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Author: ToesOnTheNose Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 22154  
Subject: Re: Hiring a photographer Date: 1/19/2004 11:18 PM
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You may email me if you like.

You should see their work. Not only the best of the wedding (like 3 photos or something), but entire weddings. Any photographer has that.

Look at their style and see if it appeals to you. There are great differences between photographers. Not liking their style has nothing to do with whether they are good or not, the two things are different. You need someone good, and someone whom you like.

I, personally, would stay away from digital, however, that's just me.

You need to like the person. It is a very personal relationship and they will be in and at your wedding, with your family, your guests, etc. You need to feel comfortable with them.

Having an assistant is great for any photographer, however, if they don't have one, it may just mean that they prefer to work alone. Don't think that because they don't have an assistant, that they are sub-par.

If you want artsy, don't get someone who shows you a bunch of standard poses. Because, that's what you'll get. If you want standard poses, don't get someone who showed you out-of-focus, wild, experimentation stuff; because that's what you'll get.

If you want black and white and color, be specific about what you want black and white and color. Don't just say a mix. Be very specific. The more specific you are, the more they can provide what you want.

Skip the album and do it yourself. Photographers charge a premium for this.

Get the negatives. Make sure the proofs are part of the deal. Make sure that they are going to let you keep your proofs and that they are not going to stamp them, or screw them up in some way. You should at least get all your 4x6 proof prints and your negatives. Although, they usually hold negatives for up to 12 months. I hold them for three months. They do it because they want you to order through them so they can make more money. I do it because I may want to use those negatives for additional prints for advertising, scanning for internet, etc. And it may take me up to 3 months to get around to finishing.

I don't care to make money on my clients after the fact. I make all my money on my time and service. They really appreciate this. Many photographers out there work on the old premise that you make your money on reprints. I have found that good service and honesty keeps them coming back.

See if they will give you a referral.

When you talk to the church/chapel/whatever, if this person is local, they should no of him/her and may give you a recommendation. Same with caterers, flower people, etc. This business is word of mouth and is a tight circle of vendors all helping eachother.

Be willing to spend money. In a range of $2,000 - $5,000, you should find very talented professional people who will provide a fantastic experience and great memories.

Don't try to low-ball or cheapen this. Pay what you are willing to spend, without cutting corners. So many people these days compare a professional to buying a $5 plastic camera and getting it processed at WalMart. There is just no comparison.

Of course, there are situations where you pay, and have a bad experience. Unfortunately, anyone with a camera can call themselves a photographer. The main thing to look for is the experience. Someone who has a lot to show you, and if you like the style, you should feel confident that they've seen a lot and know how to deal in all situations.

Toes
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