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Congratulations, you’re getting married! This is going to be the happiest and the most special day of your life! You’re definitely going to remember it forever but, memories are never clearer than when they’re put down onto film. That’s why you need a great wedding photographer that will capture each and every memory, and give you many special moments to look back on for many years to come.
Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the biggest decisions that you will make for your wedding. Forget the venue, forget the flowers, forget the invitations. If you make a mistake choosing your wedding photographer, it’s one that you’ll remember for the rest of your life, especially when you pull out your wedding album years later and are looking at pictures that don’t at all represent your wedding.
But actually choosing one can be somewhat of a challenge. There is a lot to consider, and there’s a lot you need to know. That’s why this special report is here! Here you’ll find everything that you’ll need to consider when it comes to choosing a wedding photographer, including what questions to ask; what elements of wedding photography to consider, such as the different styles; and even some tips on how to get your beautiful wedding photography without taking way too much out of your budget.
Yes, there is a lot to consider when choosing your wedding photographer and yes, it can get to be somewhat difficult. Choosing the right wedding photographer does take some time and a lot of research on your part. But after you’ve chosen the right photographer, and you’re looking back at your beautiful wedding album on your 50th anniversary, it will all be well worth it!
When choosing your photographer, it’s important to realize that wedding photography is different today than it was twenty years ago. With the advances in photographic technology today, just about anyone with a digital camera can claim themselves as a “professional photographer”, even though they’ve never done more than point and shoot. They may not know anything about the different styles, the different elements of a wedding that must be captured on film, and they probably won’t be able to give you any input or help on what would look best, and what wouldn’t.
Choosing to hire an individual who calls themselves a professional, when really all they have is a standard digital camera, is placing your memories in the hands of an amateur. And they’re probably not going to end up anything like the final product you had envisioned. So how do you make sure that you’re hiring a professional? By visiting their studio, looking through their portfolios of different weddings, and getting testimonials and references from people. We’ll go into more details on the different things you need to ask your professional photographer later on in this report. But, before you start doing anything, or even considering the kind of wedding photography you want, you must make sure that you’re using a professional – and not the guy down the street that just likes to take pictures!
Remember that professional wedding photographers book up pretty quickly, especially if you’re getting married in the “wedding months”, May through August. Usually, you should plan on booking your wedding photographer nine months before your wedding. Note that this general rule of thumb is not set in stone and is not even always possible.
You can get a great photographer for your wedding on shorter notice, but that is the typical amount of time in advance that most photographers will want you to book. This might mean that you need to start actually looking for your photographer a month or two before that, so you can be ready to book at the nine-month mark. Of course, also keep in mind that if you’re going for a certain photographer, or are only looking at very popular photographers, you’ll probably even need more time than just the nine months.
Lots of people like the idea of having disposable cameras on the reception tables so that the guests can take all the wedding pictures for you, and all you’ll have to pay for are the cameras and the printing costs. Or, they like to set up a stand in the corner of the room with a camera and a tripod and allow people to come and take pictures.
These ideas are great, and are certainly very fun reminders of your special day. But remember, you don’t want to focus solely on DIY photos. Doing that will only ensure that you only have pictures of Uncle Bill making silly faces, or of a guest at your wedding that your nephew grew especially partial to.
DIY wedding photos are great, and they’re becoming more and more popular every day. But even if you’re using DIY photos, still have a professional wedding photographer on the grounds that can take the beautiful shots that wedding albums are made of, and to make sure that you’re happy with all of the pictures after your big day!
Before you go about finding different wedding photographers, collecting references, and interviewing them, you need to set your budget! You absolutely must know beforehand what you’re willing to pay, and how much you can afford. This is for two reasons. The first is because it’s probably going to be one of the first questions that any wedding photographer will ask you. They’ll all have different packages and different rates, and they’ll need to know what your budget is before they begin showing you their samples and explaining what photography package will be right for you. If you constantly answer with “We don’t know yet how much we want to spend,” you’re not really helping them, and they won’t be able to help you.
