Wedding photographs are part of a timeless tradition. Who doesn't remember flipping through their parents' or grandparents' albums as they dreamed about their own special day? Now that your special day is approaching, you want to be sure you get the best photographs possible so that one day, your children and grandchildren will be inspired to dream as they flip through yours.
But how do you choose a great wedding photographer that will help fulfill that dream? By now you may have spoken to several photographers and viewed a wide range of packages and rates. With so much to do and plan, the best choice may seem to be going with the photographer that has the “all-inclusive, you don't even have to think about this” package. You know the one I'm talking about, right? The one that includes the solemn promise to show up, snap some great pictures, and hand you a completed cd 4-6 weeks after your wedding day. It may sound like the best choice for busy brides and grooms, but it is actually the wrong choice. Let me tell you why.
In the industry, we refer to this type of photography package as the “Flash and Burn” package. They'll show up and snap a bunch of photos. This is the “Flash” part of your package, named not only for the bright light that begs to blind you, but also for how fast they're in and out of your wedding. Sometime later, they'll hand everything over to an assistant who will choose a predetermined number of shots based on the package you paid for, slap them onto a CD/DVD, and send them off to you. This is half of the “Burn” part of the package. The other half of the “Burn” is the feeling you experience when you open your long dreamed of images to find that these are not at all the photos you'd hoped to cherish. Important moments and people may be missing that you were just sure the photographer would have thought to capture. Of course, you can always contact the photographer and ask for additional prints, in fact they may be counting on it. Soon that great photography package is looking like even less of a great deal and the costs to get the pictures you actually want mounts higher and higher if the photos are available at all. The “Flash” part of your package lasted only an hour. The “Burn” will last a lifetime.
But wait! All hope is not lost! Not all photographers offer Flash and Burn. In fact, a quick survey of the top wedding photographers in your area will likely reveal that they don't even offer the option. Why? Because your important day is their important day and they want to make sure that it's one you'll remember for a lifetime.
So how can you be sure to avoid the Flash and Burn scenario? It's easy, with these simple questions.
What are your credentials? Professional photographers will be happy to share with you their career highlights including number of weddings photographed annually, awards won, and professional certifications (PPA, WPPI, ect).
Will we meet before the wedding day? A professional photographer will insist on meeting prior to your special day. They want to hear about your special aunt who simply must have a picture with. They want to hear your ideas and the special moments that mean the most to you. Your private consultation will also help you to get to know your photographer better so that on your wedding day you'll be comfortable with them.
How long will you stay? A professional photographer will have blocked off the day to spend at your wedding, capturing the perfect shots for you to cherish for a lifetime.
How will the photographs be chosen? A professional photographer knows that the photographs you love are the ones you should have so they will schedule a viewing session during which you'll be able to take a look at the hundreds of beautiful shots and relive your wedding day. Bring your mom, bring his mom, and don't forget that favorite aunt. Everyone will love this sneak peek and the opportunity to pick out some photos for their own albums too. In the end, the photographs you receive will be chosen by you. It's your special day, after all. Shouldn't you be the one who chooses how it's remembered?
So there you have it. Four simple questions to ask to avoid the burn of bad photography on your wedding day. And if you're looking for the photographer with all the right answers to these questions, contact me today. I'll be happy to discuss the differences with you further and show you samples of my work.
I look forward to hearing from you soon, and I look forward to the opportunity to capture the best memories of your wedding day.