Monthly Archives: April 2017

Questions for Your Wedding Photographer

During every consultation with a potential client, the bride opens her wedding organizer and flips to her copy of the ten most important questions to ask a wedding photographer.

No question is a bad question. I’ll politely answer any question she asks. But these top-ten-lists printed in wedding magazines don’t go far enough. So, take your list of ten questions and add a few more that I’ve written in this article. They will greatly improve the information you get from photographers.

Do you accept family portrait lists?

Every photographer should accept this list. It’s essential to accomplishing the job you’ve hired him for. Write down the name of every family member to appear in each portrait. Review the list with your photographer, and he’ll tell you how much time will be needed to take every picture.

Do you carry liability insurance? Every wedding vendor should have a minimum $1 million liability policy. This insurance covers accidents or damage the photographer may cause while working. You don’t want to end up responsible for their damage. Protect yourself.

Will you make changes to the contract?

Many photographers object to changing their contracts for any reason. You don’t have to work with them. Never sign an agreement that you’re uncomfortable with. I suggest the following list of additions to every photography contact.

1. The photographer you are hiring should be named explicitly as the photographer who will photograph your wedding.

2. The contract should list any prepayment as a deposit. It should not say retainer. In some states, you may have a difficult time being refunded a retainer if the photographer fails to perform the contract.

3. You should provide limitations on things he shouldn’t photograph, such as the bride or groom undressed.

4. If you’re receiving digital negatives in the package, you’ll need the photographer to grant you a copyright license to use the digital files for unlimited personal printing.

5. The contract will have a “Failure to Perform” section. It should state that you are entitled to a full refund of all money paid, including the deposit, should the photographer not photograph your wedding.

How do you provide wedding proofs?

Few photographers provide printed proofs anymore. Every photographer I know posts the photographs in a private web gallery or mails a DVD to the client. I do both. The web gallery accepts print orders from the couple and their wedding guests, and the DVD includes all of the photographs in a printable format.

How long will the wedding photographs be online? Every service is different. They should be online for a minimum of one year.

What file format do you shoot?

Every professional photographer will use the RAW setting, which gives the client the best possible results. This file format captures 4,096 levels of color per channel. The JPEG format, used in every point and shoot camera, captures 256 levels. That’s a massive difference in the subtleties of color tone within an object.

RAW has the greatest dynamic range, which means you’ll see a lot of detail in the brightest and darkest areas of a photograph.

Does your rate include any photo editing?

Anything is possible when your photographer has great digital editing skills. But don’t count on it being free. Editing is a very extensive process that often costs more because of the time that is involved.

As part of the photographer’s day-rate, he should include a RAW conversion. This means that the photographer opens each RAW file and adjusts all of the settings to create a nicest printable photograph. It will improve the skin tones, contrast and sharpness of the photographs.

Many clients think the conversions look so wonderful that they can’t suggest any other changes. RAW conversions create proofs that blow away proofs made from film.

Your tab will start adding up when you ask the photographer to change things about your appearance. Want a different hair color? I can do it. Want a digital nose job? No problem. It’s cheaper than plastic surgery.

You can save money. Ask your photographer to provide free editing with your album order. I do this as part of my regular service. I will make any edit to an album print that the client requests at no additional charge.

Do you provide digital negatives?

Selling the digital negatives is a very contentious issue among professionals. Photographers never gave film negatives to the client without charging a bundle. Since digital files are the same thing as negatives, many photographers charge upwards of $1,000 for them. So, the couple is forced into buying an album or prints if they ever want to hold their photographs.

Younger photographers, including myself, realize that the market has changed. Wedding clients demand that they receive the digital negatives as part of the day-rate package. I agree with them.

I give my clients the digital negatives, and they still spend plenty of money on the new, innovative wedding albums and other products. My clients are happy, and my business prospers.

Do you grant a copyright license to print from the disc?

Why pay for the disc if you’re not allowed to use it? Ask to receive a copyright license to use the disc for personal use. Photographers won’t sell you the copyrights, but they will grant you the license to print from the disc. You could even choose to make your own album. I always give my wedding clients the license.

How long do you archive the client’s files?

Digital image files are huge. They quickly fill hard drives, and some photographers won’t spend the money to save years of photographs. The photographer should tell you how long he archives the files before deleting them.

Do you print on exclusively on real photography paper?

If you know nothing about photography and want a high-quality, life-long lasting print, then ask your photographer to print on Fuji or Kodak digital papers with a Lustre finish

These two brands of paper look identical. The brand you receive will depend on the professional lab where your photographer orders his prints. They will last for your lifetime. That’s much longer than your parent’s wedding prints, which have probably faded in their album already.

The Lustre finish has a fine sheen. It’s not glossy, nor is it matte. The colors really pop, and it resists fingerprints and water droplets. If you ever spill water on a print, drain it off and air dry. Don’t dab or wipe it, and you might save the print.

What is included in the album rate?

The price should include a fixed number of pages and photographs. The photographer should edit the photographs to your satisfaction.

If you’re receiving a coffee table book with a unique layout, you should request final approval before printing.

Don’t allow fake photo paper in an album. Albums with rigid pages most likely have real photography paper. If the album has flexible pages, then it’s probably a fake photo paper. This is nothing more than coated cardboard designed to imitate the real thing. It will fail in your lifetime. I’ve seen interior folds fade within a few months.

