Karry Castillo, an event specialist and owner of Uniquely Yours in Merritt Island, Fla., says couples have three options for wedding photography: traditional, photojournalistic and editorial. While traditional includes mostly posed shots, photojournalistic aims to tell a story using one to three angles and more candid photos. Oftentimes, this style will cover the entirety of the big day, from the bride getting ready, to the bride's goodnight, using anywhere from two to three separate photographers. Editorial photos offer an edgier style with a more fashion-oriented approach.
"Most brides today want to see a story from beginning to end," Castillo says. "They're looking to capture the emotions of the day." If you're a couple looking to communicate your personal preference, Castillo recommends sharing your own pictures that serve as inspiration or as a guide for what you want.
Beyond personal preference, couples need to match up personalities with products and services. "Some brides may not want someone in their face all day, someone with a very intrusive personality," Castillo says. Sit down with possible candidates and get to know their style. "It's absolutely essential for the bride to select a photographer who is professional, well-versed in weddings and working with families." Castillo recommends meeting with at least two to three pros per category. Depending on your choice of style, either traditional, photojournalistic or editorial, look at pros that are similar to each other but offer different options.
In evaluating potential artists, make sure to ask the right questions. Inquiries should focus on package details, contractual agreements and final products, whether that is an actual album or digital prints. Castillo recommends asking the following questions:
What packages do you offer?
How much time is allotted for the day of the wedding?
Are photographers available all day?
Will you bring an assistant or second shooter?
Is an album included in the package? If so, who designs
the album? How much input do we get in the album's design?
What quality of paper, color and inks do you use?
Is a DVD with digital negatives provided to order our
own prints in the future?
Will we have rights to our photos?
If you're looking to save a few bucks on photographic services, Castillo recommends asking for an associate to hire. Oftentimes, an associate's fee is cheaper than the main photographer's. You also can pinpoint your coverage and only have a professional for certain parts of the day.
As technology has evolved, the video options available to couples offer modern packages to fit any tech-savvy couples' needs. "Cameras are much smaller now and videographers can be so un-intrusive," Castillo says. Some packages include two to three videographers and can cover more than just the big day. Professionals can document everything from cake testing to a rehearsal dinner, shooting in high definition.
If you're looking to capture your wedding in a more cinematic way, find a videographer with quality editing capabilities. Some packages offer a two- to three-minute video of the wedding while others include an entire wedding story edited in a half- to one-hour movie clip, Castillo says. In addition to the movies, make sure these packages still include the raw footage. Other high-tech options include automatic downloads to an iPod or even streaming video so it can be viewed across the globe, Castillo says.
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