Complete Guide to Choosing a Wedding Photographer


Average cost of a Wedding Photographer $2,320


Wedding Spend (excluding honeymoon): $26,984

Most Expensive Area to Get Married (excluding honeymoon) NYC (Manhattan), $70,030

Least Expensive Area to Get Married (excluding honeymoon): Utah, $13,214

Wedding Dress Spend: $1,099

Percentage of Destination Weddings: 24%

Bride's Age: 29

Groom's Age: 31

Number of Guests: 31

Number of Guests: 141

Average Wedding Spend (on a per guest basis): $194

Number of Bridesmaids: 4

Number of Groomsmen: 4

Length of Engagement: 14 months

Most Popular Engagement Month: December (16%)

Most Popular Wedding Month: June (15%)

Most Popular Wedding Color: White/Ivory (43%)



Question #1: What do you consider your photography style to be?

Photojournalistic pictures have become very popular. The photographer captures events as they happen without a lot of posing. Some people prefer most traditional photographs where most of the photos taken are posed. Many photographers now combine both styles very well. Familiarize yourself with the different types of photography before you go shopping so you know what style you like.

Question #2: Do you shoot color, black and white, or both?

When photography was exclusively shot on film, photographers had to carry multiple cameras to capture people and events in both color and black and white. Now with digital photography, everything can be shot in color and converted to black and white. Some people say that the artistry of the black and white photo is lost in the conversion. If black and white photography is important to you, you should make sure you love the finished product whether it is shot with film or digitally.

Question #3: Do you bring an assistant or second photographer?

Some wedding photographers will bring second shooters with them while other only bring someone to carry gear. Make sure you know which you are getting.

Question #4: Do you work well with videographers?

Videography is an important part of preserving memories. Some photographers work well with them, others find them intrusive. If you want both a photographer and a videographer (which I highly recommend) make sure your photographer is aware and happy.

Question #5: Do you correct your photos?

With digital photography most wedding photographers can fix their photographs. They will take out imperfections, hide some wrinkles and blemishes, and maybe even get rid of a double chin. Find out if your photographer has that capability and if they charge extra for the service.

Question #6: Will the photographers give you a high resolution CD of your images?

Some photographers will willingly hand over the rights to your photos so you can have copies printed at will, while others prefer you to purchase your reprints directly with them. Find out your potential photographer's policy prior to signing a contract.

Questions #7: Are you willing to have input on the photos that we want?

Some wedding photographers will gladly work with a shot list while others will not. If you have specific photos that you want take, make sure your photographer is happy to accommodate your requests.

Question #8: Are you the actual photographer who will be shooting on my wedding day?

If the answer is no, make sure you see your actual photographer's work. Photography is an art form; no two eyes are exactly alike. You don't want any surprises.

Question #9: Are you familiar with my ceremony/reception site?

If the answer is no, would he be willing to do a site visit to learn about the rules and to scout out the best photo locations?

Question #10: What comes in my photography package?

Photographers charge many different ways. Some charge a shooting fee and then give a credit towards an album others have a complete package that includes shooting time, photos and an album. When making comparisons, make sure you know what you are getting.


1. The bride dressing for the ceremony.

You wouldn't believe all the time and effort that a bride spends to find the perfect wedding dress, so you should pay homage to the bride and her dress. You can probably take a picture of the bride on her robe, with her wedding dress lying by the chair or the bed. Another variation of the shot is to take a solo picture of the bride while dressing for the ceremony.

2. The bride surrounded with her bridesmaids.

The bridesmaids are some of the most important women in the bride's life, so it is a must for you to take a shot of her surrounded by them.

3. The bride walking down the aisle.

This is the moment that she has been dreaming of, and it should be captured on film accordingly. Take a close-up and a long range shot of the pride while she is walking down the aisle.

4. The father of the bride giving away his daughter.

This is another important shot that you should take, that of the father giving away his daughter. You can include in the shot the face of the groom, but any candid shots surrounding this moment will do.

5. The bride and the groom's first kiss

Finally, make sure to take a shot of the bride and groom's first kiss as soon as the officiant announces them as husband and wife.


1. Before the wedding ceremony

A picture of the wedding dress lying over the chair or the bed

The bride's veil, garter, bouquet, the wedding rings

Bride dressing for the ceremony

Bride with her mother fastening her necklace

Solo pictures of the bride after dressing up

The bride/bridesmaid putting on makeup

The groom with his best man

The groom while putting on his suit/fastening his tie

The pride with her parents leaving for the wedding ceremony

2. At the ceremony

An outside shot of the ceremony site

Guests arriving

The maid of honor/bridesmaids walking down the aisle

The groom waiting for the bride

A shot of the musicians

A close-up shot of the bride as she walks down the aisle

The father while giving his daughter away to the groom

The groom's while waiting for his bride

A close-up shot of the couple's joined hands

The couple's first kiss

Throwing of the confetti/rose petals as the newlyweds go out of the ceremony site

The newlyweds getting in the car

3. Photos at the reception

The newlyweds greeting the guests

The best man making his toast to the newlyweds

The father and daughter dance

The couple's first dance

The wedding cake, the gift table and the buffer table if there is one

A photo of the newlyweds with the guests at each table

Guests dancing

The getaway car

The newlyweds leaving the party

A shot of the car driving away

4. Formal wedding photos

A full-length solo of the bride

The bride with her parents

The bride with her bridesmaids

The groom with his best man and groomsmen

The groom with his parents

The bride and groom together

Complete Guide to Choosing a Wedding Photographer

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