Choosing and Booking Wedding Photographers

Wedding photographers everywhere are moving towards an innovative, modern style of wedding photography. No longer are formal poses and stiff group shots the centrepiece of a wedding album. Vibrant energy, fun and style shine through, as photographers bring fashion photography or photo-journalism experience to the wedding scene. A new genre of photography with very individual styles is evolving, making the choice of photographer for your wedding even more important.

In Cape Town, for example, where the beautiful landscapes of its surroundings have long been a favoured location for fashion and advertising shoots, many wedding photographers are inspired to bring those elements of style to their photography. The bride becomes the top model in a photo spread worthy of publishing in Vogue, with the gorgeous backdrops of mountains, vines and historic buildings provided by Cape Town’s stunning wedding venues adding a special dimension to those wedding photos.

Just as every fashion photographer has their own style, so has every wedding photographer, so brides-to-be searching for a photographer to capture their big day, need to examine each portfolio just as carefully as that Vogue editor planning shoots six months ahead. In fact a bride often needs to plan even further ahead than a fashion editor, as wedding photographers can get booked up as much as a year in advance.

So the first step in planning a wedding is to look for a photographer at the same time as you are deciding on a wedding venue. Once you have found the perfect venue and photographer then you can decide on a date when both are available.

Choosing a wedding photographer can be as simple as falling in love with the first portfolio you see or can involve lengthy research. Most photographers have their own websites where they display a sample of their portfolios. Styles are very individual so keep looking until you find a portfolio that you love. Think about what you want from your photographs. Are glamorous photos what you’re after, or do you prefer a more natural approach? Do you like the romance of soft focus or prefer something with a more modern edge?

Once you have found a few portfolios that you really like, make sure you meet the photographers in person before making a final decision. Your wedding photographer will be spending the whole of the most special day of your life with you, so it is important that you are comfortable with his or her personality and the way they work. This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship, as they record precious moments in the life of your new family: anniversaries, new babies, first birthdays and on.

So take your time when choosing wedding photographers for your big day, but don’t delay in booking. No two wedding photographers are alike these days, so you once you have fallen in love with a unique style of photography, you want to make sure you have that specific photographer to record your wedding day in state of the art photographic splendour.

Wedding Guest Book Ideas

Your wedding guest book is one of the most special memoirs from your wedding. However, the time-honored tradition of the paper guest book in paper is slowly changing and many new innovative ideas for wedding guest books are becoming popular. If you are willing to take a walk on the wild (or mild) side, please consider one or more of the following ideas for your upcoming ceremony.

Lampshades Aren’t Just For Party Hats

So what if you are not the party animal you used to be? Now you can put that neglected corner table lamp to use by using the lampshade as a guest book. Just place the lamp on the reception table with a permanent marker, and your guests can sign their names and wedding wishes for posterity. Simply explain that people will be writing on the shade and it should complement your wedding theme. The lamp then becomes a daily memory of your special day when you bring it back home, perhaps finally in a better location!

You’ve Been Framed

Every couple has at least one favorite wedding photo. And it goes without saying that you will proudly display your wedding photo in a lovely frame. So rather than sign a traditional guest book, you can have your wedding guests sign photo frames. Save your first kiss or other treasured moment for family and wedding party signatures, and let your other guests sign additional photo frames.

Is This Thing On?

For a modern-day interpretation, you can have an audio and video wedding guest book. Of course this isn’t really a book, but it serves the same purpose: a living record of your wedding day. Use a professional videographer or ask a friend or family member to interview a few guests documentary-style about their thoughts on your matrimony. Some editing may be required!

Knit One, Pearl Two

You can turn a custom a quilt into a wedding guest book. At your wedding ceremony, set up a table with the pre-cut quilt squares and a few acid-free permanent markers. You can provide larger squares for those who deserve extra room such as the wedding party members. After the wedding, you can have the quilt professionally sewed, creating a lasting treasure that can also keep your feet warm on winter nights.

Getting Engraved

Many couples are opting for engraved or hand-painted wedding invitations. Did you know that you can purchase a hand-made guest book that will match your invitations? Local artists are often an excellent source for these special guest books, and an eBay search for “custom wedding invitations” will often put you in touch with the right vendors.

As you have seen, the wedding guest book is no longer just any book. In fact, it may not be a book at all. I hope you have enjoyed some of our guest book ideas that blend traditional and unique concepts. And make sure no one trips over the cord when they’re signing your wedding lampshade!

Wedding Ideas Preparing Invitations

Special occasions in life always need special care and wedding is such an occasion when all your creativity and energy should show its full potential. People tend to put lot of time and money in working out innovative wedding ideas, to make their wedding memorable and special. This article will discuss some of the latest wedding preparations and wedding ideas.

The first part of wedding planning is, of course getting people informed. Be it your friends or relatives, you need to break the news and let the people know about the special event in your life if possible in special way. Innovative wedding invitations are one of the latest trends in this regard.

Printed cards plugged with flowers sent through post or delivered directly was one of the favorites invitation methods. Another way for making it special is surprise phone calls. The latest trend is breaking the news with a surprise graphic package.

Email invitations were popular for some times. Customized e-Invitation is the latest trend. With the development of graphics an animation technology you can now create innovative graphical invitations with your photos and music to match your wedding theme. These invitations can be hosted on the Internet or sent personally to your friends and relatives through emails. The surprise part of watching an animated wedding invitation definitely worth trying it.