I HIRED A PHOTOGRAPHER. WHAT’S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN?
As a matter of fact, plenty. Here’s a couple of nightmare scenarios:
(1) It’s been eight months since your child’s birthday party, and still no word from your photographer. After hundreds of calls, texts, emails, badgering, and sleepless nights later, you are finally able to squeeze out some soft copies from your photog. At that point, you hardly care if the photos taken were actually good. You’re just glad to have any photos at all.
(2) Your photographer lost his laptop (and therefore, your photos as well).
Dreadful scenarios, right?
Only, here’s the catch – these are not scenarios, but are actual events that happened to some clients of mine.
THE TWO THINGS I LOOK FOR IN A GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER
a. Can take really good photos. And I don’t mean pictures that look like there were taken from your phone. I’m looking for great lighting, great angles, a clear focal point, and sometimes a little bit of drama. In other words, I’m looking at photos that stir within you a certain emotion. Photos like this, for example:
Sweet Etienne sleeping on Mommy Arlene’s chest.
(this was a Little Prince party we did some time ago)
Photography by Den Llanos Dee of Delightful Little Darlings
b. Is professional, prompt with his/her service, and pleasant and easy to deal with. What is the point of a photog taking really nice shots if you can’t get copies of those pictures? As someone who is hired (and paid) to take and provide photos, it is actually the bare minimum to provide those photos to your clients in a timely manner.
What’s truly sad is that there are some photographers who seem to think that doing only 50% of their job (taking photos on the day) is enough for them to earn 100% of their fee.
THE (ONLY) TWO PHOTOGRAPHERS I WOULD STAKE MY NAME ON
Which leads me to the two photographers that I highly recommend to my clients. Why only two, you ask? Well, for one thing, I take my name very seriously, so I do not hand out recommendations to just any photographer out there. Secondly, there are lots of photographers who are good at only point A or B (see above), but the photographers who are good at both A and B are more rare.
(Please note though that this is a recommendation based on my personal experiences as a stylist, and therefore should by no means be considered as an exhaustive or definitive list. It’s my wish that as I move along in styling more parties, I will meet more great photographers and add them in this list.)
(1) DELIGHTFUL LITTLE DARLINGS BY DEN LLANOS DEE
Den is truly a rare breed of photographer. She possesses a keen eye for detail and angle, seemingly able to magically to make the photos of the parties I style look even better on film than in reality. Some examples:
This is how good Den is: the above was a shot taken in Greenmeadows Clubhouse. Unfortunately as is more often to happen nowadays, Greenmeadows had some problems with its lights, so almost all lights were closed. Despite these horrendous conditions, Den still managed to adjust the settings on her camera on the fly to take in this beautiful shot. Bravo!
However, what makes Den truly special is her work ethic. During the countless times I’ve worked with her, you could see her actively roving around the venue, looking for small details here, catching a nice moment with the family there, always searching for that perfect shot. The result is always an astounding collection well-timed and well-taken shots.
Here’s a shot of Den hard at work:
Taking pictures of…….the buffet table. Like I said, no detail (however mundane) escapes this girl!
Here’s another example of Den’s work ethic:
It’s the middle of the candle blowing, and the whole stage area is amok with kids . Den is at the other end of the hall, but upon noticing what’s happening, runs towards the cake, squeezes her way in, and manages to snap this great shot. Now that’s what I call the value of hard work!
What I like. In addition to those I mentioned above, my favorite thing about Den is her lightning fast release time for her pictures. Den loves to send out a sort of sneak peek of her work, a sampling of her best shots, if you will. I’ve actually styled a party on a Sunday lunch, and saw the photos from that same party on Sunday night (same day)! See the photos from that party here.
Phone number: +63 917 833 6473
Also check out:
(2) CRADLES BY ANNE NAIG
I first met Anne in a princess themed party I styled a few months ago. What blew me away when I saw the photos was the level of sophistication that it had. The pictures just simply looked…pretty. Like cotton candy-pastel pretty that makes you feel all relaxed and happy inside. Take a look for yourself:
What I love about Anne is her laser-eye focus on details, and her unique approach to photography where she just always seems to uncannily find the best angles.
(This is one of the more recent parties I styled. Hoping to blog about this later on too!)
Anne has all the qualities that I love about a great photographer: good eye for detail, a strong sense of what makes a good picture, and most importantly, a strong sense of professionalism. She always sends out the post-processed photos in a timely fashion.
What I like. Anne’s work ethic is admirable. Whenever faced with some lighting difficulty, don’t worry: Anne comes prepared with her own lighting equipment! Take for example, Maddie and Mishka’s White Swan, Black Swan party below:
Maddie and Mishka’s White Swan, Black Swan Party. Maddie had her baptismal while Mishka turned 3!
Maddie and Mishka’s Black Swan, White Swan Party
The lighting in the venue was a little bit dim, but the photos turned out exquisite! This is another party I’m dying to blog about (I hope I have the time for it!)
Phone number: +63 917 592 4273
THE FINAL WORD: CHOOSE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER WISELY
Besides choosing the venue and the stylist, something equally important (and often not provided as much attention), is choosing the right photographer. Why? Because it is only through photos that we can capture the memories of our important events. It’s not enough even, that a photographer takes great pictures; he/she should provide them to the client in a timely fashion as well.