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Hiring a Wedding Photographer

After months of putting your heart and soul into planning your wedding, capturing those special moments in photos will be a priority on your wedding day. Choosing a wedding photographer is the second most important decision you’ll make, after choosing a mate. Whether you decide to give photos as momentos to close family and friends or choose to adorn your walls with reminders of the joy in that day, those treasured images will become family heirlooms.


Hiring an experienced photographer that you’re comfortable with will yield long-lasting pleasure and ease of mind on your wedding day. Listings for wedding photographers are as vast as the number of couples getting married. Sorting through the local listings and finding a great wedding photographer won’t be hard if you follow a few basic guidelines.


Know your style. Do you prefer the more traditional mostly posed photos? Does the fashion-shoot style appeal to you? Are you planning an outdoor wedding? Start your search by browsing the internet for websites of local wedding photographers. If you are planning an indoor wedding and a photographer shows only outdoor summer photos, move on.  Make a list of the ones with sites that show similar styles and expertise in the type of wedding you’ll be having. Give yourself the flexibility of choosing between 5 or 6 photographers who match your style.


Save the date. The bottom line for choosing a photographer will be their availability. While discussing their schedule, find out if they are the sole photographer or if you would be working with a different colleague. Do they work with a partner or alone? If they are booked for your chosen date, request referrals for photographers with compatible styles and that are well-respected.


Be a critic. Get up close and personal with their work. Ask to view albums from previous weddings. Speak to or research reviews from former clients with similarly styled weddings. Look for clear, focused images with an eye for capturing emotions. Notice the backgrounds,, angles and lighting. Request to see a complete package of photos taken at a previous wedding, not just the chosen images hand-picked for their website. View the photographer’s work with a second eye – take along a friend (someone who shares your vision) for an additional opinion.


Check out their social media sites.  Read what others have to say about them and how the photographer responds. Pay attention to for any complaints that might be red flags. View the photo albums for additional examples of their abilities and maybe some ideas that can be used.


First impressions are everything. Finding a personality that fits well is almost just as important as their artistic abilities. Notice any mannerisms that could potentially offend your guests. The ideal photographer will have a strong enough personality to direct the shots, while also able to put guests at ease throughout the event.


Be aware of hidden costs. Be specific with questions about what is included in their price package. Be clear about the length of time you wish to hire them for. Are you going to want them to photograph dress rehearsals, before and after, newlywed scenes, etc.? Lay out any specific ideas and shots that you have in mind and welcome their input. Get it in writing to be clear on both sides of what is expected.


All in all, who you choose for your wedding photographer is going to be like a second shadow and needs to be someone that you’re comfortable with, like an old friend. Take your time to be absolutely certain this person is a good fit, to ensure a relaxed and timeless look for your wedding album.

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