The answer to the question of who is the best wedding photographer in the Netherlands, Europe or even the world is actually very simple:
It is the photographer who best suits you as a wedding couple in terms of price, photographic style and personality!
This is of course not a clear answer and the question is actually impossible to answer without going deeper into the matter. The reason for this is that photography is an art form and that in art it is very difficult to identify a 'best'. Just think of other artists such as painters and musicians. Ask 10 different people who is the best musician in the world and you will get 10 different answers. Even if you ask the question more specifically and ask who is the best rapper, you will also get different answers. That is how it works in photography, even if you specifically mention the style of wedding photography.
Wedding photography contests
There are numerous competitions for wedding photographers in the world. Some focus more on the local market while others cater to wedding photographers from around the world. Photos submitted here are sometimes audience awards, but in general the judging is done by respected photographers from around the world. The winners of these competitions can often call themselves 'the best photographer of .....' and in my opinion they deserve these prizes, often because the photos that win are real top quality. Whether the photographers are really worthy of that title is at the discretion of their customers. These are the people who have paid for the service and can judge the complete package they offer.
That does not mean that I do not find the contests valuable. In fact, I participate in it myself. For me it is a way to remain critical of myself and have my work constantly assessed by others. For wedding couples, the contests are useful tools to find photographers who suit them. Photos that win are often top quality and styles vary enormously. So there is something for everyone and that is exactly what you want as a wedding couple, it is the perfect tool to get an impression of the many top photographers who produce fantastic work.
These are the competitions I participate in:
There are so many wedding photographers, personalities, so many different styles, and they all have different prices. Plenty of choice, but that might make it even more difficult to make the decision to eventually book your photographer for the wedding.
So the challenge is for you to find the best wedding photographer for your wedding There are things that can help when looking for the right person and that is why I will go into the 3 points that are crucial to the choice of the photographer who will capture the most beautiful day of your life:
- Photographic style
- The photographer's personality
Another simple question to which a simple answer can be given: Do you like the photos? If the answer to this question is 'no', you can keep on searching. But in many cases the answer will be 'yes' and there will be still a very large group of photographers who may be suitable. Making a choice in style is therefore important for choosing the right person.
You can also divide the style into categories to determine what you like. Think about what appeals to you in terms of style when looking at a photographer's portfolio. And with the help of the following points, also think about why the style might appeal to you:
Do you find unique photos important or are you specifically looking for a type of photos that you see more often in wedding photography?
A photo can be taken in many ways. From different angles and distances, with different compositions, the use of available light or flashes and with a range of different lenses and cameras, each with its own character. Why does a photo appeal to you from a creative perspective?
- Post-processing and colors
This is a hugely important factor in photography, it can make or break a photo. Certain colors evoke emotions, so the photo itself and the post-processing style must match so that they complement each other in the end result. For example, black and white can also give a completely different experience to a photo. Pastel colors and warm bronzy colors have recently become the trend, is this something that suits you? Or do you like a more colorfull timeless look?
- Emotioal aspect
A good photo evokes an emotion in the person viewing it. The emotional reaction is of course increased tenfold when it's also a memory from your own experience. Because of this some photos will mean much more to the wedding couple than, for example, to the guests. But if you as an 'outsider' already think something like: "WOW, what a beautiful moment that must have been!" then this photo has a much greater impact for people who have actually experienced the moment. Imagine what this is like for you as soon as you see those moments in the photos and think of the emotion that emerges when you relive those events.
- The scene or story
Some photographers focus purely on moments, others are mainly concerned with a technically perfect picture. Some excel in the use of flash light and others prefer to stay more in the background. Another simple question: Is what you see in the photos, something you value to see in your own photos?
In addition to the photographic style, the photographer's personality is also extremely important. Just think about it, this is someone who is very close to all those personal moments on the most beautiful day of your life. This person will be there from start to finish to capture the day in the most beautiful way possible. A good chemistry is really important to generate trust in each other and to know that the photos will be fantastic.
As everybody knows, a good first impression is crucial in the start of a good relationship and therefore it is certainly advisable to get to know your photographer well before you commit to anything. Beautiful photos are 1 thing, but a good experience on the day itself is also important. And in the end, the more relaxed you are, the better the photos will become.
So ask yourself: Does this photographer suit us?
Photography in general isn't cheap and certainly hiring a wedding photographer can be quite expensive. And while for many people it is quite a mystery at first sight why it can be so expensive, it is still understandable if you know what is involved in the creation of a wedding story with photographs. I will go into this in much more detail in a later article so that you can get an idea of what it takes to properly capture a wedding.
The bottom line is that it actually works the same in this industry as in any other industry: You get what you pay for.
However, that does mean that the higher your budget, the more you can expect from the photographer. Both in terms of photos that are ultimately delivered, but also in terms of the service surrounding the photography and the products that go with it. As an avarage, the photographer can cost 10 to 15 percent of the total budget of a wedding. In concrete terms, this often comes down to a price of between 1500 and 3000 euros, depending on how long the photographer is present and how many prints and albums you order.
It is important to know that the photos are one of the few tangible things that remain after your wedding and that they help to keep your memories of this beautiful day alive and kicking. In the end, the photos will still be there after decades, so keep in mind that a good budget for your wedding photographer is also an investment in your memories. It guarantees you, that all the beautiful moments will stay with you for the rest of your life.