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Choosing a Wedding Photographer
by Rev. Debra Scherff, Wedding Officiants of Ohio

So, he's popped the question. Now comes the wonderful and stressful task of planning your wedding. You may be looking for ways to cut some corners as weddings can get very expensive before you even realize it. One of your most important choices will be to choose a wedding photographer. The photographer you select will be responsible for capturing the most special and important day of your life into lasting memories. You don't want Auntie Maude, or Cousin Phil to take pictures at your wedding only to discover that you have no head when you get your prints back. Don't cut corners on your photographer.

Take time and interview several photographers in your area. Ask for names and numbers of references that you can call.  Make sure that they are available on your day. Ask to see samples of their work. Ask what kind of packages they offer. If any photographer is unable to meet this criteria, choose another photographer. Many photographers will shoot your wedding and have you come into their studio a few weeks later to choose your wedding photos from proofs. Others will shoot your wedding and put them in an album for you and you can select enlargements and reprints from your wedding album. Weigh which option works best for you.

A typical wedding day shoot for the photographer is to arrive about one and one half hours before the ceremony and shoot the pre-bridals, which includes shooting the bride alone, the bride and bridesmaids together and separate, the bride and her family and anything else she wants to get out of the way before the ceremony. Then the photographer will shoot the groom alone, the groom and his groomsmen, and family. The ceremony may be a touchy subject with photographers. Many times they are not permitted to shoot during the ceremony. You will need to check with your clergy member about shooting during the ceremony.

After the ceremony, the photographer will do formals, which includes bride and groom alone, the bridal party, bride and groom and family and friends. Then comes the reception. Please note that many photographers have a time limit. So it you are having a dinner, or won't be cutting that cake soon after arriving at your reception, your photographer may charge you more. You might want to consider doing the cake cutting, garter and bouquet toss, and dancing as soon as you arrive at your reception site, so that your photographer can get his or her work done, not have to charge extra, and you can relax and party the rest of the day.  

If you absolutely must cut corners with a photographer, may photographers will offer you partial packages such as only shooting the pre-bridals and formals, or the ceremony and formal, and will be able to offer you a discounted rate. But at least that way, you would still have a professional photographer to capture memories that you will treasure forever. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. Capture its memory with a capable, professional, trustworthy photographer. You will be glad you did!



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