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Choosing a Wedding Photographer

in Hiring Vendors
Dressed in radiant pink gowns, the bridesmaids hold pink, rose and cream bouquets behind their backs.

Without a doubt, researching wedding photographers online first before setting up any actual appointments can save time. Any reputable photographer should have a fairly comprehensive website that includes a portfolio of their work, services and photography packages offered, as well as some background on who they are and what their artistic approach is.

Once you narrow down your list and begin to contact various photographers, either for phone or in-person interviews, ask how many weddings the photographer has done and whether or not he or she has photographed at your wedding venue. Familiarity with the space ahead of time will allow for more efficiency on the part of the photographer, who will be able to plan for different shots and situations unique to that venue.

Tip: Be sure to meet with your top-choice photographer(s) in person, before signing any contracts. Just because a photographer has an impressive website, an in-person meeting will help you confirm any doubts you may have about his or her legitimacy, as well as make sure that you both “click” together. If you and your photographer share the same vision and have a great working relationship, it’ll show in your photos.

Also, make sure that the photographer you choose will be the one who will actually be photographing your wedding. If you’re dealing with a large company who has several photographers available, they may send whomever is available on your wedding date. Be sure to get this in writing, as part of your contract with the photography company.

wedding photography options

As budget is a concern for most couples these days, be sure to talk with your potential photographer about the various wedding packages that he or she offers. Typical services include:

  • Engagement Portraits
  • Wedding Proofs
  • Wedding Albums
  • Parents’ Albums
  • Extra Prints
  • Negatives

The cost for each of these services varies greatly from photographer to photographer. Decide what you need before interviewing someone so that you have an idea of what the total cost will look like after ordering extra prints, purchasing the negatives, etc.

Note: Most experienced wedding photographers will charge quite a bit extra for orders of additional prints and/or for selling you the original negatives. Many professional photographers won’t sell the negatives at all. Find out up front what these costs are, and what your photographer’s policy on obtaining negatives is.

questions to ask photographers

In addition to getting to know your photographer on a more personal level, here is a good list of questions that you’ll want to be sure to ask during an initial meeting:

  • What is your payment and deposit procedure?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • What is your policy and cost for overtime, should my wedding run longer than scheduled?
  • Do you have a standard list of photos/poses that I can choose from? (Ex. Bride and Father Dancing, Exchange of Rings at Ceremony, Cake Cutting at Reception, etc.)
  • How soon after the wedding will I be able to review the proofs? How many proofs will I receive?
  • When will I receive my wedding albums?
  • Do you have a website where our family and guests can order additional prints?