Tips on Choosing a Wedding Photographer

5/11/2006

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Among the saddest complaints Better Business Bureaus receive concern wedding photographers who do not deliver what was promised. The vast majority of professional photographers will indeed provide unforgettable images of your special day. But you need to do some research beforehand.

The BBB offers the following suggestions to prospective brides and grooms:

  • Ask for photographer recommendations from family, friends and co-workers.
  • Check with the BBB for reports on the photographers you are considering.
  • Schedule interviews with two or three to get a feel for the types of services they offer, the quality of their work and related fees.
  • Ask the photographer if he/she is the one who will be photographing your wedding. If so, that should be stated in the contract. If not, request to meet personally with the photographer who will be shooting your wedding and review photos from several events before making a decision.
  • The price should not be the only determining factor, but you should know what fees you will be charged for what services.
  • Does the photographer work with an assistant? If so, is that included in the fee?
  • Ask for references and talk to previous clients. A photographer who is reluctant to provide references is of questionable quality.
  • Is the photo package fixed or customized? How many photos are included and what about reprints, enlargements and albums?
  • What is the time frame for delivery of proofs and other products? Is there a Web site to view your images? Can you keep the proofs or negatives?
  • What type and how many cameras will be used? Is color and black-white photography included?
  • What is the payment schedule? Is a deposit required; if so, how much and by when?
  • What types of photographs can you expect – formal, informal or spur-of-the-moment?
  • Does the photographer know the policy of your church, synagogue or other institution; some have very specific rules regarding photography.
  • Obtain a written contract that details every service to be provided and the name of the photographer who will shoot your event; the location, date and time length of all events; the type of package; a list of guaranteed prices for enlargements and any additional charges, like taxes or travel fees. The contract should also specify what happens if your photographer doesn’t show up, as well as the cancellation/refund policy.
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