The second reason why you must know your budget before you even start talking to photographers is because it’s easy to get swept up in the moment. If you walk into a photographer’s office and see beautiful wall hangings of different pictures, the different CDs and DVDs you can get, and all the other extras that come with wedding photography, it’s easy to want it all! Who wouldn’t?
But while you may want it all, you can’t always have it. And, don’t be fooled. Wedding photographers, even really good professional wedding photographers, are in it to make money. This is their livelihood! And, they may try to talk you into all the extras that come with photography. When you can simply say, “That’s not within our budget,” it’s much easier to move onto something that is, rather than waste time talking about something you simply can’t afford.
Anyone hiring a wedding photographer should plan to spend at least $1,000. This is a good number to start with and will give you the basics and foundation for great wedding photographs. Of course, you can always increase this amount, and sometimes (as we’ll discuss in a moment) you’ll need to spend more. But, if you’re trying to spend as little as possible, but still get a great wedding photographer, $1,000 is a good number to start with.
Keep in mind that the $1,000 amount will probably only cover the costs of the photographer for the day of your wedding. That means that this is the amount that the photographer will charge you for simply spending the day at your wedding and taking photographers or video. The actual prints of your photos will probably not be included in this amount.
This base amount of $1,000 is also usually indicative of a smaller wedding that includes about 100-150 guests. For a wedding of this size, a photographer will probably only need to spend four to six hours with you the day of your wedding and so, that amount will cover their time. However, if you’re having a large wedding that includes 300 guests or more, this base price will probably be higher because the photographer will need to spend more time with you the day of your wedding, about eight to ten hours.
Also keep in mind that there are other factors that will determine the cost of your wedding photographer. Those who operate out of big cities, for instance, will typically cost more than those who have their business in a smaller town.
The most important thing to remember with wedding photography is that you get what you pay for, but don’t pay for more than what you can afford. This is a very fine line for a lot of couples about to exchange nuptials, but it’s an easy line to walk. Just remember to set your budget for the very most you can afford in wedding photography. Don’t set it too low, or else you won’t get pictures that perfectly reflect your day. And don’t spend too much, or else you’ll run out of room in your wedding budget!
No, this doesn’t refer to your personal style, but rather the styles of wedding photography that you will have available to you. There are some known and very common styles of wedding photography, as well as a few that are up and coming and are just starting to make their own name in the world of wedding photography.
Even if you’ve never picked up a camera before in your life, and don’t know a thing about photography, you won’t be able to hire a professional without at least discussing the different types of wedding photography styles, and the type that you would like most for your big day. Not only does this make it easier for the photographer to understand what you’re looking for, but it also makes sure that your wedding album is one you love, and truly reflects your big day the way you would want it to.
If you’ve ever flipped through a wedding album from the past ten to thirty years, you’ve probably seen wedding pictures that were taken in a traditional style. These pictures are very posed, and often include a set number of required shots, such as the bride and groom, the bride and her family, the groom and his family, the groomsmen, and so on.
With traditional wedding photography, the photographer is very involved and is a very obvious part of the day. Usually, the photographer will need to spend at least two hours with the wedding party and the family taking posed shots, where they’ll be directing family members where to stand, how to hold hands, and so forth.
Most photographers today won’t hold themselves to strictly traditional wedding photography, with photojournalism photography and illustrative photography quickly taking over. However, traditional posed shots are great for putting up on the mantel of your first home together, and they’re the pictures that some family members, such as your grandmother, will enjoy the most.
Always including just a few traditional shots, even if you’re largely going with another style, is a good idea; however, also be warned that too many traditional shots can make you feel as though you saw more of the photographer than anyone else on your big day, and it can take a very long time to take all those posed shots.
This style of wedding photography is quickly becoming the most popular type there is. With this style, there are very few posed shots, if any, and the photographer has very little interaction with the couple, the wedding party, or the guests. Instead, the photographer fades into the background and takes candid pictures throughout the entire day, telling the story of your big day through pictures.
Photojournalism wedding photography is thought to convey the emotions of the day better than posed pictures, or many of the traditional shots. While you may not have that perfectly posed picture of you and your bride or groom standing in front of a blossoming tree, staring into each other’s eyes, you will have a beautiful picture of the kiss you stole just before the toasts started.
