting photos as you go.

Do you think a photo booth is a must?

They aren’t something we offer and we wouldn’t say they are a must, but from our experience they always go down a storm! We highly recommend them.

Tell us about one of your favourite past events and what made you love it.

It’s hard to narrow it down, as we enjoy ourselves every time we get to shoot! But it’s probably the first wedding video that we shot. The wedding was incredible, no expense spared, Tony and Annette were really easy to work with and fully embraced everything that we wanted to do, and it was a great venue at Hedsor House. There were lots of little quirks and challenges for us to overcome, for example they had hired a classic E-type Jag for their wedding car, which we attached Go-pros to the inside of so we could capture their journey. The biggest challenge though, was that it was our first one working together and we’re really proud of how the video came out.

Be sure to check out our gallery here for a great variety of Stunning teepee images. We encourage you to check out Dave’s work on his website here, and get in touch with him today if you are in the market for a photographer!

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