Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What I need to know before getting my Wedding Photographer

Question: What kind of things do I need to know, plan or ask for when getting my wedding photographer, and what type of photos should I do?
Answer: I don't think a lot of brides and grooms think about this when planning their weddings, or they have the question, but not the answer.
Several things to keep in mind before deciding on your photographer:

1. What kind of photos do I want.

- PREWEDDING PHOTOS - Bride getting dressed, bride's family and bridal party photos (no groom) Groom and groom's men photos with groom's family (no bride) Some couples do not stick to the traditional "bride and groom do not see each other prior to wedding" and opt for photos here. Keep in mind, any photos done prior to the wedding, will save time between the ceremony and reception, so your guests will not be waiting at the reception for you as long.

- CEREMONY PHOTOS - Outside or inside? If in a church, temple or other type of sanctuary, photography may be limited. Does the church allow flash photography, or any photography during the ceremony? How close can the photographer get? How dark is the room. Are you OK with mock-ups of certain events during the ceremony which may not be photograph able (ring exchange)

- POST WEDDING - Where and how much time are you wanting to spend on post wedding photos. Will the weather be good for outside? Do you have a back-up plan in case of in climate weather? I advise you not have your wedding guests wait longer than an hour if possible at the reception hall, waiting for you. (make sure you have music and food for them)

- RECEPTION - Inside or outside? What kind of photos do you want for your reception, and how long do you need to have the photographer at your reception? Most receptions lasts between 3 to 4 hours. Do you need to have the photographer there the entire time? Have your photo ops as early in the reception as possible. Entrance, cake cutting, toasts, bouquet toss, garter take off and toss, first dance, father daughter, mother son, etc. The sooner you get your guests on the dance floor, the longer they will stay and have fun. Don't let your guests get bored. Will the photographer be taking pictures during the dinner hour? Will you feed them? Again, after the essential photos are taken at the reception, do you really need to pay them to take photos of people hanging out and dancing?

2. What can I afford?
......Shop around for photographer's in your budget, and have the above information ready to help them help you determine how much time you need.
......How may photographers will be used?
......What type of packages or options do they offer.

3. How long after the wedding before you get your photos?
......Will you get a CD or DVD of your photos? and are they high resolution or low resolution?
......Is there a print release? Copy-right release? Are you required to get your prints from them? Will you photos be online?

4. Is the photographer experienced in wedding and portrait photography?
......Have you seen printed and online photos of the type of pictures your photographer takes?
......Are they open to poses you want, and do they have suggestions for you?
......Are they professional? Are they fun (good personality)
......Do they know this is "YOUR DAY" There are great photographers out there who take beautifully pictures, and creative ones, but this should not be a painful experience for you either.

5. Were your friends happy with their photographer? Learn from them.

I am currently working on a booklet to help the bride and groom decide what and who they need for their wedding photographs. Any suggestions to put in this would be helpful. I will post here or on my website when it is ready. I will offer it online as well as in print.