"A picture is worth a thousand words". The photographer you and your future husband select will be your photo journalist so it is important to know what feeling you want represented in your photographs.
Worth the Price Tag
Spending money on a good photographer for your wedding is worth the splurge. I believe having someone who is truly talented will help capture every special detail and memory. There is nothing like looking back at your photographs and being able to re-live your special day. At a recent wedding I coordinated my client had a guest list of 40 and they splurged on a photographer they felt would capture all of the personal details.
What's your style?
Your favorite photography style depends on your personality. Ask your friends whose work they like and check out photographers' websites. You can never do too much homework! Do you like photos that look vintage or a little more artistic? Are classic or formal photos more your style? Some photographers specialize in all black-and-white images and some specialize in taking full color shots. It is important to take a moment and judge the quality of the photos in their portfolio: Are they well-lit pictures? How good is the resolution? Can you feel the love through the photos? All of these are important.
Regardless of how talented a photographer is, it is important to have a good relationship with them; it is always a good idea to meet beforehand and chat and see if the "mutual chemistry" is right. Remember, this person will be a vital part of the most important day of your life, so be sure you choose someone you feel good about. If you don't click with them, move on!
A good photographer will also recommend key elements to include in your photos. Some of my favorite shots are the getting ready shots and the bride and groom's first glance at each other, whether before the ceremony or as the bride walks down the aisle. You may also want to ask if your photographer will be bringing an assistant or second shooter. The great thing about having another photographer is that it allows for a different angle of all the pictures.
Customize your Package
Once you narrow it down to three photographers, set up a meeting to talk about the services offered. Every photographer puts packages together differently. One might include time, materials, proofs in an album, custom prints in a custom album, and enlargements. Another might simply include his time and materials, with everything else as an add-on. The best kind of packages are when the photographer allows you to bring in things a la carte and is able to customize what you want! Don't be afraid to ask questions. For example: How many hours are included in the fee? With the cost, what are you receiving? Is there a photo album? How many photos do you get? Can you keep the proofs? Be sure to ask to see samples of these albums as well as references. Fine tune your contract so there are no surprises on your big day! It's also a good idea to ask how long it will take to get your proofs and your finished album back so you'll know when you can expect everything.
You want to choose someone who will understand what you want without needing too much direction. A good photographer can capture the story of your day and some artistic portraits while not dragging you away from your guests or interrupting special moments in the evening. They are able to photograph those special details of the evening; your smile as your Dad takes your hand and your first kiss. It is these moments that we cherish!
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