Other than the choice of a spouse, the choice of the wedding photographer is the most important wedding-related decision you will make, and is not to be taken lightly. Photography is the cornerstone of your wedding’s memories. The right picture instantly takes you back to the happiest day of your life. if your wedding photos don’t turn out well, you will be one unhappy newly wed couple! Following these steps can help you select the best photographer to record your Big Day.
Create a candidate shortlist after browsing online portfolios. Just like fashion or nature photographers, or any other photojournalist or artist, each wedding photographer has their own distinct style. No matter how well regarded they are, if a photographer’s style isn’t your cup of tea, the photos won’t be either.
Make appointments with the photographers who sound promising so you can view their portfolios and discuss details. These meetings should include both the bride and groom as well as the bride’s parents, and anyone else who will either be paying for the work or working closely with the photographer. Write down all your questions before you meet, and take notes during the meetings.
Here are some questions you may consider to ask:
- How will you show me pictures for selection (e.g., electronic, proofs, contact sheets, online gallery, etc.)?
- What are the costs of the various levels of coverage?
- Are there different degrees of coverage?
- What is your photography style; mixed, etc., and how much for the duplicate prints, albums, folios, enlargements, thank you cards, etc.,?
- What’s your time frame for preparing the pictures for my selection?
- How about engagement session?
- How long do I have to make up my mind as to which pictures I want and how many?
- How long have you been in business?
- What do you plan to do at my wedding to make my wedding photographs unique and personal to me?
- What’s your payment policy?
- Do you give any guarantees on your services and photographs?
Look at samples. Ask to see albums that show wedding coverage from start to finish. This will give you an idea of both the style and quality each photographer provides. Pay attention to the photographer’s ability to capture the emotion of the day. Does it appear that he has the personality to make his subjects comfortable and happy? Or is she the type of photographer that seemingly takes pictures without much passion.
Discuss the equipment. Although you may not be a professional photographer yourself, you should know what type of camera and equipment your photographer will be using during your event. You may find that you are more particular about it than you think. In the end, if the photographer uses a digital camera, make sure it takes images of at least 8 megapixels or larger. If film is the photographer’s preference, make sure they use professional grade film instead of consumer quality film.
Price Range. Although, the last thing you want to do is shop by price, is this person within your budget? If not, is he or she worth the price difference? Make sure you understand what everything costs, including reprints and albums.
Research photographers. Ask your friends, inquire at bridal shops and with the management of the ceremony and reception sites you have chosen. Also browse bridal websites for information and links to photographers that work in your area.
Confirm, confirm, confirm! This is the golden rule of wedding planning. Remember: your wedding is more important to you and your spouse-to-be than to anyone else. As such, you must confirm appointments, plans, reservations, etc., several times—Once at contract signing, a second time 3-6 months before the event, and again 1-2 weeks before, at which time last minute details, changes, and requests can be worked out.
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