So you want to capture great memories of your wedding...here are five things to keep in mind in selecting and working with your photographer!
- Don't let a beginner practice with YOUR wedding.
Friends don't let friends take their wedding photos, and there is good reason for this. If the bride and/or groom are disappointed with the results, or if something should go seriously wrong, this could put a lasting strain on the friendship. Professionals take pains to make sure there are no problems, or at least none that can't be remedied. Extra cameras, multiple copies of the digital images, and other precautions make sure that these once-in-a-lifetime photos are captured secured. Should a friend make a mistake or have an accident, not only will your photos suffer, you may also damage a valued relationship.
In terms of quality, an experienced professional will have more than just a few impressive images to show you. You will see a wide variety of work, and consistent success at capturing all the phases of a wedding day.
- Get the pro you hire.
In addition to being pleased with the sample photos you see at a studio, you should also be sure that you are getting the person who can take such photos, as opposed to the newest recruit at the studio. While it is perfectly normal for a studio to have multiple photographers on call, you will need to know the particular person who will be working with you, and be confident in his or her ability to do a great job. If possible, it is a good idea to meet with your photographer before committing. You can judge the work as well as getting a feeling for the personality of someone who will be interacting with you throughout one of the most important days of your life.
- Schedule the time needed.
Weddings can be complicated, and juggling all of the elements at once can be challenging and stressful. Do yourself a favor and allow enough time for everything to flow smoothly, including time for photographs. When time is not overly tight everyone is more able to relax and enjoy the day, and then the smiles you hope to see in your photos are plentiful and genuine. If the scheduling is tight a simple glitch can cascade into an ongoing rush to make up for lost time, and with firm times for the ceremony and food service it is likely that photo time will be where the slack is taken up. Putting an extra fifteen minutes here and there will allow for the occasional late flower delivery, misplaced garter, etc. If nothing goes wrong, the time can be spent taking fun spontaneous photos or just taking a moment to enjoy the wedding experience.
- Make a list of what you want most.
A good photographer will want to know as many details as possible about your wedding-day plans. In addition to a list of events and timing, it is important to put emphasis on anything unique or important. Planning to release doves? Is the groom being delivered to the ceremony in a fire truck? A prepared photographer can get into position and make the most of the opportunity. Likewise your photographer would have to be told that certain relatives have flown in from Hawaii and so they MUST be included in shots with the bride and groom. It also doesn't hurt to make a more complete list of the poses and family combinations you want. Just keep in mind that an overly-long wish list might so preoccupy your photographer so much that good opportunities are passed by, resulting in getting what you ask for and not much else.
- Follow up
When you get to see your proofs, perhaps with an online gallery, try to make your selections while your memory of the day is fresh. If you have online proofing, think about including friends and relatives in the selection process. Although the final choices are entirely yours, it can be helpful to get other points of view.
Hopefully these simple ideas will help you get great memories to enjoy for years to come!
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