Budget Savvy Bride

I want to give a big, fat phat shout-out to all the visitors coming over from The Budget Savvy Bride! I had no idea that so many of you ladies are so savvy!!

Well, I knew ONE of you was that savvy.

This cute dimple-licious ball of sunshine, Jess. And she’s savvy alright. So savvy she’s guest blogging about her big day over at the BSB blog. You can meet her here. Or learn a little more about her details here. I’m pretty sure she has this whole wedding planning thing down to a science. Right down to picking the perfect bridesmaid dress.

So, those of you that follow me here know about my walking billboard, Amanda. Well, it’ll come as no surprise then that that, too, is how Jess found me. We rocked these engagement pictures at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus. So fun!! Even Todd had fun! I have pretty stellar PF grooms to go along with my gorgeous brides. Just sayin’.

I always get tons of questions about wedding photography. What do I look for? How do I know I’m getting a good deal? When should I do all the formal shots? What do I expect from my photographer? What shoes look best in pictures? Will you tell me if I have something on my teeth?

If you’re planning a wedding, here’s what I would tell you if you were to ask me “what you should look for”. Hopefully you’ll find it helpful.

1. General — What to look for in a Wedding Photographer

Photography is so much more than just having a nice camera or taking a lot of pictures to cover your bases. I remember one of my professors telling me “Even Uncle Bob has a camera and can take your wedding pictures”. But will they be creative? Will everyone have a head? Is that rrrrrrreally how you want to remember your wedding day? Think about it, your wedding pictures will be all that’s left from your wedding day. The flowers die, the dresses are handed down or given away….but even your great-grandchildren will still be looking at your images years from now.

You’re going to need a well-rounded photographer that knows what they’re doing, knows how to do it, and is friendly while doing it….there’s more to it than just pushing a shutter release.

2. Expertise — The Artistic Technogeek

A professional wedding photographer must not only be completely versed in the technical side of the trade, but he must also be artistic and creative. Those are two completely opposite personality traits. Really. How many people do you know that are very technologically savvy and artistically creative at the same time?

Having great camera and technical skills allows the wedding photographer to capture properly exposed, well lit images regardless of the lighting situation and time constraints. On the other side, having great creative skills will allow the wedding photographer to approach each shot with a unique perspective and artistic vision ensuring that the shots are not just photos, but artistic imagery…essentially freezing those memories for you to remember later.

3. Personality — The Schmoozer

Just as important — if not MORE important — as their techy knowledge and creativity is the photographers interpersonal skills. How well do they get along with their clients or the guests at the wedding? Are they friendly, personable, professional and honest?

Not including engagement shoots, bridal shoots, etc, you are going to be spending a full day with your photographer on the most important day of your life. A wedding photographer with a personality that matches your own is important to the overall experience of your wedding. They should just fit in. Kinda like family.

4. Experience — The Professional

Once you get past technique, creativity, and personality, the next thing you should be looking for is experience. You’re really looking for an experienced wedding photographer, not a photographer that calls this their “weekend gig”. There’s a difference.

Keep in mind though, that while experience is definitely important, some of the best and most hard- working wedding photographers are experienced photographers, but relatively new as wedding photographers. In situations where you love the photographers style, but are concerned with them not having enough experience, ask to see their portfolio of events they have covered. Ideally, you should look for a wedding photographer that has covered 25+ events as the lead photographer.

5. Quality — Quality over Quantity

In this day and age everyone wants more bang for their buck. But don’t get caught up in the amount of products each photographer is promising. Stay focused on the actual quality of the work provided. Remember, you can always purchase an album, or additional prints later (even 5-10 years later), but you can’t go back and change the quality of the photographs taken at the wedding after the wedding day.

Realizing that most brides are working within a budget, it may be worthwhile to ask if you can cut some of the products in order to make the package more affordable. Cut the prints from the package, remove the album, but don’t go with a cheaper photographer because they are willing to give you all the products you want up front. In other words, don’t sacrifice the workmanship for all the bells and whistles. You may regret it in the long run.

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