Get It In Writing

When booking your photographer, always make sure to get everything in writing. A written agreement or contract with your photographer, itemizing all of the important details will protect you and prevent the potential for misunderstandings. It should be signed and dated by both you and the photographer, and you should each retain a copy. It should list all fees, taxes, and any extra charges, as well as what the photographer is to provide (number of hours of coverage, number of proofs, number of photos in the package, sizes of photos, etc.) The agreement should explain when deposits and balances are due. It should also clearly list the date of the wedding, and the location or locations the photographer will be required at, and the times at which he or she is to be there.

The Wedding Day

When it comes to actually shooting your wedding, it is a good idea to have as many photos as possible taken before the ceremony when every one is fresh, before the flowers start to wilt, and the dresses and tuxes begin to show wrinkles – and, of course, while faces and makeup are still perfect and no one has puffy eyes from crying! If you do not wish to see your fiancĂ© before the actual ceremony, save any pictures where the two of you will appear together for after the ceremony.

Keep a small bag containing a mirror (perhaps two mirrors so you can check the back of your hair and veil as well), hairspray, powder, a brush and comb, extra hair pins, face powder, blush, and lipstick close by at all times during picture taking. Check your mirror from time to time to ensure that there is no need for touch-ups. If you will be having photos taken outside on a sunny day, make sure your photographer is skilled in techniques to minimize squinting problems. Examine a large number of photos he or she has taken outdoors to ensure that there is not a predominant problem with squinting of the eyes among the subjects in the photographs. To be safe, use a combined approach of pictures taken both indoors and outdoors.

The “Wish List”

Sit down with your photographer before the wedding and discuss the types of pictures he will be taking, and roughly how many of each. Don’t be shy to let him know specifically and exactly what you want. Present him with a “wish list”. For example, you may want to request a close up shot of the wedding cake, pictures of you with certain guests, and so on. Make sure that you request multiple shots of any important moments in case a shot does not turn out. In other words, request more than one shot of the cake cutting, the first dance, etc.

After the Wedding

The length of time it takes to get your photos back may vary from one photographer to another. Some photographers will provide you with proofs within a few days of the wedding, while others can take up to several months. Make sure you find out what to expect when choosing your photographer. Once you have received the proofs it is typical to allow five days developing time for every large photo you’ve ordered. Final Word

Once you have invested the proper care and attention into selecting a photographer to capture your big day, the only thing you’ll have left to do is look up, watch the birdie, and say “Cheese!”.

Article supplied by Linda Kevich
Professional Wedding Consultant Editor, SuperWeddings.com