Finding the Right Photographer

How to find the right photographer.
Once you’ve established the style that is best for you, it’s time to find a professional photographer that meets your needs. Start the process by collecting referrals from friends, reviewing helpful resources like Premier Bride, attending bridal shows and surfing the Internet. Create a short list of potential photographers that specialize in the style you desire, based on their work and your budget, and set up an in-person or phone consultation with them.

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Your goal at this consultation is to evaluate three main areas:

Do you like their work? Be sure to see complete wedding albums along with individual photos, to get the best idea of the end product you can expect to receive. Also, be very sure that you know exactly WHO will be shooting YOUR wedding – and view their work, as some larger studios have more than one photographer.
Do your personalities mesh? Of all your wedding vendors, the photographer is the one vendor with whom you will spend a good deal of time on your wedding day. You want to feel comfortable with this person! Even if he or she is a great photographer, if your personalities just don’t ‘click’ – you may want to keep looking.
Do they fit your budget? It’s so critical to have a budget amount in mind before looking for a photographer, so that you can feel confident that the one you’ve decided on, and love, also meets your financial requirements.

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The different parts of a photography package.
As you’re selecting your photographer, it may help to be aware of the various elements generally included in wedding photography packages. Most photographers also offer these elements ‘a la carte,’ or can create a custom package that specifically meets your needs – so be sure to ask.

Bride & Groom’s Album. There are a wide variety of wedding albums available today, and they vary in size, color, material, construction and price. When comparing different photographers’ bride & groom albums, be sure you’re noting the quantity of photos and in what sizes, to make sure you’re comparing “apples to apples.”

Parents’ albums. The parents’ albums are smaller versions of the bride & groom album, and have traditionally included about twenty 5×7 photographs. Photos should be carefully selected for each family, to create two (or more) custom family albums.

Extra prints. You will probably want to order extra photographs in addition to the main album and parents’ albums, for yourself or your parents to have some framed portraits at home, for members of the wedding party, and for other close friends and family members. Don’t underestimate how many prints you will want after the wedding, as this will definitely impact your budget.
Proofs. Ask your photographer how many proofs you will get, and in what format. They may be provided as small photos, in digital format, on the Internet, or on contact sheets.

Engagement photograph. This is a posed portrait of the newly engaged couple, which can be sent to newspapers with information announcing your engagement. You may also choose to put a framed engagement photo by the guest book at your reception.

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