Long after the last guest has left the reception you and your spouse will have your wedding photography or videography to look at when you want to re-live the joyous occasion – hopefully, that is! When it comes to planning your wedding photography or videography, the most important aspect is to have an idea of the wedding memories you want to capture. And then you’ve got to work on finding someone with the right experience and who has a personality you can work with.
This will require more than scanning the phone book or Internet to find the least expensive package deal. It’s true that you get what you pay for and if you’re willing to pay the minimum amount, you might just end up with minimum wedding photography/videography service.
Right from the beginning, realize that wedding photography and videography services will consume a significant portion of your wedding budget. Also know that it’s an absolute must to book this type of talent as soon as possible, at least 6 months to a full year before the wedding date, especially if you’re planning the wedding during the summer or holiday season. You’ve got to get a head start and although that offer from your Uncle Vinny to photography your wedding (for free!) as his gift to you sounds tempting, resist the offer. This is not the time for amateur shots.
It’s important to move at a fast pace, but never skip the background check. Checking references is a must but so is being allowed to view the prospective photographer’s images from a previous wedding assignment. Don’t rely on the quality of their portfolio which is usually a collection of the best pictures from multiple weddings. You want to view one whole wedding, from start to finish. Also check with the local Better Business Bureau as they’ll have on file any complaints made against the person or company.
A lengthy history of wedding photography (as opposed to other types of photography experience, or your Uncle’s free offer) is also a sign that the person knows what he or she is doing. Don’t assume that the person you’re interviewing brings back-up equipment and batteries – ask because equipment does fail.
When selecting the wedding ceremony and reception location, make sure the photographer has access to the shots you want to get. It’s also a good idea before the reception to delineate an area where the wedding photographer/videographer can be based; somewhere primarily for the storage/setup of necessary equipment and extra gear. Close to the music is always a good choice.
When selecting someone to coordinate your wedding photography and videography, take time to discuss the types of pictures you want taken and of whom. Know whether the person will develop the pictures and assemble them into the wedding album or if you’ll just be getting the negatives and CD. In the latter case, you’ll be the one assembling the album. That’s fine as long as it’s what you expect and know how to do.
As you can see, advance planning is crucial. On your wedding day, you want to enjoy yourself knowing that someone reliable is out there, capturing the memories that’ll last a lifetime!