How to Find a Wedding Photographer
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Your photographs mark the occasion more than anything else. Expert advice from The Knot on how to get great wedding photographs.


You have arrived at MagRack and are now inside weddings. Carley Roney: Hi I’m Carley Roney co-founder and editor and chief of the knot and you are watching inside weddings. Now we are go investigate wedding photography and videography and these are incredibly important stuff in the wedding planning process mostly because of how you’ll think about that afterwards your photographs and your video are really the only things you have to remember your wedding by and half of the time you don’t know what’s going on in your wedding and the photographer is there to sort of capture it for you to see after the fact. Now when you are choosing your wedding photographer there is one thing that’s very important actually it really likes the person. Because they spend a lot of time with you unless incredibly important day of your life’s. So go out interview a lot of them make sure you feel that there is some one you want to spend time with and you want to be with on this important day. And then also it’s about the styles. The style of they shoot in are they more black and white photographer or they into color do they mix and match, is it very modern and fresh feeling they are very traditional and portrait like, these are the questions that we tackled when we went with Gabriella just Sarah Merians photo studio in the city were she represents many wedding photographer as who have made very many different styles. So went through some of the books and took a look and let’s see what you liked. Gabriella we are going to have some fun today we are going to pick out your photography and I brought your Sarah Merians photography and this is Elizabeth Beskin and she is from the coco founders as Sarah Merians and she is just to take us through the appointment and ask you some questions. Elizabeth Beskin: It’s really nice to meet you. Gabriella Del Carro: Nice to meet you to. Elizabeth Beskin: What I like to do is figure out what you already got mine so that I can work in and out. Are you going to be doing getting ready pictures some place? Gabriella Del Carro: Yes on my house. Elizabeth Beskin: We usually schedule it when you are make up is already done, you are just really putting your final touches on your stepping into your dress and putting on your ear rings but you know we don’t have to be there for that entire process. But if your girls are with you, your moms with you and your immediate family they get some of those great pictures that’s like the best time to do black and white pictures because that is really setting up the scene. Carley Roney: The way intimate feels you know what about the grooms do you want he and his groom’s men getting ready you want back to be photographed as well. Gabriella Del Carro: Oh I can tell because it is a memory for him too, as he is getting ready to get married. Carley Roney: So you really want to do start to finish though you really you are into the idea of having the photographer with you throughout that entire process. I mean that’s a good starting place as well, are you just thinking ceremony or you just thinking reception. But I see the vision you have and you really sort of what the creation of the day the full story. What I would recommend is two photographers, one starting with your house and one starting with his house.And since you are having 275 people you are going to need two photographers any way. It’s great to have one photographer at the front of the church and one photographer either from the balcony or from the back so you can get two angles you don’t need to see a photographer running up and down the aisle, we don’t like that at all. We want to stay as we possibly can. Carley Roney: You have to meet the person; you cannot be meeting that person on your wedding day. Elizabeth Beskin: We invite you to come back and meet your photographer and do a free photo session here. It’s an engagement portrait it gives you the opportunity to not only get to know them as a person but to see how it would be like to work together. And were you really want to make sure that one moment the photographer has all the information as to the exact location that you are going into where you want to meet, you know, and so forth or you put below the photographer in a limit with you. Carley Roney: Which I would like, their job is let you have your intimate moment and at the same time just sort of be there for it is I just always feel those pictures have a wonderful quality to them. Gabriella Del Carro: I do want to capture all the moments, so I think the photographer having there will be important. Carley Roney: Great, now do you and your groom have the same sense of warning this kind of complete coverage and warning to have some with you all the time or do you think he is going to want some privacy that’s an important thing as well. Gabriella Del Carro: I think he want he would rather have the pictures. I found this really nice park that I want to go to and then after I wanted to go to the hall little bit early and want take a family shots there. Elizabeth Beskin: A whole of these things can change, you can change the stuff the week before, it’s just my job to educate you on all the things that you should be thinking about. Carley Roney: You want to make sure that the photographers that you are speaking to who have actually shot a wide range of weddings have they shot a classic mass before, do they know what its like working in the church, you know for examples. So you want to make sure they have a range of experience that is relatable to what you are doing. Elizabeth Beskin: That’s really a good point one other things that we like to ask before we even walk into a church is, we introduce ourselves to the and ask what the rules of the specific church are, in terms of photography some churches are very strict. Carley Roney: And I usually recommend this well that you talk about that what the church priority even this because you don’t