Tips for Hiring the Perfect Wedding Photographer

Congratulations on your wedding! My wish for you is that the fairy tale you dreamed of and probably practiced as a child comes true for you with your prince charming!

There are few photography events that come close the importance of your wedding. For many brides, your wedding is the first time you will hire a professional photographer. With no prior experience in commissioning a professional photographer, you may be tempted to make the mistake of shopping for a photographer as you shop for other items for the wedding…based on price. However, what you are paying for is the quality of your memories and you will want the best photography you can afford.

I love today's professional digital photography. As a professional wedding photographer in Dallas, it allows me to take many more photos and weed through them later. But sadly digital photography also allows mediocre people to spend a few hundred at some store and point and shoot and dare to call themselves professional photographers.

Just a few years ago, you had to have a strong knowledge of posing, lighting and technical aspects of capturing beautiful images on film. Most wedding photographers would show up at your wedding with ten to thirty thousand of dollars of equipment. Today you can get a decent amateur digital camera for $600 and you are now a “professional wedding photographer”. So how do you make the best investment in a professional wedding photographer?

~ Here are my suggestions for hiring your wedding photographer ~

1) Establish a budget for photography. Martha Stewart suggests 20% of the total wedding budget. (If your total wedding budget, dress, flowers, venue, food, beverages, entertainment, etc. is $15,000 then your photography budget should be $3,000)

2) Discuss their formal training in photography and years in business. (not how long they have been taking pictures) Keep in mind that 50% of small businesses in America fail in the first five years. On the other hand, we are in our 10th years of success.

3) Make certain your wedding package includes EVERYTHING you want, from photography of the wedding day to a completed wedding album. (57% of brides surveyed by Kodak in 2007 only received a high resolution DVD of images – NO PRINTED PICTURES AND NO WEDDING ALBUM) The largest amount of time and often talent, in addition to capturing the photographs on your wedding day, occurs after the wedding. It is all the post-production of the wedding including digital processing, color correction and retouching of the images and designing and printing a beautiful wedding album that require tremendous talent and TIME.

Post production is NOT an option that is available at most one-hour photo labs – so you ARE NOT saving money trying to have your images printed yourself. Could you imagine going to a lawyer and after a very expensive hour of her time – she sends you home with a do it yourself kit to finish your legal documents?

4) How does your photographer archive your wedding files? Get a purchase option for your files in writing. If you do get a DVD of images, immediately make a copy to your hard drive and a second copy to place in your safe deposit box at your bank.

5) Find out your photographer’s backup plans. In the event of an illness, accident, or other event preventing your photographer from being able to photograph your wedding, learn their contingency plan to have your event photographed with equal or greater talent. Also, what is their equipment contingency plan? Do they have a back-up camera and back-up lighting equipment in case something is dropped and damaged in the middle of your wedding?

At WeddingPhotographerDallas.com, I bring backup equipment from cameras to memory cards and batteries, etc. We also work with other photographers of similar experience so you know you will always be in good hands.

Our MAGNOLIA package is for brides who do not need a wedding album. Our LILY and ORCHID Dallas wedding photography packages include gorgeous custom-designed wedding albums from Italy. We also offer professional wedding video packages too. We welcome the opportunity to create exquisite images of your wedding day!

For timeless memories of love, book your wedding photography by calling our Dallas wedding studio at 214-703-0360.