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Hiring the Right Wedding Photographer

The first thing most newly engaged brides do (other than tell everyone they’re going to get married) is go to pick out their dress and decide what their bridesmaids are going to wear. However, as important as the dresses and the location of the ceremony are, there’s one thing that’s often overlooked as a very important aspect of the wedding day: the photographer.

Having a photographer at your wedding isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity and it’s just as important as the rings and the dress. It can also be just as hard to choose a wedding photographer as it is the aforementioned items.

Photography by Marc Daniel Photography; used with permission.

The best practice is to first use Google. While friends recommendations are nice, they can also be bias, so you need to make sure that you are doing plenty of research. Reading about your photographer is great, but meeting them in person over coffee is even better. You might not think that a photographer’s personality has anything to do with the way that they take photos, but that’s not true. You and your photographer should have the same idea of what kind of photos you want, and some examples from wedding magazines or blogs can help show what you are looking for to your potential photographer.

Don’t forget to take a good long look at their portfolios. You don’t want to have your photos not taken well or over-edited in post processing. Many photographers, if they haven’t gone to school to hone their craft (and they don’t need to in order to produce brilliant results), have trained with other photographers or have years of experience. A wedding is not the ideal time to hire an amateur photographer just to save some money.

Never be afraid to ask questions. By asking questions, this ensures that there won’t be any surprises on your wedding day. Types of questions can include whether or not they bring an assistant, their photography style and equipment they use. While the last one is not particularly important, if you want to know, don’t hesitate to ask. More ideas for questions you can ask them can be found here.

Most importantly of all, if you are booking a photographer and they have a contract (most professionals do) make sure you read it thoroughly and ask any questions in case you don’t understand. Signing the contract and paying a deposit will reserve your photographer for your date: don’t be stuck looking for one last minute.

For more tips and tricks for the bride to be, don’t forget to check out Best for Bride’s blog for everything you are looking for.

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The 5 Questions Brides Wish They Had Asked their Wedding Videographer

There’s nothing like hindsight to give some clarity as to the questions you would have asked, had you known what would go wrong that is. Luckily for brides today there is the internet; this invaluable tool helps brides to learn from the misfortunes and misgivings of couples far and wide when it comes to making bad decisions about the big day. While it might seem that with today’s technology any old point-and-shoot camera should do the trick when it comes to a wedding videographer, just ask a couple who has a grainy five minute VHS with Michael Bolton playing over all the sound bytes if there’s any difference. That being said, here are the top 5 questions brides wish they had asked their wedding videographers… before putting down the deposit.

5. What will be the picture quality of the final product?
Many videographers throw out terms like “HD” and impress unwitting couples into choosing their “state of the art” video service, but don’t be impressed until you’ve seen a sample. Not every amateur or freelance videographer has the right technology not only to shoot a good video at such high resolution, nor the equipment to edit it properly. See some samples and decide what looks best to you. Also keep in mind that not every shot is flattering in high definition, and take some test shots before the big day.

4. Will you be using microphones?
Almost nobody thinks to ask this question, but almost everyone has to crank up the volume when it comes to any part of the wedding video with speeches, toasts, or vows. Instead of leaving it to chance find out if the videographer plans to bug the altar, use wireless mics on participants, or make friends with the sound guy at the reception to get a direct feed into the audio. If the videographer is simply filming these speeches from afar, it’s not very likely you’ll hear a word that’s said.

3. How many cameras and camera operators will you be using?
This one is important especially if you have a large wedding, a large wedding party or a large wedding venue. One camera operator can only be one place at once. Some set up stationary cameras to supplement their footage, but these are only really useful for far-off shots, the ceremony or speeches. You’ll find you get the best results if there are at least two camera operators who are twice as likely to be in the right place at the right time to catch the very most special of moments.

2. Have you done this before?
Shockingly enough, many people fail to ask this question. This question does not refer to student films, friend’s weddings with home equipment or bar mitzvahs. This question refers specifically and exclusively to hiring a client, filming a wedding, producing an end product that the couple loves, and correctly billing the couple for it. As mentioned before, ask for samples.

1. Are there choices on music and style?
Even the best videographer with the best shots can still product a cringe-worthy end product with sappy love songs, fading transitions and love heart frame effects if not properly guided during the post-production phase of the program. Ask before if there are choices and provide some very specific suggestions if you want an end-product you can actually stand to watch!

Author Bio:
Jessica Josh is a freelancer who makes her living by writing and blogging online. She has worked with a number of different businesses in the wedding bands and wedding videography niche such as