Finding a Great Wedding Photographer

A picture is worth a thousand words…. Surely you have heard this expression before and it is never more true than at a wedding. The pictures are the permanent record of the celebration that is your wedding day. You simply must have a great photographer that knows what they are doing. You need someone that knows how to specifically shoot a wedding as well. This is necessary because of the large number of different shots that need to be taken, and the changes in lighting and so forth depending on the location, such as wedding party reception table.

The wedding photographer will automatically know all the shots that you and your spouse to be will want. This is a huge advantage over your Uncle Phil, as Uncle Phil may not think to make sure that both sets of Parents are in an equal number of wedding photographs. And what about the wedding cake? Did Uncle Phil shoot it from several angles both before and after the cake was devoured? These are just a couple of hundreds of scenarios that can go wrong with an amateur. This is not an everyday job that just anyone can do. You must hire a professional.

The lighting at a wedding is another consideration for why you need a professional wedding photographer. This is a real issue as the wedding will progress from dim to light, and every thing in between throughout the stages of the wedding. Flash considerations and exposure are tough calls to make when you are shooting something that moves as quickly as a wedding. You do not want to get a number of shots that are overexposed or otherwise messed up when you get your wedding photos back.

While it can be tempting to save a few bucks when you are spending a ton of money on a wedding, this is not the area to try to save money. Go ahead and bite the bullet, and pay for a real wedding photographer. This is one of the most important aspects of any great wedding, and your permanent record is too important to risk on an amateur. If you simply must save some money, cut back on the decorations or have a pay bar instead of an open bar at the wedding party. This is far less important than having a questionable photographer.

Finding a great wedding photographer is not rocket science. One should start with a great website that specializes in wedding photographers. Here is a wonderful option for you if you would like to get started. This site can lead you to an outstanding pool of wedding photographers as well as other helpful links to get your wedding organized and ready.

Once you have secured a great wedding photographer, it is also important to spell out any specifics in writing with them. This contract should be specific. If you want to make sure you have a picture made with your Aunt Sara, then you need to specify it. This will ensure that you have a stress free wedding day, and that your pictures are everything you want them to be. Your wedding day demands it.

10 Things to Think About When Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

10 tips when choosing a wedding photographer.

1. Make sure your photographer is insured
All professional photographers will hold public liability and professional indemnity insurance. Imagine your photographer has his/her camera stolen from his/her car during your wedding, losing the camera and the pictures. Most insurance will pay for you to return to the venue later – have your hair re-done, the suits re-hired etc.

2. Make sure they are part of a professional body
Professional bodies ensure their members are of a certain standard. It’s vital your photographer is a member of one of these bodies. Professional bodies give you peace of mind that if something does go wrong, you have an organisation to complain to. Many also provide a ‘photographer guaranteed’ service – so if your photographer is ill they will send a replacement.

3. If its too good to be true…
If your photographer is advertising prices that are much less than their competition – they are most likely inexperienced or unqualified. If its too good to be true – it probably is. By in large, you really do get what you pay for.

4. Check the reprint prices…
Most photographers don’t provide you with the photographs on DVD – so check the re-print prices before you sign-up. This could save you in the long-run!

5. Make sure get a contract
Make sure you get a written contract or terms and conditions. Read these carefully – and raise any issues immediately. All professionals will provide you with terms on request.

6. Ask how many weddings a year they cover
A quick way to gauge the difference between a part-time and a full-time photographer is to ask how many weddings they cover each year. If its less than 10, they are likely to be inexperienced or focussing on another type of photography. Many professionals cover 30+ weddings a year – some even cover 60-100!

7. Ask to see real wedding albums
There is quite a difference between a display album and real-life wedding album. Ask to see a real customers album. This allows you to see their consistency throughout the day. You could also ask to see a sample wet weather album – inexperienced photographers tend to struggle indoors.

8. Make sure you like the photographs!
It sounds obvious – but make sure you like the photographers style of work. If you are after a formal style – get a formal photographer. If you want reportage photography – get a reportage photographer!

9. Make sure you get on with the photographer.
You will spend 6 – 10 hrs with this person on your big day – so make sure the photographer is friendly and easy to get on with. There is nothing worse than a stressful or pushy photographer! If there is even a glimmer of a personality clash – avoid!

10. And finally…think about the album
The album is effectively a family heirloom – it will be passed from generation to generation. Check the quality of the album – the print quality of the pictures and the quality of the finish. Photographs slipping out, poor alignment or poor colour in pictures are all warning signs. With storybook albums, ensure the corners have not peeled in the sample albums. Ask the question: – would you be proud to show this album to your friends – and possibly your children in 50years time?

