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Learn Helpful Tips on Finding the Perfect Photographer

Today's couples have access to a variety of photographic styles for their wedding, ranging from traditional to photojournalistic. You may choose from several coverage packages as well—from purely still photos to full audio-video documentation; from days before the wedding to just the ceremony and reception; from pure photography to additional ancillary services, such as make-up touch ups during the coverage or creating your video presentation for the reception (should you plan to have one).

Choosing a Photo Style and Range of Services

Traditional or photojournalistic—which to choose? The traditional approach to wedding photography is to take posed or staged images, starting from the bride's preparations, to the entourage march, to the ceremony highlights, to the couple and family portraits, to the table-to-table snapshots with guests at the reception, to the final toast and send-off. The photojournalistic approach, on the other hand, captures candid, on-the-fly images as the occasion unfolds. Meaningful expressions, moments of laughter and tears, unguarded exchanges among members of the wedding party, details of the bridal accessories and ceremony decor, even panoramic views of the wedding and reception venue. This true-to-life approach also lends itself to black and white prints, which can then become beautiful framed mementos.

While most wedding photographers today offer both the traditional and photojournalistic styles—as well as a hybrid of these—it is best to ascertain which one they specialize in. Or better yet, meet with at least two to three potential vendors before making a selection. While conducting your search on choosing a photographer, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

1. Choose from a roster of reputable photographers and ask for their references. Or if a satisfied client-couple recommends one photography vendor to you, put him or her on your short list.

2. Ask to see their portfolio of weddings covered. This may be in the form of actual picture binders or an on-line album that you may browse through. Check if their style appeals to you.

3. Ask detailed questions, especially with regard to pricing in relation to inclusion of services.

4. Examine their fee structure and read the work contract carefully. Look for items beyond the actual wedding day coverage, such as the cost of editing your wedding video or creating a bound photo album from a specified number of prints.

5. Discuss your preferred location for your wedding portraits—at a studio, in your home or in a garden setting—and get a sense of how they plan to portray you in these settings.

Storing Pictures in Digital Format

Thanks to modern technology, you now have the convenience and security of digital archiving of your entire wedding album. This digital format ensures that you can easily retrieve and enjoy these precious wedding memories for years to come—both through viewing them on your computer and through printing out your favorite photos. So, aside from a bound album of selected prints, do ensure that the service package you choose includes turn over of the digital photo files in DVD format.

Crafting a Wedding Scrapbook

While digital is the way to go in today's world, there is still something so personal and endearing about an actual wedding scrapbook that you can browse through. And putting it together yourself makes it truly meaningful. Not only do you print and mount photos chosen from before and after the wedding, but you can add whatever mementos were accumulated during the entire experience. For instance, fabric swatches for your bridal gown, brochures of various wedding vendors, the reception menu, the plane tickets to and from your honeymoon, gift tags from your wedding presents, and even your to-do list and budget would make memorable inserts among the photos. Imagine reminiscing with this scrapbook on your 25th anniversary!

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