Wedding photos are among the most important photos a married couple ever owns. Because wedding photography allows you and your mate to revisit your big day, choosing a photographer you trust is particularly important.
Choosing a Wedding Photographer
Choosing a photographer to trust with your wedding photos takes time. For this reason, couples should start considering what they want from their wedding photographer early in their wedding plans. Remember, the best wedding photographers can be fully booked up to a year in advance, especially during the summer. Start looking early.
Choosing a photographer requires a little detective work. Ask family, friends or recently married coworkers for referrals: some of the best wedding photographers are often referred by previous clients. You might want to ask for advice on wedding photographers from other wedding service providers. Your caterer or wedding planner may know of wedding photographers you’ve overlooked.
Interviewing more than one photographer is recommended when choosing a photographer. From the moment you make contact, start evaluating how professional you think the photographer is. Phone calls should be returned promptly, and you should be treated with courtesy and respect.
Insist on seeing samples of the photographer’s recent wedding photos. A good photographer will be willing to provide these, along with referrals from former clients. Beware the photographer who seems unwilling to display his work or offer up references.
Your vision of your wedding photos should be a priority to the photographer. Don’t let him or her try to force you into a “preset” set of wedding photos. By the same token, you should choose a professional who knows what works and is willing to tell you if something won’t. Communicate your ideas but be willing to compromise your vision.
Wedding Photographer Contracts
As you’re choosing a photographer, remember to discuss the contract. A wedding photo contract is essential because it protects both you and the photographer.
Items that should be covered in a contract for wedding photos include:
- the name of the wedding photographer
- the exact date and time of the wedding, reception and photo shoot
- the total price of the wedding photography services
- the exact services the wedding photographer will provide
- the date when wedding photo proofs will be ready.
Some wedding photographer contracts state that the photographer has the exclusive right to take pictures at the wedding. This would mean family members would be unable to take any wedding photos.
You may wish to negotiate some aspects of the wedding photos contract. This should always occur before signing the document. Many photographers are willing to discuss changes if you give them advanced notice.
While it’s not included in the wedding photography contract, the photographer’s demeanor on the wedding day should also be discussed prior to the event. Explain to your photographer your expectations for dress and attitude for the event. Whether you’re having a laid back or a more formal ceremony will have a bearing on how the photographer acts and takes your wedding pictures.
Wedding Photos Budgeting
Wedding photos can be costly. In fact, wedding photos are among the most expensive purchases made for the wedding. For this reason, a couple should balance cost with quality when purchasing their photos. Cutting costs too much can result in poor quality wedding pictures.
Some wedding photographers, especially those who are booked months in advance, offer payment plans that can ease the financial sting. However, most wedding photo payment plans do require that the photographer’s services be paid for in full by the wedding date. Again, financial considerations are dealt with in the photographer’s contract and, therefore, should be settled before your wedding day.
Because videotaping weddings has become popular, some wedding photo studios offer videotaping services. Keep in mind that a wedding photographer cannot videotape and take wedding pictures at the same time. Consequently, couples should plan for the cost of a professional video cameraman if they wish to have a video or DVD of the event in addition to traditional wedding photographs.
Couples should be flexible with their plans for wedding photos. After all, circumstances tend arise that neither you nor the photographer can control. For example, no one guarantee a rain-free wedding day. A good wedding photographer should be able to adapt to a changes of venue. Having a plan B ahead of time is a good idea for both you and your photographer.
Many couples now plan for at least some black and white photographs in their wedding photos. Black and white photos give a wedding album a timeless feel. The traditional wedding attire of tuxedos and wedding dresses look fantastic in black and white.
Black and white wedding photos have another advantage. If the weather is overcast or it’s raining on your big day, color wedding photos can look dreary. With black and white film, the color of the sky isn’t a problem: dreary raindrops that ruin color photos tend to look romantic in black and white wedding photos.
Planning wedding photos is very important. Your wedding photographs will provide a lifetime of important memories. Choosing a photographer to take wedding photos, then, is a serious matter for most couples.