Wedding PR Myths

Wedding PR, in the form of featured weddings in magazines and blogs, is an attractive notion to most wedding professionals. The idea of having our names in lights with the hope of building our wedding business and increasing sales has become a more popular notion over the last several years. In order to build a strong Wedding PR plan, however, it’s imperative to understand the top Wedding PR myths and challenges that you may face along the way.

If I have any amazing wedding, it will get picked up by a blog or magazine.

I’ve seen this time and time again. A wedding professional will come to me with a wedding for the ages- beautiful bride, memorable details and a great story to accompany it. In a perfect world, wedding blogs and magazines would be clamoring for this opportunity, but the fact is, sometimes it’s far more difficult to place than one may realize, especially if aiming for print.

Editorial calendars in the industry vary and you could have a fabulous fall themed wedding this past year that didn’t make the cut simply because the next round of magazines were aiming for submissions Spring/Summer 2012. Deadlines come and go very quickly and magazines often are working 6-9 months ahead of time, if not longer. Sure you could wait for the next round of Calls for Submission, but by then, the wedding may be far too old to be considered. This means the window of opportunity to submit to the right publication may be much smaller than you think.

The remedy? Keep track of the editorial calendars of local and national magazines to ensure you don’t miss that opportunity to showcase the very best of what you do.

If I have great images, my Wedding PR campaign will be successful.

Real wedding submissions are based in part on fabulous images but what most people don’t realize is that there are far more pieces to the puzzle. A beautifully shot wedding is a great start, but if they don’t include the fresh inspirational details in which the blogs and magazines want, then the odds of it getting published are greatly diminished.

A good submission will also include all of the details necessary to make life easier on the media- from a list of vendors and the contact information for the bride and groom to a general recap of the day’s events and why this particular wedding was so special.

Wedding PR will is a waste at the local level- I want to be BIG.

It’s easy for any of us to get the proverbial stars in our eyes when we experience the gratification of a national wedding blog or magazine feature. Look out wedding world, we say, I’m going big time. With this, we may start to put less priority on the blogs and magazine at the local level, simply because they won’t get the same traffic and prestige as the “big dogs.”

The fact is however, most wedding companies operate at the regional level. Their targeted brides tend to be the ones in their neighborhoods, who shop at their grocery stores and complain about the same expensive car shop down the road. They may certainly be spending their days perusing blogs and magazines from across the US, but they’re more than likely following the local media more regularly.

The local blogs and magazines may not give you the starry eyes you may get when you see your name on the national stage, but they are just as important in staying in touch with “your” bride.
Wedding PR has been found to consistently give wedding professionals a competitive edge while also building their brand. By understanding the above myths and how to overcome them, you will be the one with stars in your eyes in no time.

Wedding Gown Preservation – Beware of Cheap Gown Preservation

You can find discounted wedding gown preservation services in many places. Sometimes it’s a local dry-cleaner offering specials. Sometimes you’ll see ads in magazines or on the internet for $69 or $99.

Read the fine print! Invariably the low priced specials are not actually for gown preservation, they are for the box only. They call it a wedding gown preservation box and so you’re responsible for cleaning your dress yourself and then you can use this “special” box to it in.

Sometimes these special prices will be for a “do it yourself” cleaning kit. It will include the storage box, some acid free tissue or muslin to wrap the wedding dress in, maybe even a home dry cleaning packet to use in your home dryer.

Most of these special priced do it yourself cleaning and or storage boxes are found on eBay. They look similar to real preservation kits, but aren’t.

When comparing you’ll find that real wedding gown preservation kits contains everything you need to take care of your wedding dress. You’ll send your gown to the company to be hand inspected by specially trained technicians. They will pay special attention to the hem and top of the bodice areas, cleaning them by hand.

Spot cleaning will be done for all stains. And they will use a special “anti-sugar” treatment for your gown. This treatment removes the residues from wine, soda, cake and food that may be on your dress. These spots will yellow quickly if not properly treated.

Your local dry-cleaner cannot do this. They service and quality is limited.

Professional wedding dress preservation can cost as much as $490, but usually averages between $125 – $189. Be careful and not over pay to have your dress preserved. Many online websites offer exactly the same service at various prices. Check it out carefully – no sense paying more for the same service.

Choose a wedding gown preservation company that has been in business for a long time. You want a company that has a great reputation, and a company that offers a minimum 20 year guarantee with their service.