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Old Feb 25, 2007, 11:33 PM   #1
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My wedding is going to be in 6 month from today and I need help picking a wedding photographer. I am not asking for suggestion on who I should go with but more on what I should look for.

I am an serious amateur photographer myself but I never got into wedding photography. I am more into landscape and street photography. I would do the photos myself but unfortunately I have to be in the wedding. :blah: But I do have some questions on what I should look at for my package.

What kind of question should I be asking for in my package? What should I expect from my package and the photographer themselves?

I heard some of them saying that they will give me a digital negative(a DVD of all the photos in high quality jpeg) which I thought is really good. Is this pretty common for them to do that? Until I went to the wedding convention today, I didn't think photographers would do that. I know they didn't in the pre-digital days.

Is it good to buy a package without the photo album? There was only ONE photographer that I talked to said that I didn't need to buy a photo album if I didn't want to if I wanted to save money or make my own.

The photo album that they make. Is there a program that generate the album to a certain layout? One photographer that I talked to said that all of his work are custom while almost all of the other are generated layout with a program. What truth is this?

Limited number of photos.
A photographer said that he would only shot xxx amount of photos only. His excuse was that because he shoots in all RAW file, and since it was really big files, he can only fit a certain number on his card. So depending on the package that I buy, it will determin the about of photos that he will shot. This is not the amount of photos that he will print. Is it right for me to call this BS?

Anything else I should look/ask for?

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Old Feb 26, 2007, 6:14 AM   #2
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Well, you should ask for references. You should also ask to see PROOF books from other weddings (I think this is important - you want to see the quality he/she includes in the proofs not just the 15 best shots) as well as examples of the albums they produce.


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Old Feb 26, 2007, 7:16 AM   #3
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superakuma wrote:
Quote:
My wedding is going to be in 6 month from today and I need help picking a wedding photographer. I am not asking for suggestion on who I should go with but more on what I should look for.

I am an serious amateur photographer myself but I never got into wedding photography. I am more into landscape and street photography. I would do the photos myself but unfortunately I have to be in the wedding. :blah: But I do have some questions on what I should look at for my package.

What kind of question should I be asking for in my package? What should I expect from my package and the photographer themselves?

I heard some of them saying that they will give me a digital negative(a DVD of all the photos in high quality jpeg) which I thought is really good. Is this pretty common for them to do that? Until I went to the wedding convention today, I didn't think photographers would do that. I know they didn't in the pre-digital days.

Is it good to buy a package without the photo album? There was only ONE photographer that I talked to said that I didn't need to buy a photo album if I didn't want to if I wanted to save money or make my own.

The photo album that they make. Is there a program that generate the album to a certain layout? One photographer that I talked to said that all of his work are custom while almost all of the other are generated layout with a program. What truth is this?

Limited number of photos.
A photographer said that he would only shot xxx amount of photos only. His excuse was that because he shoots in all RAW file, and since it was really big files, he can only fit a certain number on his card. So depending on the package that I buy, it will determin the about of photos that he will shot. This is not the amount of photos that he will print. Is it right for me to call this BS?

Anything else I should look/ask for?
First, and most important, what does the bride want?

Some wedding photographers will provide negatives/digital files. I would suggest that you get at least one print made by them to be able to compare any that you make yourself - or at least a reference to a good printing operation.

With the price of memory down as much as it is, limiting the number of photos on that basis seems phoney to me unless his limit is something in the low four digit range.
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Old Feb 26, 2007, 1:13 PM   #4
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BillDrew wrote:
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superakuma wrote:
Quote:
My wedding is going to be in 6 month from today and I need help picking a wedding photographer. I am not asking for suggestion on who I should go with but more on what I should look for.

I am an serious amateur photographer myself but I never got into wedding photography. I am more into landscape and street photography. I would do the photos myself but unfortunately I have to be in the wedding. :blah: But I do have some questions on what I should look at for my package.

What kind of question should I be asking for in my package? What should I expect from my package and the photographer themselves?

I heard some of them saying that they will give me a digital negative(a DVD of all the photos in high quality jpeg) which I thought is really good. Is this pretty common for them to do that? Until I went to the wedding convention today, I didn't think photographers would do that. I know they didn't in the pre-digital days.

Is it good to buy a package without the photo album? There was only ONE photographer that I talked to said that I didn't need to buy a photo album if I didn't want to if I wanted to save money or make my own.

The photo album that they make. Is there a program that generate the album to a certain layout? One photographer that I talked to said that all of his work are custom while almost all of the other are generated layout with a program. What truth is this?

Limited number of photos.
A photographer said that he would only shot xxx amount of photos only. His excuse was that because he shoots in all RAW file, and since it was really big files, he can only fit a certain number on his card. So depending on the package that I buy, it will determin the about of photos that he will shot. This is not the amount of photos that he will print. Is it right for me to call this BS?

Anything else I should look/ask for?
First, and most important, what does the bride want?

Some wedding photographers will provide negatives/digital files. I would suggest that you get at least one print made by them to be able to compare any that you make yourself - or at least a reference to a good printing operation.

With the price of memory down as much as it is, limiting the number of photos on that basis seems phoney to me unless his limit is something in the low four digit range.
What does the bride want? She wants me to take care of the photographer because she is taking care of EVERYTHING else.

