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How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

Updated on February 25, 2010

Choosing a photographer can be one of the most important items on your to-do list when you are planning a wedding, and also one of your biggest wedding expenses. You will want a photographer with a good eye to capture all the great moments of your big day. Here are some things to consider when choosing a photographer:

Portfolio

There are many different kinds of photographers, and you will want to choose one that either specializes in or has extensive experience in shooting weddings. Ask for the photographer’s wedding portfolio to determine if the photographer’s style matches what you want for your wedding. Some photographers are great at catching the “moments in action,” while others are better at portraits. Also consider photographers’ skills in indoor and outdoor shots, as this will play into the quality of photographs you will get of your event. Make sure the photographer you choose has strengths in the areas important to you.

Wedding Packages

Most wedding photographers offer pricing packages that include engagement sessions or bridal portraits. Some offer these “special” sessions for free when you hire them to shoot your wedding. Something else to consider is who has ownership of the pictures when they are developed. Many photographers keep the copyrights to their work, meaning that you will have to order printed photographs directly from them, and cannot reprint or reproduce them yourself. For a flat fee, others will sign over the copyright to you and give you a CD with the photos on it to do as you wish. Also ask about travel fees if the photographers are not local.

Services

Interview several photographers and ask specific questions about the services they will provide to you. For example, how many photographers will be working at your wedding? How many hours of the wedding day will they photograph? Just the ceremony and reception, or also the wedding party getting ready? When will they arrive? Will they leave only when the reception is over, or at a specified time? When will they take portraits of the wedding party? Do they offer the option of also taking photographs of luncheons, parties, or the rehearsal dinner the day or night before the wedding?

Contract

Whatever photographer you choose, be sure that you obtain a signed contract that outlines the services and fees that you have both agreed to. This will ensure that you and your photographer remember your arrangement months down the road when the big day comes!

Image Credit: DeusXFlorida, Flickr

Comments

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  • profile image

    raymondrett 

    7 years ago

    Lela, you are so right about some photographers being able to capture "moments in action." With digital cameras, new photographers think that they can just snap a thousand pictures and one will come out right. It takes real talent to capture those special moments.

  • djbriswatek profile image

    djbriswatek 

    8 years ago from Serving the Hudson Valley, NY

    Important info for Brides and Grooms! Thanks!

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