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Choosing a Wedding Photographer

Choosing a Wedding Photographer, brought to you by Wilf Kordts Photography in Kingston, ON 

After choosing your partner, a beautiful wedding dress and setting a date, arguably the next most important decision is who will shoot your wedding photographs.

The flowers may wilt, the cake will be eaten and the music will fade.  But the memories if your special day are captured forever in your wedding album.  Your family and friends will long appreciate the investment as you reminisce.  Your wedding is one step in the history of your family and is far too important to entrust to well-meaning relative or friend with a fancy camera.

Photographers often book weddings a year or more in advance; so once you have a fixed date, don’t wait to start looking.

Exercise care in selecting your wedding photographer.  Good wedding photographers can be found by referral from satisfied friends, in newspapers and magazines advertisements and at bridal shows or in the Yellow Pages.

A wide variety of services and prices is available and it is important to comparison shop to meet your needs.  Although there are some non-professional weekend photographers who produce acceptable results, choosing a fulltime photographer who is member of a professional association will enhance your chances of complete satisfaction.  Think twice about depending on well-meaning friends – you will have to live with the results for many years.

Comparing wedding photographers’ services is like comparing apples with oranges; be sure that you are clear about what is included for the price quoted.

However, for example some photographers offer only packages which include a fixed number of prints and mandatory albums.  Other price weddings based on the number of locations at which the photographs will be taken.  Still others price by the hour or by the number of rolls of film used.  The ideal approach is to price weddings on a flat fee for the entire day, regardless of the number of locations or the amount of pictures required to ensure the entire event is captured, with enlargements and albums purchased on an individual basis to provide complete ordering flexibility.

Never contract with a photographer you have not met.  Some will expect you to visit their studio during business hours while others will accommodate you by coming to your home at a mutually-convenient time.

During the interview, try to assess whether the photographer’s personal style and presentation will be apporpriate among your guests.  As the bride, remember that the photogrpaher should be nearby from the time you are dressing at home until after you throw your bouquest.  Will you be comfortable?  If your photographer is experience, he or she will help put you at ease rather than add to your stress.  Be sure to verify all information and expect to review a portfolio of sample wedding photographs, both previews and finished enlargements.

Things to consider:

-Will the person you are interviewing be the one shooting your event, not an assistant?

-Were the photos you are reviewing taken by the photographer who will photograph your wedding?

-Are the photographs from actual wedding, not carefully staged shoots with models?

-Although today’s cameras provide excellent results for albu enlargements (8×10), if you want a large framed wall print, ensure that the photographer uses equipment that will give you those results.

-Can the photogrpaher provide the style of photography you are seeking?  Some prefer to take only formal posed shots while others will also capture your party at informal moments, as would a photo-journalist.

– Will the photographer work only from a list of shots prepared during the interview or canyou make requests as the day progresses?  Will your photographs capture casual moments or will the photographer stage the shots in orer to leave the wedding or reception early?

-Will yours be the only wedding your photographer will shoot that day or will you be squeezed in between another?

-Establish the amount of deposit required to hold the date, and the terms for payment of the  balance.  What provisions are made wither if you postpone or cancel the wedding or if the photographer becomes ill?

-How many proofs are included and do yo get to keep them?  Will your photographer research and respect the guidelines provided by the person conducting your wedding service?

Most photographic contracts provide the photographer with exclusive rights, meaning no other professional will be taking photgraphs (not including videographers) and your guests are excluded from the taking of photos during the formal posed picture session. 

Finally, having made your choice, relax and plan the rest of your wedding, and enjoy your very special day. 

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