Sunday, April 5, 2009

Your Wedding Photography

We spoke with local photographer Laura Dombrowski for some tips on finding
the right photographer to fit your style.

Choosing a wedding photographer is harder than ever these days. The digital age has
brought out the photographer in everyone. Use caution when selecting your wedding
photographer because distinguishing between the professionals and amateurs can be tricky.
Here are a few tips to help you find a high quality, professional photographer for your
special day.

1. Quality of their photographs. You have to love their images. On their website they display
their best. Do you like their style? Ask them about their style: photojournalism, traditional,
fine art, etc. Do you want more candids or posed portraits? When you meet with them ask to
see lots of photographs. Check out prints too. Ask to see all of the photos from one wedding.

2. Price. You pay for what you get. Simple as that. Prices can range from $2,000 to $20,000.
What is the difference? Why can one person charge $2,000 and another charge $20,000? It is
based on experience? Think of it as a lawyer. Lawyers that are just starting out get a
standard hourly rate. The more experience and the more cases one lawyer wins, the more
valuable he/she is. Winning some awards and high publicity cases will push him/her to the
next level making that lawyer in high demand. Same with photographers, I started out low. I
had no experience and no portfolio. I had to start somewhere. Now I have experience and I
am booking up faster each year. Also, I have been published and won a couple of awards! My
prices now reflect that. Figure out your budget and find the best photographer in that range.
Don't be scared to ask a photographer outside your range to see if they have other less
expensive packages available. I am always working with couples on their budget.

3. Check to see if they are a part of any professional organizations. Wedding Portrait
Photographers Internationals (WPPI) or Wedding Photojournalists Association (WPJA).

4. Ask how long they have been shooting weddings.

5. Look at their photography other than weddings: personal work, commercial work, etc.

6. Ask to talk to a previous client.

7. Equipment: Cannon and Nikon are the standard for professionals. But more importantly
than the brand, do they have back up equipment?

8. How long after the wedding do you get to see your images and album design? I have all
the images online less than 2 weeks after the wedding day. I usually have the album design
completed within 4 weeks.

Good luck selecting a photographer. Research a lot! Narrow down to three photographers
and go meet them. That meeting will help you make your choice. Remember that you are
going to be spending a lot of time with the photographer on the day of your wedding and
throughout the year. Finding the right personality match can make all the difference!

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