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5 Things Couples Must Consider When Choosing Their Wedding Photographer

Planning a wedding can be quite overwhelming and as your ‘to do’ list keeps growing, it is easy to make rash decisions when it comes to some of the most important aspects of your special day. Choosing the right wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you will have to make as it is the photographer that will capture some of the fondest memories of the big day.

There are 5 important considerations that you need to take into account when choosing your wedding photographer so that you can be assured that he or she will be there to capture every moment of this big day and provide you with quality photographs.

The Experience and Portfolio of the Photographer

Every photographer that you interview should present you with a portfolio so that you can look through the photographs of weddings that they have attended and photographed. Browsing through these portfolios will give you an idea about the style that they work with, and whether the style of photography is more or less what you are looking for in a photographer. Take your time as you go through each of the photos to get an idea about how thorough the photographer is with his or her shoots. What types of pictures were taken throughout the day? Was there a nice variety of couple shots and shots with family and friends? Did the photographer do a good job in choosing poses for the various pictures? How many of the pictures were posed and how many were candid?

Who Is Going to Be Taking the Photographs?

When couples meet with a photography agency, many of them assume that the photographer they speak to will be the one who takes their pictures on their wedding day, but this is not always true. There are many companies that work with multiple photographers, and some of them even contract work to freelance photographers, so you will need to ask your photography company about the photographer that will be working on your wedding shoot. If you are going to sign a contract, make sure they stipulate who will be taking the photos.

The Cost of the Shoot and the Printing

While some photographers charge for their services by the hour, others will charge for the entire shoot, so you need to know exactly how much you are going to pay at the end of the day to ensure that you are not overcharged. If the photographer is charging by the hour, make sure that you are aware of the cost of the printing or whether you are paying for the whole package. When I first considered starting a photography business this was the one area I personally found the most difficult to get right, as I wanted to price myself appropriately!

Candid or posed photographs

There are many photographers who are extremely flexible with their choice of styles, and they will shoot just about any types of photographs you want on your wedding day, but this is not true of all of them. There are those photographers who will refuse to take candid photographs, and if this is the style you are looking for, then you need to know what to expect before they show up with a camera in hand on your special day. Be specific about what you are looking for, and do not be afraid to disagree with a photographer when discussing your wedding photos; after all, it is going to be one of the biggest days of your life.

Deposits and Cancellations

Preparing for the worst is what wedding planning is all about and this is no different when it comes to your photographer. Read the fine print of the contract and make sure that you are aware of the procedures if the photographer fails to show up on the day of the wedding, especially if you are going to be paying a deposit. In the event that your chosen photographer cancels on the last minute, make sure that you are aware of who will be taking their place, or if there will be a replacement at all. Never rely on promises or spoken agreements between you and your photographer, because courts will only be interested in what was written in the contract.

6 Ways To Get Better Wedding Photographs Without Spending More

After two decades and over 1000 events in the wedding photography business, Michael Barrett moved on to photo booths in 2011. The insights in this article come from Michael’s vast experience in and around the Kansas Metro area. Many of the points here would be what your wedding photographer would tell you if they could.

Hire the right photographer. Do not hire someone based on price and then try to turn them into someone they are not. A photographer is, or should be, an artist. Every artist has a unique style. Choose the one for you based on your budget. Then, encourage the photographer to let his or her creative juices flow! No photographer wants to see your clippings of other photographers work. This does not inspire but instead stifles the creative process.

Do an engagement sitting. If offered, always take advantage of the engagement sitting offered by your photographer. This is a great opportunity for you to get comfortable with each other and for you both to become at ease in front of the camera.. When the wedding day rolls around, you can get rolling more easily. You want your break-in time to be before the wedding. Not on the big day.

Practice your smile. Most people can not just turn on a smile on queue. Practice in front of a mirror. Find a smile that you can live with. You will be using it a lot on your wedding day. After all, it is likely the only time in your life you will be photographed several hundreds of times in a single day

Be on time on your wedding day. This is not easy. You must build in a lot of extra time into your schedule. Mishaps will happen. Hair and make up appointments almost always run late. If you start on time, your photographer will have the opportunity to photograph you and your wedding party in those unique locations that they have scouted out. They may also have time to experiment with some unique lighting or angles. If you start late, much of that goes out the window. Your photographer will have to go into catch up mode. Meaning speed becomes the most important concern. You pay the same for ordinary photographs as extraordinary. Give your photographer the chance to do their best work for you on your wedding day.

