A Picture Perfect Match - Choosing a Wedding Photographer that Fits
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A Picture Perfect Match - Choosing a Wedding Photographer that Fits

By Amanda Stout

Selecting your wedding photographer is one of the most important elements to your wedding day and can be quite the intimidating and overwhelming task. The special memories captured by your wedding photographer will be treasured and recounted for years to come. Read on for helpful wedding photography tips in your search and a list of questions to ask when meeting with a potential wedding photographer.

Groom taking picture of smiling brideSelecting the photographer for your wedding can be an intimidating and overwhelming task. Your wedding photos will hopefully be with you for the rest of your life. The special memories captured by your wedding photographer will bring back the emotions you felt on your special day. Your wedding photos will be pieced together to tell your own personal love story for you to recount for years to come. Needless to say your photographer is one of the most important elements to your wedding day.

When looking for a photographer it is important to find one that possesses a style or point of view that you like and find fitting for your wedding photos. From traditional to artistic to photojournalistic, there are many styles to choose from. Think about what type of photos you would like, black and whites, color shots, candids, portraits, pictures of guests, décor, the church, etc. Will you want the photographer with you from getting ready all the way through the major reception events? Look for a photographer that has examples of all these types of photos in their portfolio. It is helpful to find a photographer that is willing to work with a shot list that the bride and groom provide.

Take recommendations from friends or family who have gotten married or had special photos taken recently, a referral from a previous customer is always a good place to start when looking for a photographer. Start researching photographers online and checking out their websites. An attractive, well designed website is a good indication of a photographer�s work. Look at the photos in their online galleries too see if you like them. Email photographers for price quotes to see if they fit into your budget. Once you have found a few photographers you like, it is time to set up a meeting.

When meeting with a potential photographer it is beneficial to come with a list of questions to ensure both you and the photographer know what is expected if you decide to work together. Here is a sample list of questions to get you started:
  • Do you prefer to shoot in black and white, color or both? What is the typical percentage of these shots?

  • What type of editing and retouching do you do? Will all photos be edited or just select ones?

  • Do you bring an assistant? What are their roles? Will they be taking pictures too? If so, you may want to ask to see samples of their work as well.

  • Ask about packages the photographer offers and how many hours are included in each package. What is the rate for extra hours?

  • Are proofs apart of the package or do they cost extra? Will the proofs be posted online, delivered to me or require a visit to your studio?

  • What prints are included in the package? What is the cost for extra prints? Is there a minimum order for prints?

  • Is an album included? What are my choices in albums?

  • Are you willing to follow a shot list?

  • Will there be a way to share photos online? Can my guests order their own prints online?

  • Will your rates change before my wedding? Am I guaranteed that my package price will remain the same?

  • Do you bring your own lighting? This is important especially if you are having an indoor ceremony in a church or other venue.

  • What type of clothing will you and your assistant wear to the wedding? Make sure their attire fits in at your event.

  • Who owns the copyrights to the photos? Can a CD be purchased with all of my images with the copy right to them?

  • What happens if you are sick or have a family emergency the day of my wedding? Is there a backup plan?

  • What is the average amount of pictures you take during a full wedding day? How many pictures can I expect to see?

  • Have you been to my ceremony or reception space before? Would you be willing to visit the sites before the wedding?

  • How much of a deposit is due?

  • When is the balance due?

  • What is the cancellation policy?
Ask for a few references from your potential photographer. When speaking with their former clients, you get to hear how the photographer was on site and how they interacted with the bridal party and other guests. You want to make sure that you are comfortable with the photographer because they are going to be by your side every step of the wedding. By meeting face to face, you are going to get an idea if the photographer will be a good fit for you.

Make sure your photographer gives you a detailed contract that outlines specifics like cancellation polices, copyright and photo usage. It should also outline what is included in the specific package you chose, the amount of hours your photographer will be present with arrival time listed and any other specific rules or regulations.

So do your homework and set up some meetings. The perfect wedding photographer for you is out there, it�s just a matter of finding them!
About the Author - Amanda is a writer and product developer for My Wedding Reception Ideas.com. My Wedding Reception Ideas specializes in personalized wedding favors, wedding accessories and wedding party gifts. You can find morehelpful wedding tips, advice and ideas from Amanda and other wedding experts here.