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There are many photographers who are willing to shoot your wedding ranging from those who are just getting started in photography or who do photography on the side, to those who do photography as their profession.  In each of these groups you may find photographers that lack some of the necessary skills and experience to get great pictures at your wedding.  Here are a few tips that will help you understand what to look for as you are shopping photographers.

Ask for multiple samples

Many photographers will show you their best pictures when meeting with them for the first time.  What you see, however, may not be a true reflection of their average work.  Asking to see more than one wedding will help you feel comfortable that your pictures are going to turn out like what you see.

Ask about their formal training

A photographer who has receive formal training in photography will generally take better pictures.  Most photographers have never received formatl photography training.  A good way to discover if they have received formal training is to ask if they belong to the professional photography associations, such as the PPA or IPPA which are the national and local professional photographers associations.  The formal training for protrait photographers is mostly obtained through these organizations.

Find out their experience at photographing weddings

Experience is key to getting great pictures.  In general, the more experience a photographer has at shooting weddings the better the pictures are going to turn out.  A good way to find out their experience is to ask how many weddings they do each year.  A full time wedding photographer will generally do between 50 and 70 wedding per year.

Discover how well you relate with the photographer

Most brides want to work with a fun and friendly photographer.  The demeanor of the photographer can have a big influence on your day and how happy people look in your pictures.  There are three questions you can ask yourself as you meet with the photographer that will help you determine how well the two of you might relate

  1. How would you rate the overall experience of the consultation with the photographer?

    1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10

    poor                                                           great

  2. How well do you understand what you would be getting with the photographer?

    1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10

    poor                                                           great

  3. How well do you like the photographer?

    1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10
    poor                                                           great

These tips will help you identify photographers who you can trust as you are shopping around for photography.  If you rated the above questions with a 6 or higher, chances are you will have a good experience with the photographer.  If you gave a rating of 5 or lower on any of the questions above, you may experience problems using that photographer and it would be good to continue looking at other photographers.

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