Photographs are a HUGE part of getting married, it is the happiest time of your life and you want to document every blissful moment. The problem is knowing how to select a photographer. In the past Uncle Bob and his iPhone at family events has sufficed for capturing special moments but this time he won’t make the cut. With so many options for photographers, the task of choosing just one photographer for engagement photos and wedding pictures can seem overwhelming, but don’t worry we are here to help.

Chris Holmes of Holmes Photography Studio  in Grand Ledge is an expert in the field of wedding photography so I asked him what advice he would give to brides and this is what he said:

•The most important thing to look for when choosing a wedding photographer is finding a professional with experience. Friends or family members may want to try out their photography skills and offer their services to you for an inexpensive price but it rarely ends well, a wedding is not the time to learn or experiment.

•Referrals are a great way to find a great photographer. If you have recently married friends who had great experiences with their photographer, they are probably worth checking out.

•Do your research. Search the internet for photographers in your area with great reviews and check out their work to see if it would be a good fit.

Meeting with the photographer. Always meet with a photographer before booking them. Make sure the photographer is polite and you get along, they will be at your wedding interacting with your guests and you all day so make sure they are someone you like. WARNING: A bad photographer can ruin the day and your lifelong photos so be sure to select someone you can openly communicate with. 

•PricingPricing can vary but typically in Mid-Michigan you wil be paying anywhere from $2,500-9,500 depending on a number of factors. Price is obviously a big factor but there are many othe factors to consider. How will you receive your images?  Do you want a disc with all your high resolution images and a shared copyright release to be able to make prints on your own?  (NOTE:  Some amateurs or new photographers may offer this but it’s not what it seems.  Ask if the images are edited and retouched before you get the disk.  This represents about 40 hours of work for the professional, but non-professionals may do a disk dump – putting all your unedited images on a disc for you). Do you want a wedding album or is this something you feel comfortable doing on your own?  How many hours the day of the wedding do you want the photographers and do you want and understand the value of having 2 photographers? All these factors affect the price and are important to consider before booking a photographer. 

•Book them! You will probably just “know” once you meet with the right photographer and discuss their packages.  Once you are satisfied that this is the fit for you then book them as soon as possible since most photographers book 12 to 18 months in advance.  If you can’t handle the full deposit to book them, then ask if they will accept half of the deposit up front and the other half next month. 

After all, you were able to choose just one special person to marry on your wedding day so we feel confident you will make the right choice in photographer as well.