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Quick Tips: Picking a Photographer

1) Book in Advance: Most notable photographers book up fast, especially during the main "wedding seasons".  This should be on the top of your "To Do" list.

2) A Friend in Need: Chances are you have a friend or two that has already tied the knot.  If not, look to either of the couple's parents.  This is the easiest way to dig up a list of photographer references and get first hand opinions about their work.

3) Bridal Fairs: Wedding Photographers often advertise their work at a bridal fair because it is a great way for a lot of people to access their work in a short time.

4) Specialization: Make sure your photographer specializes in weddings, period!

5) Costs: Discuss the total dollar amount for your package, including the photographing process, proofs, and the additional costs of actual development of your favorite selected photos.  Also inquire as to your rights to the proofs after they are developed.  Some photographers won’t release their proofs without an additional charge.

6) Credibility: Many photographers will advertise wedding photos that aren’t actually their work.  Ask for references so you can discuss firsthand with previous users their opinions about your potential photographer’s work.

7) Up to Date: Always ask to see photos of recent weddings.  You want to make sure your photographer hasn’t returned from a 10-year hiatus to do your wedding.

8) Detail, Detail, Detail: Will the photographer focus only on people, will he take close ups of "candid" moments, setting backdrops, flower arrangements, etc.

9) Creativity: Is your photographer keen on traditional poses or does he opt for a variety of poses and backgrounds to give your album a greater sense of depth?

10)  Lighting: Will the photographer use special lighting, lenses, etc. to enhance or alter the photos?

11) Color: Do you want your photos all in color, black and white, sepia tone, etc?

12) Charging: Does your photographer charge by the hour or by the event? Are they willing to stay later if the ceremony runs longer than expected? If yes, is there an additional charge for the extra time?

13) Food: Will you feed your photographer during the ceremony?

14) Back Ups Please: Will your photographer have back up equipment in case of malfunctions?

15) Requests: Is your photographer open to special requests, (i.e. taking photos of specific events, special people, etc.)?

16)  Timing: How long after the wedding will you have to wait to receive your proofs?

17)  Digital: Will your photographer use traditional camera equipment or digital equipment? If there is an option, what are the price differences?

18)  Negatives: Ask if they sell the negatives or if they sell the photos.  Also, inquire as to how long they keep the negatives if they do in fact keep them after the ceremony.

19)  Albums: What are the costs for additional albums for the bride and groom's parents?

20)  Wedding Photographers International: Inquire as to your photographer's registration with the organization.  Most notable photographers are registered with the WPI.

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