We know: Tips For Choosing a Wedding Photographer

Who needs a wedding photographer?

If you are getting married and you want to document your wedding through still photographs, it's a good idea to hire a professional wedding photographer. Although hiring a photographer may not be cheap, having pictures taken of one of the most important days of your life is worth the cost to most couples.

What kind of pictures do wedding photographers take?

Normally photographers take either candid shots or posed shots and a lot will offer both types of photos.

  • Candid or reportage photographs are taken without people being aware there is a camera present. Think photo journalism here. Most people who want candid photos also request at least a few posed shots of important family members and the bridal party.
  • Posed photos are usually requested ahead of time. Ask the photographer about the standard shots he or she takes. Then, draw up a list of all the family, friends and bridal party pictures you want, specifically. Ask the photographer if you need to appoint someone to help gather the people for posed photos.

How long will the wedding photographer stay?

Wedding photographers vary in how long they will stay for a wedding. Some stay for the entire wedding and reception, some only for the ceremony, and others stay for an agreed length of time, regardless of whether the wedding is running on schedule or not. Before signing any contracts, ensure you have agreed on how long the photographer intends to stay.

Questions you should ask any potential wedding photographers:

  • Can I see examples from previous weddings you've photographed? (Ask to see photos from at least 3 different weddings)
  • What does the price quoted include?
  • Will the photos be both candid and posed photos?
  • What happens to the photo negatives after the wedding?
  • Will the photos be taken on film, digitally or both?
  • How much does it cost to order additional photos?
  • Who will take the photos on the day? (main photographer, assistant, staff photographer, etc.)
  • Will photos be in black and white, color or both?
  • Will you offer a CD or website of the wedding photographs? If using digital media, when will you get access to the image files?
  • What type of album packages are offered?
  • Are you familiar with my wedding venue? Will you be checking it out before the wedding?
  • What are your specialties?
  • How long will you stay?
  • How long have you been doing wedding photography?
  • Tell me about your best wedding.

How much can I expect to pay for a photographer?

Wedding photographers can run anywhere from $500 up to several thousand dollars. Most couples spend between 10-15% of their total wedding budget on photographs. Make sure the photographer has written out what the fees include before you sign a contract or hand over any money.

The most important thing you can do is shop around. Most photographs have a variety of wedding photo packages, so there will be one to fit your budget.

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