When planning your wedding, one of the most important aspects to consider is the wedding photographer. For better or worse, he or she holds the record of this most momentous occasion of your life.
You should not only request at least two to three references from your potential wedding photographer and follow-up by calling them if you do not already know them, but you should also be able to view a portfolio of their work.
Discuss and/or draft a proposal with the wedding photographer’s studio while you’re there. If they are a part of a professional organization, they may or may not have pre-formatted packages. In any case, they might not include everything you want, and you might have to strike a deal to get more options.
Before signing any contract, you should compare rates with other reputable wedding photographers. You should include a clause in your contract that allows for a generous settlement if the photographer fails to show up, is late, or the photos are unacceptable.
This should also include an agreed-upon time frame for the wedding photographer’s studio to produce proofs, as well as the time it will take you to receive the final images. Agree on whether the package includes an album and, if so, how it will look. If you don’t like the album’s design but everything else is fine, you can agree to supply a different album.
Leaving anything ‘to chance’ can lead to months of frustration and possibly long-term disappointment. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and your wedding photographer’s work will be the only visual record you have of the happiest day of your life. You’ll want to keep it forever.
It is also a good idea to agree in writing how many takes of each pose or shot the contract will allow. This is to ensure that if someone does not photograph well, you will have a choice. With a group, each take may have at least one flaw that detracts from the overall quality of the image.
If you can afford it, a package that includes the usual formal poses of the bride and groom, the bride, the wedding party, the families, and so on, as well as an arrangement for the wedding photographer to attend the reception and take informal shots, is probably the best.
At the wedding reception, the wedding photographer may photograph the newlywed couple’s first dance, the dance with the bride and her father, the dance with the groom and his mother, and so on. You’ll want photos of the cake as well as the bride and groom cutting the cake. Depending on your budget, you may also want to include photos of the guests dancing or other aspects of the reception.