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How to Select a Wedding Photographer

By Charles Hopkins Published 12/14/2006 | Marriage

Your wedding day is one of the most important events of your life. Choosing the right photographer to capture special moments of the day takes a little effort. Here are a few tips to help you find the right photographer for your wedding.

One of the first things you should do is rely on your social network. If you have friends that proudly display quality photos from their wedding, ask them about the photographer they used.  If they had a good overall experience with their choice, then contact the photographer and make arrangements for an interview. Being able to see their work and hearing first hand accounts of how well the photographer worked with your friends may be just what you need to secure a photographer who is professional in all aspects of the job in a very short time.

Should you find it necessary to look in other directions, a great place to begin is with your local chamber of commerce. Businesses that are relatively stable tend to be involved the local chamber. Any photographer that is part of the chamber is likely to in business long enough to deliver a quality-finished product to you. 

The phone book, especially the yellow pages, is also a good place to check for photographers. Locate a few that look promising and then see when and where you can see samples of their work. Many photographers have sample books that give you an idea of what they can do in any number of different settings. As you browse through the books and speak with the photographer, you will begin to get a sense of how he or she interacts with clients. Should you come across a photographer whose work you like and that you seem to click with, make sure you know how to get in contact once you have finished interviewing various candidates.

If you are unable to find someone locally that fits your needs, use the Internet to broaden your geographical search. Check for contact information or even web sites created by photography studios in neighboring communities. The advantage to this method is that photographers often put samples of their best work on their web sites. This allows you to determine quickly if this is one that you wish to speak with in person.

Regardless of how you go about finding a photographer, there are few basic qualifications you need to define before hiring anyone. First, confirm that the photographer has experience working in the type of environment where your ceremony will be held. He or she may do great work in a cathedral, but if your ceremony is at the beach at sunset, you want to know the photos will be lighted properly. Second, it is imperative that the photographer be able to work smoothly with you and the other members of the wedding party. There is no time to deal with personality conflicts when the big day arrives. Next, you need assurances that there are no hidden costs. The price quote you receive needs to be accurate. Last, you need to have some confidence that the photos will be ready to view when you have been told they will be ready. 

Use all your resources in order to find the right photographer, and you will have a set of photos that will delight you for many years to come.