Recently I was having a conversation with one of the clients who wanted to have us for their Candid Wedding Photography. During the conversation he mentioned that 'I searched on Google and you show up in the list of Top Wedding Photographers in India but you were not there in the list of photographers I checked for 'Top Wedding Photographers in Delhi'. How come?'
What a genuine query he had and this is one of the most confusing thing that people face while searching for 'best' services. Let me start with very basic questions -
1. Who certify these 'Best' Photographers?
2. Why do you need 'Best' defined by others?
3. Why don't you search for 'Economy Wedding Photography Services' even when you have budget in mind?
This list of question can go very long, but at top level I am trying to say that it's all technology or some specific set of magazines/groups which declare Best/Top Candid Photographers. I have won few of such contests, but does this really mean that they are BEST for you? Not really.. My name may come under Top Wedding Photographers in Delhi or Top Photographers in North India, but my charges may be too high or my style may not go with kind of wedding you are planning for or many other reasons. And I can manipulate Google results by putting appropriate efforts in technology front, which some of the really good photographer may not. Idea is not get Best Wedding Photographer but to find Best Wedding Photographer who can do a best job for you within your budget.
The best practice is to figure out your budget and clear expectations about the results you are looking for, rather than a plain search on Google saying - 'Top Wedding Photographers in India' or 'Top Wedding Photographers in Delhi'. Then look out of Wedding Photography work available online. Select some of the Photographs you really like and figure out the Wedding Photographers who clicked those. Now next step would be to understand charges and terms. Defining requirements and then searching for right set of Photography results in your budget is the idea.
While searching Top Wedding Photographers in India or any city, you may get to know about some great set of Photographers but it's not necessary that their shooting style may match with you, or they fit into your budget and of-course technology is always there to manipulate things.
Other good way is to get recommendations from your friends and Family. They may have some known Wedding Photographer who worked for them.
It was a long conversation at Cafe Coffee Day, CP, Delhi, in fact quite interesting one. His thoughts made m think about the way Indian Brides and Grooms think, as far as Candid Wedding Photography is concerned. Also figured out the technology has completely changed the way people think and how businesses are changing with time. Personally I know some Photographers who have been doing great work but have hardly any visibility on Web. When I say visibility on web - It's not only about having a Website, Blog or Photographs shared on various platforms like Flickr, Smugmug, 500x etc. NBut mainly about how conveniently discoverable you are as a Photographer. Which essentially means if search engines recognize you or not. If not, then what's the use of Website. I know it has some use but it will not be helpful in bringing new clients unless someone refer you as a Photographer.
I can keep writing on this, but let me stop here and hear back your thoughts and let's keep discussing it further.