Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

Picking your wedding photographer isn’t just a matter of choosing anyone who can take wedding pictures.....

  Choosing Your Wedding Photographer
By Julie Butler, © 2007

You’re excited, and well you should be. Your special day is fast approaching and there are so many things to do, and arrangements to be made.

One of those arrangements you’ll need to make, and one that will be important to you and your spouse for years to come, is picking the right wedding photographer.

But, picking your wedding photographer isn’t just a matter of choosing anyone who can take wedding pictures. This is the person who will be responsible for leaving you with all your cherished memories from your wedding day. Here are some things you might want to keep in mind as you decide whom you’ll choose:

- You’ll want to make sure that you feel completely comfortable with the photographer. If you’re uncomfortable with the photographer, it will show in the pictures. So how can you be sure whom you will be comfortable with? There is no better way than to meet your potential photographer in person, and see how you both relate. One of the “comfort level” indicators may be if the photographer has a sense of humour. This sense of humour will help you through all the variations of posing required, and those before wedding time jitters.

 - You should also have full trust in that your photographer will not only show up on your wedding day, but also deliver what you wanted. Take a look at previous pictures they’ve taken. Good photographers will be happy to show you part of their portfolio.

- Make sure you are up front and open with your photographer about what you are looking for. Let them know what you want including the number of before wedding time pictures, to pictures including your relatives, friends, or your favourite indoor or outdoor setting.

- Not only should you be happy with their portfolio, but with their wedding packages and pricing.

- Understanding the contract is also very important. Make sure you sit down with your prospective photographer so they can explain the contract in detail. You don't want any surprises or disappointments on your wedding day because something was not explained properly to you.

- Different photographers have different ways of receiving their payments. Usually, they’ll require a retainer fee on the signing of the contract. This retainer will then be subtracted from the total cost of your wedding photography. The remainder of the wedding photography fee is usually required the day of the wedding. Make sure you clarify payment requirements with your photographer.

- Depending on the amount of traveling that may be required of the photographer on that special day, you should find out if there is an additional cost. For example, if your contract states that your photographer will be hired for 6 hours of picture taking and you require them to do a lot of traveling, their traveling time may reduce those 6 hours to something a lot less. If you require the wedding photographer to travel, this is the time to negotiate travel costs. Additional travel costs, for example, would need to negotiated if you book your photographer for an out of town wedding.

- Your photographer should be fully informed of the events on your special day. The wedding photographer will need to know: where you and your groom will be for before wedding time photos, where the reception will be held and the start and end time, and where the wedding ceremony and formal pictures will be taken.

- To avoid any disappointment, or false expectations, make sure you ask your photographer, prior to booking, when your wedding proofs will be ready. You should be given an estimated time of arrival. And finally,

There is a lot of pre-picture preparation that needs to be done by your photographer to make your pictures better than good, but great.

So, try to be patient – it’s hard to do with all the excitement, but it will be worth it.


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