Friday, January 20, 2012

How and Should You Hire A Professional Wedding Photographer/Videographer

By Peter Estenoz

The wedding was a huge success! Everyone had a great time! As the memories you made in your mind flood your senses you try and recall every little detail of what you and others saw. The sun was shining, everyone was dressed up so nicely! The wedding planner you hired had everything decorated according to your dream! Remember the way he looked at you as you made your way down the aisle. Dad even had a tear on his cheek as he turned and kissed you when he gave you away. What a blur some of those memories are and the frustration you'll feel if you forego the importance of hiring a professional photographer and videographer to capture the emotion, the excitement and those precious memories of your wedding day.

According to the Bride's Book Of Etiquette, by the editors of Bride's Magazine, with regard to wedding photography, "Shoot for the best! A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion that good photos will preserve forever! Though it may be tempting and inexpensive to enlist a talented friend or relative for the job, hiring a professional is the best insurance that you'll end up with quality wedding photos." The professional you hire should have "the experience to quickly pose people in your traditional posed portraits, taken but also have a quick eye to spot a good candid shot as unexpected photographs are often the best mementos of your celebration." When should you start looking for your professional wedding photographer? If you're planning a wedding a year in advance, Bride's Magazine advises that ten months prior you should be scouting for your photographer and eight months prior you should book your photographer. If your wedding date is sooner, let the hiring of your photographer/videographer be one of the top items on your list of "to do's" after you have set the budget, gathered the guest list and selected the location. Start by asking around for referrals from recently married friends, check on the "preferred vendor list" from your wedding venue, search the internet, this is where the importance of doing your research pays off. "Remember your photographer will be by your side for most of the wedding, so choose someone who makes you feel at ease and whose work you admire."

According to "The Everything Wedding Book," by Shelly Hagen, "Good photography is an art, and requires skill and planning, So you don't want to put this huge responsibility in the hands of just anyone." Beware of the "professionals" who really aren't or at least aren't yet." There are countless stories of couples that have received less -than-quality work for their money and ended up with photos that were blurry or ill-composed. Take the time to find a photographer who has the education and the experience of a professional. Also stated in this reference is "if you're going on word of mouth advice, make sure you ask about the overall experience with the photographer." You'll want a photographer whose pictures truly captures the beauty of the event, but who also makes everyone feel at ease in taking the photos. So you're looking for someone who makes you feel comfortable, and is willing to work with you every step of the way. "A good photographer is able to relate to you, your groom, and your families, and will bring out the best in everyone and preserve it forever."

Have a list of questions to ask your photographer when talking on the phone or face to face interview. Do they listen to your questions, and answer them to your satisfaction? Steer clear of the part-time photographers who occasionally handle weddings, as they are not likely to have the equipment or the experience of an expert in the field, and one of your questions would be what is their commitment level going to be for your event? Hire a full time photographer, not someone who dabbles in photography as a hobby, or someone looking for a little extra income on the side. These one are not taking your special event seriously, and treating it with the respect it deserves. Your finished product, should move you to feel the emotion you had that day, and be able to bring you back to that emotion every time you view your wedding photos.

As with your photographer for your wedding your wedding videographer should be something you shop for early in the planning as well. Look for videographers that specialize in weddings. Ask for references as well as samples. When viewing is the sound clear? Are the scans smooth? What sort of format is presented? Nostalgic? Documentary? Straight-shot? Make sure the equipment used is up-to-date, and in good working condition. When viewing samples of work, do the segments tell a story? Does it transition smoothly, or is it just a cut, cut, cut between clips. Keep in mind fully editing a video is very time consuming, editing in background music that fits the scene, importing special effects where applicable, transitioning between clips. This is the story of the two of you, a romantic mini movie. Consider adding a photo montage of the two of you, growing up, meeting the courtship, and, engagement. Ask for a rolling credit of your bridal party, and dedications to family and friends to be included. Again, your finished product, should be one that moves you to feel the excitement and the emotion the two of you had on the day you wed, and entertain those family and friends who weren't able to attend and let them feel that excitement as well, giving you an heirloom keepsake to enjoy for years and years! Be sure and plan a special get together/reception with your family and friends to view your photos and video, then you all can relive your wedding event sharing in your happiness and joy as you begin you new life together as husband and wife!

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