Unlike the work of your other wedding vendors, when it comes to wedding portraits you don’t really know what you’re getting until after the fact. Choosing a wedding photographer requires careful research. Here are five things to consider when choosing your wedding photographer.
Number 1: your photography style
Before you start trolling the internet for wedding photographers, you need to decide on what type of photography style best reflects you as a couple. Ask yourself whether you like posed pictures or spontaneous pictures. If you want to capture your wedding exactly as it happened, you might want to focus on purely photojournalistic photographers. For posed pictures, opt for someone specialised in portraiture. Most photographers can do a combination of styles; however choose a photographer that specialises in your preferred style of photography.
Number 2: your needs
Before you start booking photographers left and right, you need to know exactly what you want. A lot depends on how large your wedding is. Consider the amount of coverage you are hoping to book (just the day or full weekend), how many albums you want, if you would like an engagement shoot and how many shooters you need. The main benefit of having more than one photographer is that while one photographer is shooting the formal photos, the other one(s) can get behind-the-scenes pictures or capture your guests mingling.
Number 3: Tell your photographer what you need
Once you know your needs, decide on a budget. A photographer’s fee depends on where the photographer is based, how large your wedding is, how many days the photographer needs to shoot and any extras you may want (such as an engagement shoot or special effects). Ask whether your photographer has a package that might cover most of your needs. If they do, ask for the standard rates anyway to compare with the fee of other potential photographers. If you have room in your budget, consider hiring a photography team to capture the event from all angles.
Number 4: post-production details
It usually takes a couple of weeks (depending on how busy the photographer is) to get photo proofs back from your photographer, as he or she would need to edit the pictures. Ask about the amount of images you can expect, the resolution of the pictures and retouching options and special effects.
Number 5: your rights
It is important to discuss the contract details with your potential photographer before you commit to hiring them. Some contracts stipulate that the photographer owns the rights to all photos, which means that the photographer can use photos of your wedding for promotional purposes (such as on their blog or in ads). And in some cases, you would need to buy the rights to your images if you would like to print the photos yourself or order an album from another vendor. It is important to know what your rights are so you can negotiate the terms that are important to you.
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