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Your Wedding Photography Checklist

Apr 3, 2008
Checklists are important when planning for the big day. There is so much to consider and do, that you would never be able to manage without having a checklist to organize it all. Well, here is your wedding photography checklist all made out for you.

1. Hire a professional - Under no circumstances you should take any chances on this matter. There are many fine points that only a professional can handle well, and that is why you should go only for the best there is. If the photographer is an amateur he or she might not have experience with angles, tricky lighting situations, and so on.

2. Consultation sessions - After hiring your photographer, have a few sessions so the photographer would meet your family and will understand what you want included in your album. How many long shots, how many portraits, who to include in the group photos, the photographer should have a list of what you prefer. He or she should also know your best angle so your photographs come out great.

3. The rehearsal - You should have a person from your family who is not actively involved in the ceremony in charge of keeping people together for the family photographs. You should also allot a specific time for this purpose, which should be included in the program.

4. The style of the photography - This is the silent aspect of the wedding photography. Find out what style would be suitable for your wedding photographs. This will depend on whether the wedding takes place outdoors or indoors, inside a lighted hall or a dimly lit church or chapel, etc. When searching for professional wedding photographers, look at the different styles in his or her portfolio to see what you like. It is very important that you agree on the style in the beginning, so you have the best results.

5. The contract - A wedding photography contract agreement is a formal document signed by the couple and the photographer that binds specific obligations to each other. It must be carefully looked over before you sign it and agree to the terms. It should not be difficult to understand; however, ask questions and make sure you understand each line of the form before signing. While the price is primary item in the contract, also discuss things like the exact date and times and possible overtime charges, whether the photographer will have back up equipment on site and who will take his or her place in case of an emergency, all the items in your chosen package, the delivery time for the completed prints, and who retains the rights to the photographs.

6. The package - Well before your wedding, decide on all the minute details of the wedding photography package. This will be a part of your contract and will be what you receive in the end. Talk to family members and look at their wedding albums. Do you like the size of their pictures? Do you want them to all be 8x10s or mix of 8x10s and 5x7s? Do you want all posed pictures or candids? Consider how many prints you may want to give as gifts.

7. Book enough time - Look at your event. Generally, the photographer will want to take pictures of the bride and bridal party about an hour before she walks down the aisle. They allot an entire hour so she's not rushed, and so that if there are out door pictures, the groom and other guests don't see the bride before she walks down the aisle. Include one hour before the event, the actual wedding, the cake, and the first few dances.

8. Location - After you've decided on the location of your ceremony and reception scour the surrounding areas for unique places to take your pictures. If you're having a traditional ceremony in a church, a lot of times you can find nice gardens or walkways on church grounds. Also look for interesting places within the church. Stained glass, for example, can provide a gorgeous backdrop for your wedding photography. Concentrate on smaller elements, not necessarily larger backgrounds, to create beautiful wedding portrait photography. Look for a doorway with an ornate frame, or a spot near a window that bathes you in sunlight. If the weather permits taking your wedding portrait photography outdoors is also a great idea.

There are so many details that surround the planning of your wedding, and the photography is just one of them. However, remember that your wedding photography will be your most important keepsake of your wedding, so taking the time to put some serious thought into the final product will be well worth it in years to come.
About the Author
Steve Dolan is a wedding planner who loves all the details. Click on Wedding Photography to find out more. Then look at Your Perfect Honeymoon Vacation for more good advice.
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