want to get your heart set on the idea that you are going to have someone getting you know shots right at the alter for example well that’s at a love matters. They often have areas that are completely cut off to any photographers if we have the first. Elizabeth Beskin: In a way we plan what we need to do, you know its not we are not an event planner but we say this is our shot, space to self out, don’t come running down the aisle you know its all. Carley Roney: You know its all to having good pictures. Elizabeth Beskin: Exactly its all at the end that’s what to have love, so you have to make sure that’s what you get exactly what you want and as much information as you can provide the photographer before and is so is we can leave you along the day life. We ask for a useful list, out of the 275 people there is going to be groups of people that you are going to want to pictures out. As you are putting together your table charts, think about the combinations that you are going to want if you have a table chart you can put little like stars on tables that are -- Carley Roney: Although it might be interesting at the reception if you are going to be hiding this key table to have a photographer with you and like there is that, there is your portrait of the table and a view with those guests. Elizabeth Beskin: That there is nice thing of about having two photographers one can be beside hiding the scenes one and one can be the one that follows you around. Carley Roney: Although for the people who can have the two crews that are photographers who are very versatile and can have two different cameras and go back and forth. Elizabeth Beskin: How much you know do you love black and white is something like that you would just want of your portraits can you give me a little idea of what you though about?. Carley Roney: Yes. So styles one of the first question that you have to ask yourself when you are coming in to coming to look for your photographers counted in photo journalistic versus the post photoset the color versus the black and white so what’s in your mind?. Gabriella Del Carro: First of all I definitely love photo journalism, I love detail shots on different thing that I you know that are going on the reception I just scan the photos of people but it is also important for me to get those full more like full shots. I love black and white photos I just think they are so artistic. But I do have a lot of color in my reception that with flowers and with the girls dressers so I want to capture that too with the color. I guess a good combination of both. Elizabeth Beskin: It’s kind of nice as when you are having two photographers as one could be shooting totally black and white and the other one could be shooting to totally color. Gabriella Del Carro: I view this screen this sort of help people to figure out what’s their version of photo journalism, is it the getting ready shots, is it the set up pictures. The black and white just a lists of its hollow ray of photo you know different types of photojournalism and so when I am going to try to do is sort of pick up when you are. Carley Roney: Do you ever show one an actual album from one persons wedding as well that’s often an interesting way to sort of get a different perspective. Elizabeth Beskin: Sure, what I usually do is start with this portfolio because I don’t necessarily think one in the persons wedding is a true sense of the photographers work. Some body can be more traditional some body can be more funky we need to be able to see the wide ranges of what they can do and then I usually go in and grab some different books so that I can show somebody a wedding that is more similar to theirs. Our next stage once you found a photographer that you like and you love then is what you are going to do with the pictures afterwards because you hired a photographer who is going to give you 800,900 pictures for the day and now how do you want the presentation to go. Carley Roney: The first thing that you will see from the photographer after the event itself is usually proves. You know many, many prints that have not each been color corrected and adjust it specifically for that exact shot and from the proofs you can then start indicating which picture are your favorites and what you are able to see in the albums is that how you guys care. Elizabeth Beskin: Absolutely, we offer our brides and grooms the opportunity to look at the pictures online. Even though we shoot with phone we scan all of the pictures and we put them on a disc and we put them on a private password protective site for your review. So sometimes brides and grooms can give them on their honeymoon which is kind of fun. We give you a proofs to take home we put in a box that you one you definitely don’t ever need to see again and you keep a couple of boxes the once definite and the once that you may want to play around with. And then we set up another appointment with you a month after the wedding to start helping you narrow down things. But when you come into put your albums together you bring them all. Because you never know you might have a shot like this and it needs that picture next to it. Carley Roney: One of the advantages of a photographer shooting on medium format which is what they call two and a quarter film rather than 35 millimeter film is that it’s true you can then make an 8/10 print; add up just a section of a picture which is very less the case on in the end since 35 millimeter. Elizabeth Beskin: This is tends to be a little bit more of a traditional style of album but yet we’ve made it untraditional by making it black changing the sizes that we offer and you can make it some what like a scrap book. This is called the coffee table book and when I saw this album a couple of years ago I fell in love with the style. Here is a combination of the two styles which is a coffee table style book on photo paper. Carley Roney: The album is about creating an added effect of that day you might want to create a different added effect for you versus for your mom. Elizabeth Beskin: You can get smaller versions of that. So if you love this style that you have