As wedding expenses accrue, the last thing you should do is cut back on photography. The old adage 'you get what you pay for' certainly applies with wedding photography, so think of hiring a professional photographer as a must rather than an extravagance.
Professional Wedding Photography
A professional photographer will capture your precious moments throughout the day, without you even realising and ensure the lighting and exposure is right first time. "¨A professional photographer will:
- Handle all types of lighting.
- Capture the feeling of the day and spontaneity, amongst a whirlwind of activity.
- Direct people, taking control so that the best photographs result.
- Ensure every photo on your checklist is taken
- Not take over the celebrations or take away from the bridal couple's enjoyment of their day.
- Help you to achieve a 'perfect' shot
Choosing your photographer
You need to find a photographer whose style fits in with the vision of your wedding-day images and one with whom you feel comfortable.
- Flip through Modern Wedding Shots! Supplement or our suppliers list and select three or four photographers you feel can achieve the photography you want.
- Make appointments early as some good photographers are booked up to 18 months in advance.
- Both of you need to attend the interview. If you both like your photographer and feel relaxed in his or her presence, fantastic results are inevitable.
- Take some questions to ask for each photographer you visit.
- Ask about their packages and any extras that you may need.
- Get an impression. First impressions are important and often tell whether a photographer's style is compatible with your own ideas.
If your photographer is familiar with the ceremony and reception venues, they may offer advice on the best places for family snaps and bridal party shots."¨A pre-wedding or engagement photo shoot is another great way to assess a photographer. You will be able to ascertain whether you like working with them and feel relaxed in their presence as well as seeing how your photographs turn out.
Most wedding photographers offer a range of wedding packages from which couples can choose, and these can be great value for money. However, as each professional photographer's packages offer different things, comparing pricing can be rather confusing. Firstly, you need to understand the factors that affect photography pricing.
- Coverage 'Coverage' refers to the amount of time your photographer spends photographing your wedding.
- Albums The cost of the album can depend on style, size, pages etc.
- Album sides refer to the number of surfaces in your album on which photos are displayed.
- Proofs Proofs are the small prints of all your photos to help you choose your shots.
- Incentives Package 'incentives' are the 'added extras' that make up the remainder of the package after the coverage and the album have been chosen, such as mini albums or framed enlargements. These incentives differ for each studio, making across-the-board value comparisons difficult.
Your Written Agreement
Make sure all the details you have discussed with your photographer are put down in writing so that there are no misunderstandings - the complete package price and exactly what is included; any extras you have requested; when proofs will be ready; when, where and for how long the photographer will shoot and the name of the photographer you have selected so there won't be any substitution (except in unforeseen circumstances such as illness, of course).