Monday, September 15, 2008

choosing your photographer

morning ladies! and happy monday :) today we are having melissa tomeoni from soul mates photography help us with choosing a wedding photographer. this is soo important! i know brides who will go above and beyond their budget just to make sure they will have gorgeous, perfect photos to look upon for the rest of their lives. and truly, it's worth it. i also know friends who have wedding photos that are so horrific they don't even look at them, nor have they framed them. awful! could you imagine?? hopefully those of you out there who are already married have had wonderful experiences, but for the rest of you gals, take this advice to heart and really put some extra effort in your choosing of a photographer!!

There Are So Many Options! How Do I Choose My Wedding Photographer?

Trust me, I know, planning a wedding is no easy task. You just got engaged (congratulations!) and now all of a sudden you want to pull together your wedding day with coordination and creativity. The good news is that you have plenty of options; the bad news is sometimes there are too many options! I'm here to help take you from being engaged, selecting your photographer, enjoying your wedding day and reliving those moments time and time again. I've got a few suggestions on how to pick the best photographer to fit your wedding needs. Remember your photographer is the person you will rely on to relive your memories from your wedding day.

#1 Get Info...

...from yourself.Ask yourself (and your fiancé) a few questions
What type of photography do you want? Do you want your images to reflect a more modern or a more traditional style? What part of our wedding budget is allotted for photography. Asking yourself these simple questions will help you narrow down a better idea of what you are looking for. Find a photographer that currently shoots within your desired style and budget.

...from trusted friends.
Don't know where to find a wedding photographer? Ask... that is ask your wedding coordinator, friends, family, or co-workers. Chances are they can recommend someone. Ask how the experience was, what products they choose and why. This will help you discover your options.

..from the photographer.
I always recommend meeting face to face with your photographer before you hire them. Make sure your personalities click and you like their style. Be sure to read the contract and discuss items that are unclear to you. Also, talk about how much time is needed for processing and editing in order to receive your wedding images. Remember editing time is what the photographer does to perfect your images. For example, I tell my clients they will receive their wedding images online at their one month anniversary.

#2 Discover photography needs and wants...

...of yourself and your fiancé.
How much time do you want for photography? Most photographers will be able to suggest a time schedule-- just ask. After all it's what we do! How do you want to preserve your wedding day memories? Options include albums, printed portraits, gallery canvas wraps, and hi-res DVDs. Would you like an engagement session or a after wedding session (also known as trash-the-dress)? Make sure to communicate your photography budget to you and your photographer; choose to meet with photographers that fit your price range and offer the services you want.

... of your photographer.
Don't be afraid to ask your photographer questions. Think of your initial meeting as a interview. If you don't understand something about what the photographer says, by all means ask! If you want a DVD of your wedding images ask if your photographer provides one. If you want an album make sure you hire a photographer that offers albums in the type that you desire. Today options are endless ranging from traditional slide in albums to custom designed digital albums. Each photographer has a style and offers different products to fit their clients needs. For example Soul Mates Photography includes a engagement session with every package complete with a DVD of images from the session. The reason I do this is so my clients are more comfortable with me which translates to a more comfortable bride and groom on their wedding day! Soul Mates Photography's wedding collections are broken down by hour and the A 'al Cart options range from custom designed digital albums to a DVD of wedding images. I want offer you a range of products to suit your needs.

... of your parents.
As much as the wedding is about the love of two people... don't forget your parents! Your wedding is also the joining of two families, and for parents it's one of the most exciting times for them. Forward along your photographers info to your parents so that they have a chance to preserve your wedding celebration too!


#3 Don't forget about the extras...

...before your wedding day.
I recommend visiting your wedding venue with your photographer before to walk them through the ceremony (if location/distance allows). Inform your photographer of location details for the ceremony and reception. It's also important to discuss schedule and how much time will be allotted for photography the day of your wedding. Communicate with your photographer. It's okay to tell them what you want and don't want. Give your photographer a detailed schedule as soon as it's complete.

...of your wedding day.
Travel time, hotel stay and other arrangements need to be considered when booking any vendor. Make sure to iron out these details and include them in the contract. But don't be afraid to tell your photographer what you want. If you realized you want a silly picture with just you and your siblings-- just ask and be yourself! You want to remember your wedding day as you are... don't be afraid to pose, smile, be serious or silly for the camera.

.... after the wedding day.
Wedding albums, slide shows and DVDs galore! Find out how you will be able to view your wedding images and if your guests are able to do so too. I post all images in an online slide show so that not only the bride and groom can view the images but so can family and friends. I also offer custom cards that have the slide show viewing information printed on a walled sized image of the couple. The bride and groom can have them at the reception or include them in their thank you cards. Be sure to discuss your options and decide on image selection in a timely manner. Trust that your photographer is taking time to perfect your wedding images for your viewing.

Lastly be sure to choose someone who you can trust and enjoy working with. If you love the photographers style, you like their personality and you understand the process completely I guarantee you would enjoy the experience and come away enjoying your images because of it.

Thanks for reading!
Melissa Tomeoni with Soul Mates Photography.
Be sure to check out the website at

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