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There are literally hundreds of photographers in my area, how do I know how to pick the right one for me?

You may want to check in at bridal shows or ask some friends about who they used when they got married.   You can always check online for what comes up in your area.  After you get a list of some names and do some light research, then it is time to narrow that list down.  The ones remaining after you have narrowed the list are who you would want to make an appointment with. 

When you set up a meeting, make sure you are meeting with the actual photographer versus a consultant or the owner of the studio itself.  Trust is a key ingredient to any relationship, especially with a photographer so that they can capture your best you.  Liking their pictures is simply one aspect of their work.  You should also like them since you will be spending a lot of time with them throughout your wedding day. 

What amount of photos will I get?

Most wedding photographers typically speaking of course, offer anywhere from 50 to 100 photos for each hour of coverage they are providing.  Four hundred of anything may sound like a lot, but your wedding photographer is catching all the moments you missed while you were out catching up with your guests. 

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The photos you have I absolutely love except the backgrounds look blurry.  How do you get that look?

That look comes from the shallow depth of field.  In other words, photographers get that look by the type of professional lenses that are designed to focus very intently on the subject. 

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I have seen one photographer whose images appears soft with a pastel look while another looks sharpe and clean, while another one looks kind of old.  Why is there such a variation between them?

Each photographer edits their images using different types of computer software (hi-tech version of a darkroom).  The majority of photographers do basic light and color adjustments but the software that does the editing is how to create the different look and feel of the image.  There are three very popular styles right now:

Clean where the lighting appears to be natural light. 

Matte is lower contrast look with some muted pastel colors, like that to vintage film. 

High Contrast is a more vibrant look with deep rich colors that pop. 

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Why do wedding photography so stupid expensive?

Most brides often ask this question.  Sure, wedding photography seems to you like its “easy money”… work for a day and collect the all that cash.  However, the thing you may not realize is that the equipment they are using to capture these breathe taking moments at your wedding in most cases is well over $15,000 worth of wedding gear and typically work 60 or more hours a week.  (The 50 to 100 photo per hour takes several FULL days just to edit them. 

Then you have to keep in mind expenses like studio time, shipping, repair, albums, advertising, software to edit the images, takes and let’s not forget insurance.   After adding all of these expenses into the cost, most photographers may make less than minimum age for their first few years. 

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How can I make sure I look good in my Photos?

Take a chill pill Phill.  Trust your professional photographer.  When you are up tight and not relaxed, all of that will show through on your photos. 

Make sure you allow for some additional time to eliminate feeling rushed.  I would typically recommend a minimum of 30 minutes for the family and wedding party photos and an hour or so for the couple portraits. 

Sleep and make sure you drink plenty of water the night before.  Keep your drinks to a minimum at the rehearsal dinner because wedding day hangovers are not fun at all.

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What is “shoot and burn” photography?

It may sound pretty painful once you hear it, but Shoot and Burn is a slang word for photographing a wedding and burning it right to a CD without post-processing.  This method is typically super cheap but with a reason.  The bad lighting isn’t corrected, other distracting elements aren’t taken out and things like zits come through proudly on display. 

Digital files are important but you will want is a full service photographer who will edit the images and print reference proofs before handing over the digis.

The last thing you would want to do is just let those beautiful wedding images just sit on your hard drive.  Display those wedding photos proudly.  Don’t ever hide them.  Hanging up a large print, two or three may turn a crappy day into a great day just by looking a wedding photo to remind you of how awesome that day was. 

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What exactly is a “first look”?

The first look is for couples that see one another privately before the actual ceremony.  Doing a first look allows the couple to remove any wedding jitters and just have a brief moment alone with the love of their life.  I do recommend the first look photos because they tend to show the realest moments with the rawest emotions.  Another way to look at it, is if you take pictures beforehand, then you get to enjoy cocktail hour with your guests!

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Is a 2nd Photographer Necessary?

Well no, it’s not necessary but they can provide more images with a completely different perspective.  Many top photographers work with an assistant who can carry the gear or help adjust lighting when needed.  This choice is really up to you and your photographer. 

How much notice with the wedding Photographer need?

The in-demand wedding photographers usually book over a year out from the actual wedding date.  As your date gets closer, it will be hard to book your top choice for a photographer.  If your photographer is unavailable, then ask them for a recommendation that has a similar style.

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Photoshop?

Just keep in mind that things can be fixed in the photos, but it takes a LOT of time consumption to do so.  However, somethings have to be edited out… your crazy drunk uncle photo bombing would require a retake versus Photoshop.  Just remember if your photographer is doing a lot of Photoshop, you will be charged for their time doing extensive touch ups and removals. 

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Is tipping my photographer OK?

Let’s just say “Tips are never expected but greatly appreciated.”

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