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 BRIDE & GROOM’S ALBUM
 02-23-11

BRIDE & GROOM’S ALBUM

By WeddingSolutions.com

The bride and groom’s photo album is the traditional way to preserve your special day. You and your spouse will look at the photos many times during your lifetime. Therefore, hiring a good photographer is one of the most important tasks in planning your wedding.

 Options: There are a large variety of wedding albums. They vary in size, color, material, construction and price. Traditional-style albums frame each individual photo in a mat on the page. Digitally designed “Montage” albums group the photos in a creatively designed fashion for a more modern look. 

 Find one that you like and will feel proud of showing to your friends and family. Some of the most popular manufacturers of wedding albums are Art Leather, Leather Craftsman, Capri and Renaissance. 

 Keep in mind however, that the quality of the original photographs will determine how the finished album looks so choose your photographer for their skills, not necessarily the manufacturer of the album. Make sure you are shown the different styles of album available.

 Different papers are available to print your photos, pearl and metallic as well as black and white can be chosen. Ask to see samples.

 Things to Consider: Make sure you hire a photographer who specializes in weddings. Your photographer should be experienced in wedding procedures and familiar with your ceremony and reception sites. This will allow him/her to anticipate your next move and be in the proper place at the right time to capture all the special moments. Personal rapport is extremely important. The photographer may be an expert, but if you don’t feel comfortable or at ease with him or her, your photography will reflect this. Comfort and compatibility with your photographer can make or break your wedding day and your photographs!

 Look at his/her work. See if the photographer captured the excitement and emotion of the bridal couple. Also, remember that the wedding album should unfold like a story book -- the story of your wedding. Be sure to discuss with your photographer the photos you want so that there is no misunderstanding. A good wedding photographer will plan the day with you to ensure that all the important moments are covered. It is acceptable to take a list of important photos to your planning session before the wedding (even one copied from a wedding planning book). This will keep you on track and ensure that you’ve asked about all the photos that are “must haves.”

 Ask to look at albums that the photographer has ready to be delivered, or proofs of weddings recently photographed. Study the photographer’s style. It’s fine if they tell you that they’re skilled in “photojournalistic” or “candid” photography but, if that’s so, you should see plenty of candid-style shots in their portfolio! Some photographers are known for formal poses, while others specialize in more candid, creative shots. Some can do both.

 When asked to provide references, photographers will obviously give you names of clients that they know are pleased with their work. (Why give a name of someone who wasn’t?) So keep this in mind if you decide to call a former client.

 When comparing prices, compare the quantity and size of the photographs in your album and the type of album that each photographer will use. Ask how many photos will be taken on average at a wedding of your size.   Some photographers do not work with proofs. Rather, they simply supply you with a finished album after the wedding. Doing this may reduce the cost of your album but will also reduce your selection of photographs. Many photographers will put your proofs on a DVD for viewing. This is much less bulky and an easy way to preview all of your wedding photos.

 Beware: Make sure the photographer you interview is the specific person that will photograph your wedding. Many companies have more than one photographer. The more professional companies will make sure that you meet with (and view the work of) THE photographer that will photograph your wedding. This way you can get an idea of his/her style and personality and begin to establish a rapport with YOUR photographer. Your chosen photographers name should go on your contract!

 Also, some churches do not allow photographs to be shot during the ceremony. Please find out the rules and present them to your photographer so he is knowledgeable about your site.

 Tips to Save Money: Consider hiring a professional photographer for the formal shots of your ceremony only. You can then place disposable cameras on each table at the reception and let your guests take candid shots. This will save you a considerable amount of money in photography.

 You can also lower the price of your album by paying for the photographs and then putting them into the album yourself. This is a very time-consuming task, so your photographer may reduce the price of his/her package if you opt to do this. To really save money, select a photographer who charges a flat fee to shoot the wedding and allows you to purchase the film.

 Compare at least three photographers for quality, value, and price. Photographers who shoot weddings “on the side” are usually less expensive, but the quality of their photographs may not be as good.

Select less 8 x 10s for your album and more 4 x 6s, and choose a moderately priced album. Ask for specials and package deals.

Price Range: $900 - $9,000

QUESTIONS TO ASK PHOTOGRAPHERS

Get their business card with name, address, phone number and email address.
• How many years of experience do you have as a photographer?
• What percentage of your business is dedicated to weddings?
• Approximately how many weddings have you photographed?
• Are you the person who will photograph my wedding?
• Will you bring an assistant with you to my wedding?
• How do you typically dress for weddings?
• Do you have a professional studio?
• What type of equipment do you use?
• Do you bring backup equipment with you to weddings?
• Do you need to visit the ceremony and reception sites prior to the wedding?
• Do you have liability insurance?
• Are you skilled in diffused lighting & soft focus?
• Can you take studio portraits?
• Can you retouch my images?
• Can digital files be purchased? If so, what is the cost?
• What is the cost of the package I am interested in?
• What is your payment policy?
• What is your cancellation policy?
• Do you use paper proofs or DVD proofing?
• How many photographs will I have to choose from?
• When will I get my proofs?
• When will I get my album?
• What is the cost of an engagement portrait? Formal bridal portrait?
• What is the cost of a parent album?
• What is the cost of a 5" x 7" reprint?
• What is the cost of an 8" x 10" reprint?
• What is the cost of an 11" x 14" reprint?
• What is the cost per additional hour of shooting at the wedding?

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