Wedding Know-How | Close Up with your Wedding Photographer

Article Tags:  bride,  wedding photography,  bride,  wedding photography

Reino van Eck is the founder / owner at Eclipse photography. He is a self taught photographer who’s journey started out 9 years ago as a part time photographer. Today he is perusing his dream as a freelance photographer, photographing weddings, corporate functions, newly engaged couples, architectural, boudoir and fitness models. Reino believes that providing exceptional customer service is the key to success in this competitive industry, that, and a patient disciplined approach that will result in photos of moments that touch people’s hearts.

Q: Reino, wedding photography has really evolved over the last decade, what would you say the most noticeable wedding photography trends for 2017 have been, and what new trends for 2018 do you foresee?

A: Because I think each couple chooses their wedding photographer based on his or her individual photography style, I try to stay away from trends (unless my couple specifically requests it) because it tends to put an expiry date on their photographs which is the exact opposite of what they are trying to achieve - timeless wedding photography. However in 2017, numerous couples have requested sparkler photos. Something that has recently grabbed the attention of many South African brides and grooms, which I think is going to play a significant role in wedding photography 2018 is the use of professional drone videography/photography. 

Q: How far ahead of their big day should a couple start looking for and booking their photographer? Should they come to the first meeting prepared with anything, and are there usually consultations before the big day?

A: It is advisable to book your chosen wedding photographer one year + in advance. I cannot state how important it is to have a consultation with your pre selected photographers beforehand. This is a crucial time during which the bride and groom gets to meet a potential wedding photographer with whom they will have numerous communications with aswell as the entire wedding day. Couples are so focused only on package prices that they tend to forget photography quality, service delivery and personality compatibility, or even more important than the price itself. Seeing as it is (mostly) the first time the bride and groom are getting married, I feel that an experienced wedding photographer should take the lead in terms of how the itinerary should run for the day, and guide the couple accordingly. Questions that the couples should ask : Do you have a wedding contract? What is your lead time? Do you have any contactable references available?


Q: How should a couple go about choosing their photographer? What expectations should they have of their photographer, and what expectations does a photographer usually have of a couple?  

A: I wish more people would ignore the price when initially choosing their photographer. This is exactly what I have done when I chose my wedding photographer. Look at the photography style, visit many websites, meet with the photographers. At the meeting discuss pricing, as many photographers can make a customised package for budget conscious couples. Brides can expect a reputable photographers’ lead time to range from 10 weeks up to 32+ weeks which can have an effect should the bride wish to enter any competitions, thank you cards etc. As a photographer I expect my clients to be confident in me and to have patience; as I need time to produce and deliver the images that I've been asked to.

Q: A wedding is definitely something that a young couple needs to save towards, and having the memories of their special day captured forever is a non-negotiable investment, what kind of budget should they be putting aside when it comes to photography? 

A: The three most important (and most talked about) things when planning a wedding in no specific order : The venue, the food &  the photographer. Usually these three things should be on top of the priority list. Unfortunately when it comes to setting aside a budget for wedding photography it comes down to the clients perspective of just how important their wedding photos are.  We can not state enough that this is the only keepsake that you will have of your wedding in years to come or the memories of individuals who are no longer with us.  Finding a wedding photographer for R3 500 won’t be difficult in Port Elizabeth, and prices can range up to R40 000.  All inclusive wedding packages could range from R15 000 to R22 000. 

Q: What personal advice / tips from a photographer’s perspective could you offer when it comes to the actual wedding day… any do’s and don’ts? 

A: Always remember - some things will not go as planned - let it be. Relax and enjoy the day. You are paying  the service providers a lot of money - they are the professionals - leave it in their hands.