spend time and money on, you can then hand one of these books to your mom and dad and smaller ones to brothers and sisters. This is one of the most creative process as we do not just the photography but it’s what do you do with the pictures afterwards and how is your story book that going to be told. Carley Roney: Talk to me about a little bit about that the prices and the ranges of inside of this. Elizabeth Beskin: Well we include the price of main album with the cost of your photography so it’s about $4,500 and includes one photographer, all the proofs that are taken that day, the photographer is there for 8 hours that is over time because your day is going to be a little longer and it includes one of the style books that I have shown you. Carley Roney: It is important to make sure you ask the photographers a part of this for a contracting process about every other potential extra there could be like whether there is you know whether there is over time and what the hourly rate for that would be whether those transportation because you just want to know all of the pieces in there. The albums are the, they are the real difference. Yeah when it comes to your wedding I mean that if you are hiring photographer for the day and for their time but in the end of the day the album is were suddenly you can go you know thousands of dollars of difference in terms of what the actual product because these are very complex and complicated process as to do these and its expensive just by its very nature. Elizabeth Beskin: Video runs the very similarly to the way of the photographer runs the way that we work our video is the photographers are the main people that you are going to be talking to, the videos sole responsibility is to stay in the background. Carley Roney: As in photography there is a different range of interactivity that you can be looking for with your videographer. It’s like a posed interactive moments versus just sort of fly on the wall documentary of what happened on that day and when you look at their tapes you see those different types of things or you know those are part of some peoples skill sets or interest and not a part of others. What’s nice about hiring from the same place is it actually they have a invested interest in interacting well together they are not like hey you are in my way. I mean they should talk in advance any way to make sure that they were that’s the case if they are been hired independently but it is a benefit of hiring the photographer and videographer from the same place. Elizabeth Beskin: They really need to start at your church about 45 minutes before you are actual ceremony so that they can have the set up shots that they need. Carley Roney: They need to know the rules of the church as well they may or may not be able to be lighting involved in which case they bring different you know types of set ups. That’s the first thing that the bride and groom see from the videographer on a seat assembly okay. Elizabeth Beskin: They do get another version and then you do have the option to add at yourself. Carley Roney: And you want to make sure that you are going to come for the great fix feature there and greats in a photographer or not. It shouldn’t be very different then whether in necessarily whether you are going to get a great edited video piece in the end of the day. Elizabeth Beskin: One of the things that we like to do is start with pictures of the two of you growing up, it sets the place for where you are. We add music of your choice and you probably give us four or five different selections of music through out the video tape and we choreograph the tape to the music. We scroll your invitation and it sets the tone for where you are having your party and where the event is. Carley Roney: Now what effects prices with the videographer what are the different sates and once again is this package. Elizabeth Beskin: Ours is pretty straight forward it’s a straight package and then if you want copies there are $40 each, the only difference is with the DVD’s just cost extra to have those many as stops there is programming like is involved. This is entertainment where as this she is going to put on a wall and you are going to visit memories and stuff when you put this on, you want to laugh, you want to giggle, you want you know you actually see. Carley Roney: Well thank you this is been so much fun and very informative don’t she say. Gabriella Del Carro: Yeah thank you so much it’s been pleasure. Elizabeth Beskin: It’s so nice to meet you and I look forward to see you as a bride. Gabriella Del Carro: Thank you. Carley Roney: Now if you are going to have both the photographer and the videographer cover your wedding you want to make sure that these two professional really will get along you don’t want then fighting over the same shots on your wedding day. You can even talk over with that exactly what aspects of the wedding you want them to cover. Do you want them to be there while you are getting dressed, do you want to have some private moments with the groom prior to the reception some beautiful kind of romantic shots of the two of you together. You also need to get them a cool through less. You don’t want to end up with 50 photographs that somebody as guest who you don’t even know at the wedding assign the photographer a point person some one who they can go to at the wedding or some one who can point out to them who the key individuals, the key relatives are and its also incredibly important that you have a contract with your wedding photographer or videographer really focus on what you are actually getting and make sure you understand it, what’s the part the package as they call it. How many hours they are going to be shooting, what are they going to be covering, how many rolls of film are there any limit on that. How many photographs or albums etc make sure you really clear on all of this? Long before your wedding day so there are no surprises. Thank you for watching inside weddings I’m Carley Roney from the knot and for more information log on to the For more information on this and other MagRack programs, please log on to