5 Mistakes Brides Make When Choosing A Wedding Photographer by Matt Dunn

5 Mistakes Brides Make When Choosing A Wedding Photographer
You’re getting married! The date is set, the rings have been picked out and now you start putting the pieces together for the wedding of your dreams. During the next months, you’ll be faced with so many choices than you ever imagined. From the wedding dress and flowers to photography, food, and the venue you will plan a plethora of details.
After the big day, the dress will be carefully stored in the attic, the flowers will die, and the food will have been eaten. Your wedding photographs, however, will live on as a record to the love, friendship, and unique happiness of the day.
Photography is the only wedding expense that will continue to give the bride and groom a return on their investment.  Wedding photography is an investment the couple will appreciate with each passing year, as the memories of their special day are savored and shared with friends and family.
A couple might budget $20,000 for their wedding. Even if the photographer’s services are $2,000, that’s only 10 percent of the total cost. Yet the value of that 10 percent will multiply itself many times over in the coming years.
Mistake #1: Not asking for testimonials
Nowadays it’s not very hard to say you are a wedding photographer. Just get a camera, photograph a friend’s wedding, print some samples off at a one hour lab and charge less than everyone else. In the last 20 years, I’ve seen many new photographers come and go. Dropping prices in consumer digital cameras have made everyone with a halfway decent camera think they can be a “professional photographer.” You want a photographer that consistently makes of brides happy. There’s a lot more to good portraits than pressing a button on an expensive camera. You would like to know how other bridal couples did or did not enjoy working with this photographer.  Many special things will happen during your wedding and reception.  Can you be sure that the photographer you choose will not overlook them
Mistake #2
: Photographer not having an assistant on the day of the wedding
Photographing a wedding is a lot of work for one person. The assistant helps arrange people, watch for details like necklaces and cuffs, works with the bride’s wedding dress and keep the day flowing smoothly. All of this means you get better photographs AND a better experience on the wedding day.
Mistake #3
: Deciding only by price
Don’t shop for price; shop for value. Remember: You get what you pay for. Value comes in the confidence you have in the photographer and their work. Besides good photography, consider several other factors, including the studio décor (are they stuck in the 80’s?), the photographer’s camera and equipment (will they have backup equipment with them?), their image, and how they conduct business. The photographer’s personality also is very important. Everyone is pretty stressed on the day of the wedding and you want someone who will help put you at ease and help you look your best. Great value has many facets.
Mistake #4: Not determining if the photographer has a VISION about your wedding photographs
Look at the photographer’s work. Does he have a background in fashion/beauty industry? Do the wedding couples look like they had a good time?  Are the colors vibrant?  Are the photographs “OK” or are they “great”? Did the photographer capture the detail of the wedding gown? Do these photos look like everyone else’s?
Mistake #5: Not having a planning session before the wedding
Do you want the photographer to show up at your wedding and ask you a thousand questions? Wouldn’t it be great if a few weeks before the wedding you could sit down and discuss things like how you’re going to handle divorced parents or Grandpa in a wheelchair? If your photographer has a planning meeting with you, you know they are really interested in YOUR ideas about your wedding photos.
Planning a wedding is a tremendous undertaking, and you’ll want a beautiful photographic story that shows just how special your day is. While the day will come and go, the memories will live on in your wedding album for years to come.  The food, the flowers, the dress will be gone after a day.  The photographs will increase in value as time goes on. They will provide you with “Your Story” for years of wonderful memories.

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