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Wedding Articles: Selecting a Photographer

Your professional photographer is an important part of your wedding day. Selecting the right photographer is not an easy task. Ideally, you should begin looking for a photographers at least 12 to 18 months prior to your wedding, because experienced photographers are booked many months in advance.

As you are interviewing photographers here are some questions to ask before you make your final decision:

1. Whom from your studio will photograph my wedding and may I see a complete wedding that he/she has recently photographed? Make sure that you talk to the photographer that is actually photographing your wedding. She/he may have a different style and/or skill level than the primary photographer.

2. How many weddings have you photographed? How many do you photograph each year/each day? This will indicate how experienced the photographer is and whether they are going to rush off to another after yours or come to yours after covering an earlier wedding.

3. Do you use a professional cameras? Is your back-up equipment professional? Professional quality medium format and 35mm cameras are necessary to provide professional results. Back up equipment of the same caliber should be available in case of malfunctions or accidents.

4. Do you use a professional lab to process and print your film? Professional printers know how to keep your dress the same color through out the entire set of prints.

5. What kind of educational background and/or experience have you had in developing your photographic technique? Are you a member of a professional organization? Have you earned recognition for your wedding photography? Although completion of courses and membership in professional organizations does not guarantee expertise, it may indicate that the photographer is keeping up with the latest trends and techniques by attending seminars and conventions. What is your philosophy about wedding photography? Will their style fit your style?

6. Considering my facial features and physical attributes, which angle of my face would you assume to be better? Have you notices any expressions or mannerisms of mine that you might want to capture or avoid? Everyone has a "better" side of the face to photograph from. Lighting and posing is critical to make you look your best on your special day.

7. Do you multiple-dimension lighting? This technique creates a 3-dimensional image and will enhance many portraits.

8. How do you handle situations in which you are unfamiliar with the church or other outdoor locations? Do they scout out unfamiliar locations before the wedding day or arrive early?

9. What will it cost to photograph my wedding and how many images will I have to select from? Can the coverage be customized to my specific needs? Get all the figures for the photographer's time, prints and albums. What is included in the coverage and what do you have to pay extra for? For example; engagement and news release portraits. How much will extra prints be? Find out exactly what you will and will not be getting for the coverage provided.

10. How long will it take to see our wedding images and how long will it take to complete the finished album?  Your finished album should be completed within three months after you order it.

11. Do the pictures and albums have a guarantee? Professionals will back up the quality of their work.

Selecting the best professional photographer, for you, can be confusing but if you visit several photographers, that are within your budget range, inspect their work, and ask many questions, you should be able to choose the one that best fits into your style.

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