2 Tips for Picking the Right Photographer

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In this era of foolproof digital cameras, ever-ready smartphone cameras and viral videos, anyone and everyone can be a photographer or videographer.

When it comes to the wedding day, though, finding a professional photographer or videographer who can capture the tone and emotion of a wedding is important. Here’s how to ensure great photos and videos without breaking the bank.

Keeping a Modest Budget

Wedding budgets are tight for many couples, so it’s important they keep a financial focus solely on the truly talented wedding documentarians, not just whomever offers up the best deal.

“The recession has weeded out companies that provided inferior customer service,” says Christopher Figueroa, a New York-based wedding videographer.

Figueroa suggests that future brides and grooms use customer-review sites to help find the photographer or videographer that’s perfect for their big day. Reading reviews from other customers can point a finger in the right direction: Do you want something alternative and funky, classic or modern? The web makes it easier to find the right person in that niche.

The economic conditions also have meant a refocus for veteran companies, says Gary Freedline of Video Keepsakes, which operates in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Miami. His company had to rethink packages, pricing and style for today’s couples. This translates to more affordable options for high-quality service.

Linda Chervenak Maze, a wedding photographer at Art of Affection photography in Gainesville, Fla., says that most of her company’s clients spend about $2,000 to $3,000 on their services, a little higher than the nearly $1,700 average most couples paid in 2012 for a photographer, according to The Wedding Report, which also put the average cost for a videographer in 2012 at slightly more than $1,000. Maze says she’s noticed that while couples cut costs at all corners, photography is one of the expense categories that has retained its momentum.  “Their photographers are the one part of the day that they will be able to share with family and friends for the rest of their lives, and this concept seems to be helping our business maintain its value,” Maze says.

Choose a Service That Matters

Whether you’ve committed to a videographer and photographer or are still whittling down your choice, focus on the packages and options that will truly capture the magic of the day. Figueroa says his Recap service is his most popular – it’s a four- to five-minute highlight reel of the day’s most memorable moments. An option like this keeps the price more affordable and the video more to-the-point.

Freedline also notes that short-form videos are a more popular and modern option, although older family members tend to favor feature-length wedding videos. “[Parents] feel cheated if they end up with a seven-hour event that is over in three to five minutes,” Freedline says.

For photography, Maze says she’s noticed a trend in “first look” photographs, or photos that document the pre-wedding festivities, like putting on the dress and getting hair and make-up done. This allows photographers to get more artistic shots and calms the nerves of the bride, who might find these snapshots encouraging.

Maze also recommends that brides and grooms look for interesting, inexpensive venues with good photo opportunities.

“It affords us new and interesting subject matter and backdrops for photographs,” she says.

© Brides 365

Tags: budget, photo, video, tips