Now, it is time to hire a photographer... that is going to be a little more difficult. Every photographer seems to have a unique style, a varying array of products and a different way of pricing his or her services, all of which can be a challenge to keep straight. Many brides come to a photographer with a long list of questions, but often ask the wrong ones. Considering the following elements before meeting with potential photographers will help you make an informed choice.
Really think about which style will tell your wedding story best. Does the candid, unobtrusive look of photojournalism appeal to you? Perhaps a mix of photojournalism and traditional, posed portraiture will please all parties? How much black and white would you like? How about sepia, infrared, or cross processing? When interviewing photographers, ask to see what they normally do. The more samples he or she can show you, the better you will be able to make up your mind. It is very important that the style they excel in is the style you’re looking for.
Today, the majority of brides like to have a mix of about 80% photojournalism and 20% posed photographs. Again, try to see as many of a photographer’s current albums as possible. In the case of studios with multiple photographers, make sure you see work by the photographer who would be assigned to photograph your wedding and that his or her name is on the contract. If possible, ask to see an album about to be delivered. You want to be sure their work is consistent from their sample albums to the real deal.
Think about the products and/or services you want. Do you want coverage of your wedding day only? Would you like an engagement photo ses- sion? Do you need an album of all your proofs? Do you want the photographer to assemble your wedding album? Do you want to pay him/her to do the same for your parents’ albums? How about framed enlargements for your home? When you interview your photographer, it is very important to take the time to add up how much all the extras will cost you. He or she should be able to give you a solid estimate.
Film vs. Digital
Whether to go with a photographer who shoots digitally or one that shoots on film is really a personal preference. With a good digital photographer,you should not notice a difference in quality. One difference you will experience, however, is in the way your images are presented to you after the wedding. With film, you will most likely be given hard copies of your finished originals or “proofs.” With digital images, the photographer may post your photos online for you to view and/or give you CD or DVD with thumbnail size copies of your digital photos. When faced with this choice, be sure you fully understand what is included with each method and ask to see a sample of how your proofs will be delivered.
Depending on the photographer’s shooting method, you will either return to their studio when you are ready to design your album or the process will be completed online. With some studios, you will be responsible for selecting the images that will be included while others will design your album for you or even suggest a third party to oversee the project. If you would like to be in control of designing your album, ask if he/she offers the opportunity to work with you as an experienced guide. Also get a clear answer on which album brands and styles are included in your package and if extra charges apply for album upgrades. The most important question: How long will it take to produce? You want your album to look spectacular and be in your hands after a reasonable amount of time has passed since your big day.
Opening photograph by Walters & Walters