Weddings are busy, beautiful and yes, even stressful events. And in the hustle and bustle of everything that makes a wedding, well, a wedding, it's not hard to imagine that something might get missed. That's understandable, but you want to make sure that 'something' doesn't fall under the category of missed photographs. That is why one of the most important aspects of wedding planning needs to be the selection of your photographer. Remember... long after the cake has been eaten and the wedding dress is pushed to the back of the attic, you'll still be looking at your wedding pictures and remembering the joy of your special day.
Most wedding photographers have a check-list they go by; one the bride and groom are usually asked to fill out prior to the wedding. If not, make sure you provide the photographer with a list of what photos you want taken. If you are unsure of what you should include in that list, you can find photo check lists in bridal magazines and websites such as shutterfly.com or knotforlife.com. Not using a checklist is asking for trouble... and missed photo ops you'll never have again. To avoid this unfortunate mishap, make a point to select someone (the bride's mom, a favorite aunt or sister in-law) who will be responsible for working with the photographer; a checks and balances system, you might say.
Owen and Melissa would have benefited greatly from doing so; things got so hectic that they ended up without a single shot of just the two of them! Thank goodness for cropping tools on photo sites!
Other tips to keep in mind when hiring your wedding photographer include:
- Examining their portfolio. Do you like their work? Are they creative? Is the lighting and exposure up to par?
- Ask for references-and follow up by contacting one or two of them.
- Remember that not all wedding photographers need to be 'professionals'. There are plenty of hobby photographers whose work is top quality and definitely wedding-worthy. Ask family and friends for suggestions, contact your local photography club or the photo-journalism department of a nearby college or university.
- Make sure the photographer fully explains what you are getting for your money. Are you getting full rights to the photos? How much time is included in the price? How long will it be before you receive your photos?
- Get it in writing. This includes receipts for payments made and a 'contract' for what you are receiving in return for your payment.
- Feel comfortable with the photographer. Do they listen to what you want?