Photojournalism photography may be the most popular style going today, but be warned that you may not want your photographer to take strictly photojournalistic shots. Not only because you may want to give away some of the more traditional, posed shots, but also because this style relies almost completely on the photographer’s idea of your wedding day. You’ll also want some “objective”, or traditional, shots.
This style of photography still involves the photographer quite a bit because it still relies on shots that are very posed. However, it’s very unlike traditional wedding photography because the photographer will use dramatic elements such as bold colors, dramatic lighting conditions, and unique poses such as the bride straddling a chair in her wedding gown, to get the most artistic and illustrative pictures they can.
Illustrative wedding photography is becoming quite popular but again, you may not want your entire wedding album to consist of illustrative photos. While they certainly will be beautiful, they will look more like artsy photographs rather than pictures that convey the most special day of your life.
Just as you would imagine a fashion show, so is fashion wedding photography. This style of photography is still one of the rarer styles, but is quickly becoming more popular as brides and grooms continue to want something different and unique in their wedding photo album.
Fashion wedding photography doesn’t usually take place on the wedding day, but rather the bride and groom book studio time with a photographer in advance of their wedding day. At the arranged time, the bride and groom will be able to take part in many different model poses such as “angry face bridezilla”, or “sad and tearful groom” and traditional posed shots will also be taken.
Some bride and grooms decide to have this be just a day for the bride, and many brides even give their grooms these shots as part of their wedding gift. However, many couples also take part in this together, often renting different gowns and tuxes so the groom still does not see the bride’s gown before they’re at the altar.
Fashion wedding photography is a lot of fun, but you probably also don’t want an entire album of this. While it can make a cute present, or a good way to unwind while you’re in the middle of wedding planning, you’ll probably also want a photographer there on the day of to take traditional and photojournalistic shots.
Some brides like to keep their wedding gowns forever after their big day, and go to great measures and great cost to get them stored properly. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, but some brides like to forget everything about wedding planning as soon as their big day is done.
Planning a wedding is extremely stressful and afterwards, some brides would give anything to just not worry about anything else – including taking care of their dress. And in walks “Trash the Dress” wedding photography.
This style of wedding photography involves literally, the bride running around in her dress, getting it ripped and dirtied and torn. This can be done in a very beautiful way, with a bride running down the beach with sand all over her torn dress, or a bride sitting in the rain with her soaking wet gown. Not only can these make for truly artistic shots, but many brides also say that there’s nothing like it to relive post-wedding stress!
In addition to the style of photography that your wedding photographer has in mind, you’ll also want to know about the kind of equipment that they’ll be using. The most obvious reason for this is because it gives you added reassurance that you’re working with a professional. If someone shows up with their handheld digital camera that has no more than standard digital zoom, you should be worried.
The second reason why you need to know a little bit about the kind of equipment your photographer will use is because it will ultimately affect the way the photos look. Of course today, there are two obvious choices: digital or film. While this is still a large topic of debate among photographers, you’ll need to consider which one is best for you, and also look at the equipment the photographer uses to shoot either one of them.
Some people argue that digital is not recommended for wedding photos because the photos themselves will not be as high quality as those that are taken on film. However, digital photos today can be enlarged and resized, and still retain their integrity and quality, even when they’re taken with a digital camera. Do make sure that you know whether your photographer uses digital. If they do, ask to see some photos that they have enlarged so that you can see what the quality is like.
Also, if the photographer uses digital, ask them what kind of camera they use. Make sure it’s a professional digital SLR camera that is equipped with interchangeable lenses. Also, make sure that they’re using a camera with no less than 8 mega pixels. That will ensure that it can be enlarged without losing its quality.
Also make sure that the photographer is going to be using full quality mode the entire time. Some will try to reduce the quality so that they can fit more pictures onto their memory card. Remember that they should be more worried about good pictures than fitting them all into one space – and a good photographer will be!
There are many advantages to hiring a photographer who uses digital photography. One is that you’ll have easier access to DVDs and CDs. You’ll also probably not need to wait as long for your prints, because the photographer will send them to a high-end lab that can process many prints in a short order of time.