Many have been asking me how trustworthy the portfolios presented by photographers on their websites are? Could it be a dozen shots singled out from a pile of hundreds or even thousands, or could it be from just a handful of carefully composed, well-visualized shots? I guess the answer lies in seeing the originals.
If you are doing a commercial, you probably just need that one dozen shots, whether or not it's filtered from a hundred or a thousand, as long as budget and time allows. You could even choose to call for a re-shoot if necessary. But, NOT for a wedding photographer.
The most stressful thing of being a wedding event photographer or if you might say, any once-in-a-lifetime-event photographer IS the stress of failure. From failure of equipment, to health, to emotions, or anything that might possibly affect the dream results.
Not unless you are just a camera-handler holding on to the so-called latest automatic "top-of-the-range-failure-free" cameras, clicking away like a machine gun, shooting thousands of repetitive shots and giving back a stack of unedited dvds to the couple after the wedding and expect them to play "spot-the-difference game" in spicing up their newly married life. Not to even mention some only deliver the unedited dvds after months of keeping them in their harddisks. (I wonder why?)
So, the best way to choose your wedding photographer, in my personal opinion, is to ask to see a few complete sets of the original wedding images he/she has done. When I say original, it does not mean including the dark and blur ones, but a full set of color-corrected files. Check out the consistency, the color management, whether important shots are missed out, etc. I am sure you will be able to visualize your own wedding pictures-to-be when you sieve through each set of images from each photographer and come to your decision with assurance.
TIP: do not see too many photographers at one go. You might get too confused as to which is which and end up giving up in your search. Try zooming in to just 3 at most, and see them on different days.
Full sets of wedding images by david chua can be found here. (more will be updated from time to time)