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Photography and Videos for Great Wedding Memories

Wedding_Photography_MemoriesMemories are great -- but photographs are memories you can hold in your hand, and pass around to other people who weren't there at the time. This is one of the greatest reasons to document your wedding photographically: not just to reminisce, but to share those memories years down the road with those who weren't present. Some of those people, in fact, might not even have been a gleam in your eye when you were married -- and you can be sure your children will always be interested in your wedding pictures, even if it's just to wonder who the dorky-looking guy standing next to the bride was.

Back before the invention of decent and inexpensive video cameras, you had to basically be royalty before your wedding was immortalized on film; but oh, how things have changed since Charles and Diana's marriage! Now anyone's uncle with a camcorder can videotape the proceedings, and catch on film all the embarrassing things that you and your guests do. Thanks to them, America's Stupidest Home Videos has plenty of fodder to keep it going. Aside from the horses playing football, it's always the wedding videos everyone laughs at the most -- especially when the groom faints, or Aunt Ethel dives into the lake when trying to catch the bridal bouquet. Your wedding needn't be that way, of course; not only can you hire a decent wedding photographer, you can hire a wedding videographer as well.

Who you hire for these positions -- or whether you hire anyone at all -- will very likely depend entirely upon your wedding budget. The experts say you should spend about 12% for the photographer. This can amount to quite a lot, since that's two percent more than you should expect to spend on all the wedding attire, including your bridal gown, your bridesmaids' dresses (if you pay for those), and the groom's tuxedo. You'll need a hefty fee to hire a professional, sure, but the other option is to let your cousin loose with the camera. If it turns out you can hire a professional photographer, you'll need to do your homework first, if only because your wedding's one of those things that's only going to happen once. You don't want to have some guy take all these pictures on your Big Day, only to find out he left the lens cap on, do you?

There are a number of things to keep in mind when you're interviewing prospective photographers. The first thing to do is to check out their experience level and professionalism. For example, they should have lots of experience photographing weddings; weddings are special events that require specialized knowledge, so your photographer needs to know how to handle the lighting, the circumstances, and various situations that might pop up. They also need to be familiar with the standard types of photos that need to be taken, from the bride's portrait to the image of bride and groom cutting the cake together. As for their professionalism, you should check their proffered references to see how they've handled previous jobs, to make sure they tend to arrive on time to do the work that's required, and that they do it well. Plus, do they plan to dress up for your wedding? They'll need to be well groomed, even if your wedding is informal, so they don't stand out. They're there to capture the scene, not cause one.

Photographic style is also important. Some photographers work best in black and white, some in color; or would you prefer a mix of both? What kinds of portraits and other photos are present in this photographer's portfolio? Are they artsy or down-to-earth? The style you prefer is up to you, but it's best to work with someone whose artistic style coincides with your own. Similarly, what's their personality like -- is there chemistry there? Sure, you two can work together for the few hours it takes to photodocument your wedding and grit your teeth the whole time, but if there's stress it's likely to show in the photos. Why not go with someone you think you can live with?

In most cases, the professionals are going to be professional enough that you won't have to worry overmuch about many of the factors listed above; a good photographer will even modify their artistic style to suit you. You'll want to spend more time checking out the financial basics: how much the photos cost, what kind of photo package they offer, how long it takes to get your proofs back, and when the final photos (or video) will be delivered. Before you sign their contract (and you should always have a written contract), you need to sit down and read it through to make sure it's fair, and that you understand everything about payments, deposits, provisions for cancellation, and everything else. If the photographer has problems with this, fine -- there are other fish in the sea.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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