I just thought that it was kinda strange that a photographer said that he will shot only an xxx amount of picture depending on the package that I get. He is using a digital camera so why would he limit the amount he shoots? I understand if someone limit the amount they print because print cost money, but shooting does not.

The only thing that I can understand about that point of view is the amount of photos that he need to look at afterward.
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Old Feb 26, 2007, 1:34 PM   #5
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superakuma wrote:
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I understand if someone limit the amount they print because print cost money, but shooting does not.

The only thing that I can understand about that point of view is the amount of photos that he need to look at afterward.
First let me say - I agree with Bill - it is odd unless you are talking 2000 as the limit.

Having said that - YES photos do cost something - they cost wear and tear on the camera. Let's say the camera has a shutter life of 100,000 clicks. 2000 per wedding and 5 weddings a month that's a 10 month life span on that shutter and about $800 to replace. So, it isn't free.

Plus, it's not a matter of just looking at the photos - they must be processed - and post processing is a huge part of a professional workflow.

But if he knows what he's doing he shouldn't have to take 5,000 shots to do it. But if he's telling you there is a 300 shot limit then it's time to find a different photographer.
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Old Feb 26, 2007, 4:27 PM   #6
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superakuma wrote:
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What does the bride want? She wants me to take care of the photographer because she is taking care of EVERYTHING else. ...
You better figure out what photos she wants, though a good wedding photographer will know the standard ones. Does she want group photos with all the relatives? What groupings - Uncles & Aunts? Cousins? Siblings? All together? Just you, her, and her favorite uncle/aunt/brother/...? Her relatives & your's in the same shot or separate? Outdoors on the church steps or at the alter? Photos of her getting ready? Shots at the reception? Who will be responsable for rounding up the folks for the group shots? If she wants outdoor shots, what will the back-up be in case of bad weather?

Go over the invitation list with her and find out who should be in formal photos and how they should be grouped.

Many of those questions say something about how much time ($$) the photographer will spend. In addition, will the photographer come to the rehersal to scope out the setting ($$)?

I wouldn't ask the photographer those questions, but listen to find out what is suggested. Do some reading and listen to find out if something the bride would want is going to be skipped.


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Old Feb 26, 2007, 7:17 PM   #7
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I haven't seen any pros around here put a limit on the number of shots. Some will advertise "AT LEAST" 350 or something like that which is a minimun not a maximum number of shots.As cheap as memory cards are these days, if someone is putting a limiton thenumber of photosbecause of that, I would look somewhere else. Several do offer DVD's which isn't a bad deal because there are several online sites that you can create your own album. You download their software, usually free and create your layout thenyou uploadback to their websitepick the album you want and they put it together bind it and mail it to you all for a pretty reasonable price. This is pretty much what the pros do for you and charge you for. One thing you will need to get with the DVD is a copyright release, otherwise you may have some poblems having them printed. http://www.mypublisher.com/default.phpthis one does a pretty good job, but there are many others.
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Old Feb 27, 2007, 10:36 AM   #8
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First off, congrats on the upcoming wedding!

I agree with most of what it said above (it's what I would have said!)

Definitely look at proof shots (if they'll let you) and a finished album. Realize that the album will be their best work (since they are picking it), so if it isn't good enough for you then move on.

Look for things like getting tricky exposure correctly, did they catch specific moments well.

One of the big things that wedding photographers have to do is deal with people. They have to get people in the right place, treat them nicely but firmly, and get them to do what they want. If the person can't come off as someone who works well with strangers then I would probably not choose them.

If they didn't want to come to the rehersal, then I'd be a little afraid. This would reject them outright, but there is information that they can get there that raise the chance of getting the right shots at the main event. So they'd better have a plan for gainin that info (going on their own, or asking you specific questions about who to get in the photos.) If not... well, this would be one strike against them.

Eric
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Old Mar 2, 2007, 10:17 AM   #9
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Here are a few things to consider that you might overlook


1.) make sure they offer unlimited shooting and will not stop after a certain number of shots

2.) Make sure you geta copy of the negatives or all the digital files on CDs or DVDs... many pros will only keep your photos on file for a year and if you want repronts later your out of luck...... I was surprised to learn that several weedding pros in myarea keep the master files hostage and only give you thimbnail files to view and order from

hope this helps

dave
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Old Mar 2, 2007, 11:02 AM   #10
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Get a real wedding photographer, Make sure who you get will agree to come to the rehearsal. Make certain they will be at the Church on time, Also make sure they will stay until the last of the Event. If you are using a DJ maybe the DJ can recommend someone He worked with before.

A wedding will last you forever until the day you die or divorce so I'm sure you will want good photographs.

A lot of photographers will offer a DVD only package to keep a lower wedding price. They have to because Most people either own a computer or know somebody that does and the photographer will get no re-print orders due to people scanning pictures instead of buying them from the photographer.

As long a the photographer uses fine jpg. & RGB color and closes the DVD you can either print the photo's or go to Walmart.

I always go to the rehearsal to get my picture taking game plan worked out. I make sure I will know exactly where the large spreads of flowers will be placed as well as how the lighting will be along with the placement of all of the subjects. The rehearsal is the place to do your homework, (Not the wedding) The rehearsal is important. I also get to meet all of the wedding people. I want no surprises on wedding day.

Ronnie


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