Choosing the wedding photographer has become one of the most important decisions of wedding planning for many of today’s couples. Why? Because with so many styles of wedding photography available, couples want to choose the right one to show their unique personality. So we’ve compiled a few things you should know and ask to make sure you choose the right wedding photographer.
Before you start the search:
• Set your budget.
• Decide what style of photography you want.
Popular styles of wedding photography include:
Traditional – A series of photographs of the couple, family and friends in posed positions. Lighting and backgrounds are tightly controlled.
Photojournalistic – A series of photographs taken throughout the day with the intent to tell “the story” of the day. All about capturing moments rather than posed shots.
Illustrative – Photographs that focus on design elements, unique composition and interesting backgrounds. Couples are given direction but also asked to interact for a more candid feel. This style is the newest and most edgy.
Searching for wedding photographers:
• Browse the websites of wedding photographers in your area.
• Ask friends and family for recommendations.
• Create a list of potential photographers to visit.
Visiting each photographer:
• Don’t assume the person you speak with is the person who will photograph your wedding. Ask who will be your photographer and request samples of their work.
• Ask how charges are assessed. Some photographers charge a fee for coverage and another fee for ordered images. Photographers may also charge by package plans. A package plan is better for knowing your cost up front.
• Ask how much coverage you will get. Many photographers will stay through the first few dances, but some photographers will charge huge overtime fees once their time limits have expired.
• Discuss the style of photography you would like. Most photographers shoot a combination of traditional portraits and photojournalistic shots — and many will accommodate your requests for more of either style.
• Ask to see all the photographs from a single wedding instead of the photographer’s best shots compiled from several weddings.
• Ask about rights to the images. Typically, the photographer owns the negatives, which means you pay more for additional prints. Some photographers may release rights to you, which enables you to reprint your photos as you see fit.
• Find out how long it will take to receive the images. Make sure your photographer is willing to accommodate any deadlines you may have, such as wanting photographs for your thank you notes.
• Request references or customer testimonials from your wedding photographer.
• Review the photographer’s contract carefully. Make sure it clearly spells out the photographer’s requirements and yours.
Tip: Many wedding photographers will offer a cheaper package that doesn’t include a wedding album. The couple receives rights to all images along with a disc so they can take care of their own prints and album. Ask your photographer if this option is available. Then check out our inexpensive wedding albums for a beautiful presentation of your photographs.