Friday, May 21, 2010

Picture Perfect

When selecting a photographer, think ahead.  Your relationship with your photographer doesn't end after you've cut the cake and jetted off to your honeymoon.  Most likely your photog will be responsible for sending your proofs, ordering your prints, and creating your albums.  Don't be left still waiting for your digital images a year after your big day.  Ask lost of questions to potential photogs, so you know what to expect throughout the process. Here is a list to get you started:
  • (For large companies) Will I get to choose the photographer that shoots the wedding?
  • (For large companies) Will I get to meet with the photographer before the wedding?
  • Will the photographer have an assistant that takes photos also?
  • What packages do you offer?
  • Do you take only a specific number of photos?
  • Do you stay only a specific number of hours or until the end of the reception?
  • What is the overtime charge if the wedding is not over before the time contracted for?
  • Do you check with me before going into overtime or leaving the wedding?
  • Do you have a backup photographer in case of illness or an emergency?
  • Do you bring backup equipment with you?
  • What is your photography style? Photojournalistic? Artistic? Traditional Posed? Combo?
  • Will you follow a list of desired shots?
  • How long after the wedding until we get to view the proofs?
  • Do I get the copyright ownership to the photos?
  • How long after the wedding until we get all of the negatives/digital images?
  • What type of albums do you use?
  • How many pages in the standard album?
  • How much does it cost for extra pages?
  • When can we expect to receive the albums?
  • How will I receive the proofs? The albums? The digital CD? (mail? Pickup? Online?)
  • Do you do any retouching to the photos?
  • Who creates the album?
  • Do I get to choose which photos will be included in the album?
  • Do I get to approve the layout for the album and make changes before it’s printed?
  • Do you release the albums to us even if others (such as the bridal party) have not paid for their orders?
Once you've chosen your photog, don't be afraid to give direction and be specific.  If there are certain locations around the venue where you want photos taken, tell the photog. If there are certain shots you want taken, give the photog a list. Don't assume that the photog will remember preferences you talked about in your initial meeting.  Whether details about your album or shots you want taken on wedding day, be sure to reiterate them to your photographer at the appropriate time. The more specific you are with what you want, the more likely you are to be satisfied when you get back your proofs.

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