Choosing which photographer will be taking your wedding photos is one of the most important decisions you will make about your wedding after saying yes to your darling of course!
Do some research
Take a peek at your friend's wedding album, I'm sure she will be more than happy to take a trip down memory lane while showing you. Start getting an idea of what type of photography style you and your partner like. "¨Ask friends if they know any good wedding photographers and go and meet some so that you get an idea of price and what type and quality of albums they produce. "¨Buy the latest Modern Wedding magazine and flip through to see some sample pics, check out our suppliers to see if someone takes your fancy - then pick up the phone and have a chat.
What to look for in an album
Check out some of the photographer's albums and study the quality of the photographs carefully. "¨Ask yourself these questions:
- What is your overall impression of the album and it's construction?
- Is the exposure clear and free of graininess and dust?
- Are the colour photos vibrant?
- Are the group photos nicely composed?
- Do the poses look fake or forced?
- Are the details clear or are they bright and washed out?
- Do you see variety throughout the album?
- Is there a good mix of candid, formal, colour and black and white shots?
- Would you want this wedding album to be your own?
It is more important to have great photographic coverage of your ceremony as well as a location shoot, than to have hours and hours of reception coverage. The specialist photographer does most of their hard, creative work in the four or five hour period before the reception, but usually covers no more than one hour of the reception itself. You will probably get better coverage of your reception using video than with a hundred photographs anyway."¨Figure out how long your shots checklist will take to cover, then ask your photographer how much time they estimate it will take.
The personal side
Since you will be spending more time with your photographer than with any other person on your wedding day, you want to make sure you like their company. Your gut feeling about them will probably tell you all you need to know. If you don't feel comfortable, they are not the photographer for you."¨Your photographer should be flexible, although do expect some direction - they know how you should pose so it appears natural. "¨Check with your photographer what their policy on other guests taking photos while they are taking posed group shots. A good photographer will be patient, professional, friendly and helpful.
Packages are generally great value for money; however the cost depends on the services you want. A basic package will usually include: coverage (the time spent photographing your wedding), prints or proofs and a certain amount of pages in your album."¨Before deciding on a package, ask your photographer the following questions:
- How many photos does the price or package include?
- Does the package include print enlargements?
- Is a wedding album included in the price?
- Can I purchase a wedding album for my parents?
- Are black-and-white or special effects prints included?
- Do you offer retouching of images?
- Do you offer to put the images online?
- Am I able to keep the high resolution files?
- Does a location shoot cost extra?
- Will there be a photographers assistant on the day?
- Is there a wet weather contingency plan?
- Will there be a charge if the wedding runs overtime?
- What are the payment terms?
- Will the deposit be returned if the wedding is cancelled?
You are often asked to pay a 50 percent deposit to book your photographer. You will be given a contract to sign, so ensure you read all the fine print before you sign away."¨Things to check on your contract:
- The wedding date is correct
- Check address locations of: getting ready photo shoot, ceremony, reception, location photo shoots.
- Double check all times listed - including the arrival and departure time for the photographer.
- The package details are what you have agreed on.
Make sure you see the exact wedding album you are getting so there will be no surprises when it arrives. Most people get 36 8x10 photo (sides) in their album. You may, of course, extend your album by paying for additional prints or pages.
Once you return from your honeymoon, you will need to choose from hundreds of photos to make up an album that you will treasure forever. You may set up an appointment with your photographer to review the proofs or some photographers will post them online for you to view and order. "¨Use these tips as a guide for choosing your album shots:
- Are everyone's eyes open?
- Is the lighting white or is it dark and off-colour?
- Is there something in the background that will be ugly when blown up?
- Is the exposure too dark or blown out? Or are there any sun flares?
- Does the picture make you smile?