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Laura Hunt

Selecting Vendors

Picture it!

Memories of your wedding are preserved in your mind, your heart, and in your wedding album. You want to recall the events of that important day by looking at the pictures, and you want to share them with your friends.

Your photographer should plan a wedding with you and make sure that all the pictures you want are taken during the event. Careful planning can avoid disappointments. Photos taken before a wedding ceremony assure fresher make-up and more time to spend with your guests later.

Most photographers offer package plans or à la carte arrangements, customized to your particular requests. If a photographer's rates seem high, keep in mind that half their fee covers overhead expenses (film and developing; proofs, final prints, and the album). Remember that photographers have a long day of hard work as they accompany you from the wedding ceremony to the end of the reception, or are present during the entire length of the party. They spend an additional 20 to 30 hours consulting and editing. Their larger format cameras, which are expensive, produce higher quality prints.

Your previews are usually ready between 1 and 3 weeks, from which you create your album. The cost of the previews may be included in your album order. Most photographers keep all the negatives; some might sell them to you after a few years.

Camera format varies. The larger, midsize cameras produce larger negatives, better quality pictures, and are great for producing poster-size photographs. The smaller 35 mm cameras are easier to handle and are more suitable for candid photography.

The new digital photography has been covered in detail in one of our feature stories: The Digital Advantage in Wedding Photography

Choosing the right photographer:
  • Choose a photographer whose style most appeals to you.
  • Make sure the photographer understands exactly what you want.
  • Spend some time looking through the portfolios of several photographers. If the pictures stir up some excitement in you about your wedding day, then you have found the right photographer.

  • Confirm the following items in your contract: date, location, arrival time, total amount of time the photographer will be present, package plan, and the name of the photographer assigned to your event.
  • Inquire about other events the photographer has scheduled before and after yours.
  • If your wedding runs late, the photographer may have to leave for another appointment.
  • Some photographers tend to "take charge" of the wedding so that they can get all the pictures done quickly. Some might become rude if your guests don't readily cooperate with them. Ask references about these kinds of behavior.
  • If you are planning to get married in a church or synagogue, find out about rules concerning photography.
  • Make sure your photographer and videographer work well together. Conflicts may arise if the photographer prefers to use available light only, while the videographer wants to use big strobe lights while taping.
  • If a friend is shooting your wedding, make sure he or she brings along enough film (about 10 rolls).

Money Matters:
To save money, ask your photographer about gift certificates in case your guests are wondering about a gift for you, just like registering for wedding gifts at a store.

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