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Choosing the right photographer.

Posted on September 9, 2017

(By staff writer Shannon Lochwood)


When planning their wedding, couples will make lots of tough decisions when choosing vendors. But out of the many professionals who will contribute their expertise to the main event, none is more important than your photographer. Years after you say “I do,” the cake will have been eaten, the flowers will be dried and pressed, but the images of that day will still exist—creating a permanent reminder of every dance, smile, kiss and tear.
Photography is an art form, and every photographer captures an image—sees an image—differently. Styles between photographers can vary greatly. While some prefer journalistic candid snapshots, others adore perfect poses. A picture, it is often noted, is worth a 1000 words. Your photographer is in charge of writing your wedding story in pictures, so choose wisely.
When choosing a photographer, there are many factors to consider—beyond just the style of images. If you and your beloved seem to be overwhelmed with choices, sit down together and discuss your expectations of your photographer on the big day. This is, after all, the individual who will be snapping away for the entire day, so a good working relationship is vital. Here are six tips for finding your picture-perfect photographer.


Establish your budget.
Like everything associated with your wedding, the two of you must establish how much you wish to spend on photography. This number should include your wedding album and other costs, as well as the fees for the photographer. Once you’ve established your budget, it’s easier to sit down with your vendor to go over how they can best meet your needs. Some photographers may be out of your price range, and it’s ideal to understand this up front.


Find your photography style.
Many couples love journalistic-style photography, which captures spontaneous moments during the day. But you’ll also want the typical formal shots from the wedding for framing. A reputable photographer should have a portfolio that you can review to get an idea of their style and art form. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how they prefer to shoot images (digital or film). Also inquire about other ways they may capture images—some may use drones for cool overhead images.


Discuss image rights and usage.
A photographer owns the copyrights to his or her images. Many couples, however, love to post their images to social media or on their wedding website. While posting images is fine for snapshots taken by guests with personal cameras, professional shots are a different ballgame. Before you post any photos, inquire about how you may (or may not) display purchased images. Remember…purchasing an image does not equate to the ownership of that image. Always discuss the copyright!


Schedule a meet up.
Couples need to personally mesh with their photographer, and there needs to be a mutual respect between all parties. Trusting your photographer is important for him or her to capture the best memories of the day. Discuss any reservations or boundaries that you may have for photographs. For example, if it’s not ok for your photographer to capture ‘getting ready’ shots of the bride having make-up or hair done, then set that boundary.


Get details in writing!
Before you make any agreements or pay any up-front fees, get everything in writing. A reputable photographer should have no reservations writing up an established agreement or contract that includes costs and other details.


Back up plans are important.
Life happens to the best of us. Be sure that your photographer offers a back-up plan if he or she falls ill, has a family emergency or any other personal conflicts that affect your wedding. Ideally, another photographer should be assigned to the event, but if your photog is a solo act…you may want to look at other options before signing on the line.


Of all the vendors the two of you will hire for your wedding day, the photographer is the most important. Images from your wedding day will be the visual story of the big day, and they will be passed down for generations. After years of marriage, you will look back on those images and reminisce at the joy, the laughter, and the tears. Be sure to find the right photographer to preserve these precious memories.

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