Be willing to get creative with poses and locations. If you want fresh, creative photographs, think outside the altar. Be willing to try some of those off-beat ideas presented by your photographer. Often, the photos you didn’t think you wanted turn out to be your favorite.

Be nice to your photographer. It sounds obvious but it makes a difference. Photographers feed off of positive energy. They love to feel appreciated. If you follow this simple tip, you will get their best work.

Your wedding photographs will become a cherished heirloom for your new family. Anything you can do to ensure the best possible outcome will benefit you and yours for years to come.

Which Wedding Photographer to Choose

Choosing a photographer may be a daunting task, and staying within your budget may be even more cumbersome. You may consider asking a friend or relative to photograph your wedding for you; this is sure to be a bad idea for many reasons. A professional wedding photographer knows how to produce the best results in capturing all the moments by having years of experience and photography knowledge.

Finding a wedding photographer is a very easy task due to the number of photographers out there. There are numerous ways of going about finding one and many things you should take into consideration. The best way of course is being referred from another couple that got married recently and had their wedding photographed by a specific photographer. Please take note that by “photographer” I mean a specific photographer and not photographic studio with multiple photographers. Always be sure to find out who will be photographing your wedding.

There are numerous other ways to find a wedding photographer including news papers, billboards, the phone book and of course the internet. Over 70% of wedding photographers are sourced online. There are however a few things that you should know about searching for one on the internet.

1. Take Your Time
The first photographers you will find are mostly because of a large advertising budget. There is nothing wrong with this, but you should look at all available options.
2. Be Specific
When you use a search engine your search criteria should include your “state” and “professional wedding photographer”. The quotes will eliminate all general photographers and narrow your search to only wedding photographers. I recommend using Google.

Now that you know how to find a wedding photographer, which one do you choose? There are three primary factors that will determine which photographer to choose; style, price and personality. Style and price can be found on their website and is our starting point.

1. Style
There are many different style wedding photographers. Different examples are traditional, candid, formal, photojournalism, etc. Some photographers offer only one style, but the best photographers can offer all of these styles and would normally incorporate them into your wedding day coverage. It all depends on your requirements and needs. When viewing a photographers portfolio, remember that these are all his best shots. Always ask to see a full wedding coverage.
2. Price
You can spend anything from $500 to $10,000 on a wedding photographer. A good guideline is to spend about 10% of your entire wedding budget on a wedding photographer. Most photographers have packages that will include everything from the coverage to the album and final prints. Other photographers have complete al la carte pricing; if you are on a tight budget this is probably the best way to go. You will be able to select just what you want and can afford.

I would suggest buying your own wedding album and putting it together yourself. The cost of buying an album from the photographer is usually double the actual cost. Then of course doing it this way you can get it when you want and when you can afford it.

Considering style and price select your three top choices and schedule a meeting with them. There should be no cost for this. Before you meet with them you should pretty much want to hire them from the information that you have gathered about their style and price.

3. Personality
You want to meet with them to see how they present themselves and if your personalities match. You want someone that is personable and nice so they will get along well with you, your family, and friends. Never make an immediate decision, go home and think about it first and wait until you have met with all three. The meeting should be casual, discussing your wedding day in general. Never get sold on services that the photographer is trying to sell you at this point. Remember you have already decided you like the work and price before you got there, so there is nothing for the photographer to sell to you at this point. Just meet with them and get to know them.

Once you have made your decision, contact the photographer and let them know. Don’t forget to contact the other two photographers to let them know that you have decided to use another photographer and thank them for their time. Go over the details on the phone with the photographer you chose and get them to write up a wedding contract for you to review and sign. Do not pay a deposit until you have reviewed and signed the contract. Read the wedding contract very thoroughly; everything you are suppose to receive should be written down and have the price and payment schedule. Always make a very clear note of their cancellation policy.

Congratulations! You have a found your wedding photographer and have one scheduled. All you need to do now is schedule to meet with them about a month before your wedding date to go over the details again……and show up for your wedding!