Wedding Photography Tips for the Bride

What bride would not want to have pointers and wedding photography tips when considering for her own wedding? All brides, I am sure, would like to get tips and ideas that could help them in choosing the right wedding photographer for them. That said, listed below are wedding photography tips and ideas for the bride of today.

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

1. Decide what style of wedding photography you prefer. Here are important questions you need to ask yourself when looking for the right photographer for your needs. Are you looking for a traditional approach with mostly posed images?

Do you prefer lots of candid shots in which the subject may not even know he or she is being photographed?

Do you like the glamour approach of fashion photography?

Would you prefer a photographer who combines all of these styles (a freestyle or eclectic wedding photographer)?

2. Decide what level of service you want from your wedding photographer. Perhaps you only need photographs of your ceremony so having just 1-3 hours of photography may be enough for you. Other couples may prefer a complete package that may include a pre-wedding engagement sessions, rehearsal dinner photographs, bridal portraits and newlywed photos.

3. Decide how many images you would like from your wedding celebration. Some photographers may provide you with under 100 images to remember your wedding day by. Higher-end photographers often capture thousands of images (generally from 1,000 to 3,000) for you to keep forever.

4. Figure out how much time and expertise you have to process your images yourself. Many brides who choose photographers that only give them a disc of their images (no album, prints or other items) find that they lack the time, software or knowledge to create their own albums, properly edit the photos (crop, color correct, etc.). Often, years later, these couples just have a stack of dusty, cheaply processed proof photos or photos on a disc that are not being lovingly displayed as a reminder of the wedding day.

5. Determine your Budget. Photographer fees, prints, albums, etc. generally come to approximately 12% of the entire wedding budget. This will allow you to quickly discard candidates which you cannot afford.

6. Decide how you will use your pictures. Do you plan to purchase just an album for yourself, or also pictures for your walls, prints to give to friends and family, or even put the images on stationery, invitations, calendars, mugs, T-shirts, and magnets?

7. Determine what form of your pictures you will want from your photographer. Just purchasing the prints is sometimes economical if you do not want an album. If you expect to need a large number of prints, it may be better (and faster) to purchase the negatives from your photographer and have the copies made privately, at your leisure. If you plan to use the images in numerous creative ways, or want to post them to a website or include them in a screen saver, you will probably want to receive the digital photo files directly from your photographer via the Internet or on a CD-ROM.

Warning: Some photographers do not offer all the options described above. Ask questions. Do not assume.

8. Research photographers. Ask your friends, inquire at bridal shops and with the management of the ceremony and reception sites you have chosen. Also browse bridal websites for information and links to photographers that work in your area.

9. Make a list of photographers which seem to fit your criteria for price and available format.

Research each of the photographers on your list: look at samples of their work on the Internet, ask for and call their references, and check their standing with the Better Business Bureau.

Remove from your list any individuals with less-than-stellar records, weak references, or a style that you dislike.

Interview each remaining candidate on your list by phone. Make sure to ask if they are available on your chosen date, how much experience they have, whether they specialize in weddings, how soon after the wedding you can expect your prints or disk, and how long they keep the negatives.

Remove from your list any candidate which does not conform to your preferences or is not available on your chosen date. 10. Make appointments and meet with each finalist face to face. Go to these meetings with your spouse-to-be if possible. Look at samples of their work, get a brochure with details about wedding packages, ask for a copy of their standard shot list (if they use a shot list which most experienced wedding photographers do not as they have well-memorized all the shots they need to get), and ask questions. Notice how polite they are. Ask yourself, “Is this someone I will want to be around when I am stressed, exhausted, dehydrated, overheated, and ready to faint in those uncomfortable shoes?”

11. Discuss with your spouse-to-be all the photographers you visited. Spend time together comparing the packages available from the photographers you BOTH like. Decide which photographer and package best fits your needs and expectations.

12. As with any major decision, sleep on it.

13. Call your chosen photographer and ask them to pencil you in on their calendar until you can come back to sign the contract. Make an appointment to sign the contract.

14. Confirm, confirm, confirm! This is the golden rule of wedding planning. Remember: your wedding is more important to you and your spouse-to-be than to anyone else. As such, you must confirm appointments, plans, reservations, etc., several times—Once at contract signing, a second time 3-6 months before the event, and again 1-2 weeks before, at which time last minute details, changes, and requests can be worked out.


  • Looking at a photographer’s website is a good, quick way to discover the vendor’s specialties, style, and price.

  • Keep notes on everything you learn about each candidate, so that you can remember important facts when making the final decision.

  • Listen to your gut! This is a big decision, so don’t rush it.

  • Be sure to include any special requests (specific shots not on the shot list, attire, etc.) in writing on the contract before you sign.

  • Good photographers will get booked first. Reserve your photographer a year in advance.
Things to Consider

  • Remember, if you don’t feel comfortable with the person BEFORE the extreme stress of your Big Day, you will certainly not feel comfortable ON the Big Day. Little things/mannerisms that bug you will only get more irritating at “show-time.” The best way to become comfortable is to make sure your photographer offers either a pre-wedding engagement shoot or at least a pre-wedding consultation to build up rapport.

  • If you do not see the style of photos you desire on the photographer's website or blog, they may not have experience with that style of wedding photography.

  • Even if you have your negatives or images on CD or DVD, you can't legally print or use them because of copyright law (with exceptions for fair use) unless your contract with the photographer states otherwise. Be sure to get a copyright release or licensing agreement that will allow you to use them how you want. This may cost extra, but many newer photographers are willing to give them to you. All places won't print professional images without a copyright release or licensing agreement.

  • If you choose an hourly photographer, make sure you find out how much it will cost and their availability should you want them to stay a little longer.

  • Find out if your wedding photographer offers online proofing. If not, how are your out-of-town guests and family members going to be able to view and order photos?

  • Find out if your photographer travels with back-up equipment. With today's digital technology, a broken camera can not usually be fixed right away. Having a camera that does not work is the last thing you want to have happen as you are walking down the aisle! This is a feature that often distinguishes amateur wedding photographers from experienced professionals.

  • Remember, discs with photographs on them are not archival. Discs get scratched and malfunction. They are not guaranteed to last. If you are not ordering archival prints or archival albums from your wedding photographer, as soon as you get your disc have them printed on archival paper by a professional lab for safekeeping.

  • Sources and Citations

    Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Choose a Wedding Photographer. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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