Archive for September, 2011
When the bacon-wrapped scallops have run out, when the band has stopped playing, when the bouquet has long-since been tossed, what remains? Your eternal love and your wedding photos.
It can be tempting to enlist Uncle Joe or Journalism Student Cami to point-and-click your big day in order to save a couple thousand bucks, but free/cheap won’t look so appealing on the other side of your wedding, when Uncle Joe forgot to remove the lens cover or Cami didn’t use the flash and all of your pictures look like they were taken in an underground bunker at midnight.
Given that your photos are one of the few services that have a life beyond your wedding day (can we say multi-generations?), it is important to entrust this task to a professional photographer. Not just a photog with a current business license, but one who is capable of delivering what you want—gorgeous photographs that perfectly capture the essence of your wedding day. Courtesy of The Bride’s Maid and Myrtle Beach area photography professionals, here’s what to look for when investing in a wedding day photographer:
An experienced photographer knows a great photo op when she sees one (like your mom looking misty-eyed during the father-daughter dance, your grandparents trying to jitterbug, or that stolen glance you and your new hubby exchange). Experienced photographers also know what lighting styles and angles flatter. They know not to chop off heads or feet in full length shots and to vary poses so your photos don’t consist of three basic looks.
Professional photographers are certified, meaning they’ve gone through extensive technical training and passed a number of challenging tests. Says photographer Brooke Christl (www.brookchristl.com), “[Professional photographers] know what to do in any situation, have back up equipment, and back up plans in case of bad weather or any other problems that may come up on your wedding day.” She adds that it is not unreasonable to ask to see your photographer’s credentials.
You wouldn’t dare wear Grandma Eugenia’s wedding gown if it wasn’t your style, would you? The same should be true of hiring your wedding photographer. Look for someone whose style suits you. Study several photographers’ websites, blogs, and albums until you find a photographer whose photos look like something you would want resting atop your mantle or gracing your coffee table. Today’s photographers offer fewer posed pictures, in favor of photojournalistic ones that offer a real, candid account of the day.
Personality, really? It’s not like you’re marrying your photog. Well, it kind of is. Your photographer is going to be your wedding day third wheel, so to speak, hanging by your side from the moment you zip up your breathtaking gown until you and Darling Hubby drive off into the night. You’ll work closely with him for nearly eight hours, taking direction and doing tons of smooching in front of him; therefore, likeability and comfort are key. Kip Beech of Middle Child Photography (www.middlechildphotography.com) points out that “on your wedding day, you’ll be filled with so many emotions… it’s really important that you are comfortable being yourself around your photographer.” He recommends meeting with several photographers in person to see who you and your fiancé click with (pun intended!).
Another facet of the photographer’s personality that is important: her ability to direct. Brooke Christl advises, “Make sure [your photographer] isn’t too bossy but can give good direction. You want to love your pictures and also have a great time capturing them!” Get a feel for this by meeting with your potential photographer or asking if she knows of a client that would be comfortable letting you observe a shoot briefly to see her in action. You don’t want to spend the bulk of your wedding day with an order-barker or someone who doesn’t tell you (gently) that your tilted head makes you look like you have a broken neck. We’re not all trained models, so having someone who can help you settle into natural postures is important. You don’t want to look slouchy or hump-backed in your photos!
Just like the cleanliness of someone’s car tells you something about how clean her house is, checking out a photographer’s portfolio will tell you how detail-oriented she is. If photos don’t have pesky distractions in them (like electrical outlets that could easily have been cropped without interrupting the photo subjects, or a random guest’s foot in an otherwise strictly bride and groom shot), then chances are, she pays attention to these details, either when she takes the photos or during the editing process.
Fine print abounds during the wedding planning process, and there’s no exception here. Before you hand over your deposit, ask to see everything in writing, so you understand what’s included and what’s not. Expect to pay a sitting fee for the photographer’s time. Many photographers provide a disc of all of your images, while others may have a separate fee for this. Often actual prints of your photos are sold separately by the sheet. An enlargement or two may be included in your package; make sure you know exactly how many enlargements, what sizes, and styles (are they flat or wrap-around canvas?).
Given that you’ll have your wedding photos until your 50th wedding anniversary and beyond, a wedding photographer is one of the most worthwhile investments you will make. Choose wisely, Blushing Bride.