Choosing a wedding photographer can be an overwhelming decision. There are a few main things to remember when making the final decision. As with all wedding planning, determine your preferences and prioritize your wants and needs related to pictures taken at your wedding.
Below is a list of things to keep in mind when choosing a photographer. But remember, one of the most important things is that you and the photographer “click”.
Photographers may charge an hourly rate. If you are trying to save money, determine what parts of your wedding are critical to capture and allot that time to your photographer. Pictures during and immediately following the ceremony are generally the most important pieces. However, photographers may have a minimum number of hours they will contract for so be sure to ask.
If taking pictures before the wedding, off-site between the ceremony and reception, and all night during the dinner and reception are high on your priority list, you may be better off choosing a package deal. This will generally state a number of hours with a total dollar amount to be charged.
Some photographers will edit all pictures, will edit ones they find to be good photos, or edit only an agreed upon number of photos. Be sure to ask this question of your potential photographer and ask how they decide which photos are best. There may be an opportunity for the couple to have a say in which ones are edited, which can reduce the amount of time the photographer spends editing, and hopefully the editing cost. Be sure to ask if that is an option!
Many photographers require all photos to be ordered through their website or through a provider website. Generally a limited window of time (i.e. 60, 120 days) is allowed for photos to be ordered from the site. This method is not the most cost conscious or flexible for ordering photos at your leisure. Prints can be very expensive to order through the photographer’s website, but if you are highly conerned about the quality of the print, this may be your preferred method.
Photographers may also allow you to purchase individual negatives of pictures. While this is expensive, it can allow you to determine a photo that you know you really like and have the flexibility to order prints on your own, say to put on holiday or thank you cards. Be sure to ask if a reprint authorization form is required from you photographer to be able to print these with a different developer, even Walgreens or Target.
The best option by far is getting a high resolution CD of the originals. There are many variations of this: a limited number of originals, package pricing based on the number of originals you want, etc. This option allows you to have the freedom to order as many pictures as you’d like using whatever developer you want, including online sources like snapfish.com and shutterfly.com. As with the purchase of individual negatives, be sure to ask for a reprint authorization form.
Photographers have various creative ways to create wedding photography packages for you. These can include a printed album, DVD picture montage, thank you cards and engagement photo sessions. Be sure to get various quotes from multiple photographers to get the best deal.
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