Six things to consider before hiring a wedding photographer

Dennis and Colleen Ward, of Lancaster County, opted for a winter wedding at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vt. The lodge is owned by the same von Trapp family depicted in the movie, 'The Sound of Music.' The moment was captured by Lucas DeSousa Photography. (Submitted)

You’re getting married! The date, the venue, the gown, the flowers — everything is falling into place.

As excitement builds, remember that taking the time to select the right wedding photographer will ensure that all those details are captured for you to enjoy the rest of your lives.

Area brides-to-be browsed portfolios by some of the most talented event photographers in the region and learned about the products and services of nearly 100 wedding-related vendors at the York Wedding Wonderland Bridal Show on Jan. 8 at the York Expo Center.

Many of those photographers seemed to be in agreement about several key elements and offered the following tips to couples selecting their own photographers.

1 )Your relationship with your photographer(s) is crucial. He or she is going to follow you around for up to eight hours, documenting intimate moments on an emotional day. Compatible personalities are a must! First, “do your homework,” offered Larry Stambaugh of Frank E. King Wedding Photography and Video, which has studios in York, Harrisburg, and Lancaster. Research photographers, read reviews online and visit resources, such as The Knot to help narrow down your choices. Stambaugh and his colleagues suggested booking an engagement photo session as a sort of trial run for the big day.

2) Know what your photographer can do for you, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or share your preferences. Neal Palumbo of York’s Studio 11 West said the role of the special-event photographer is “to blend your ideas with their style.” His colleague Elena Jasic added, “Trust your shooter to capture the atmosphere of the day.” So pick a photographer you can trust and the harmony between the couple and the studio will be reflected in gorgeous images.

3) Price isn’t everything. Palumbo offered a wide range for wedding photo packages: anywhere from $1,000 to $8,000. Of course, you want to save money, but what about the rights to your images? Studios often provide discs of your high-resolution images, along with rights to print and post those images online — so you can share your wedding photos on Facebook and Flickr without fear of copyright infringement.

4) One shooter or two? If the studio you’ve chosen provides one photographer to take care of formal shots and another to snap candids as you’re getting ready or toasting at your reception, your wedding photos will truly tell the story of your day.

5) Another industry standard is the album, more artfully designed in recent years and composed of the best photos of the day. Also, does your photographer take video? Offer payment plans? Are the photographers available to travel if your wedding’s venue isn’t where you live? These details are deal-sweeteners if the initial sticker shock was a deal-breaker.

6) Plan ahead. “Allow yourself enough time to plan ahead so you can get what you want,” Stambaugh advised. Candid or traditional? Elegantly formal or quirky and casual? Browse the different styles of wedding photography and consider your style as a couple so your photographers can scout your venue for the best settings in which to capture your energy and emotions.

“Photography is no longer about the ‘look at me and smile’ shots,” said Chad Lippiatt of Chad Lippiatt Photo in Glen Rock. “It’s much more interactive now.” Jasic said most photographers do a mix of traditional and candid, and that the Studio 11 West photographers like to think outside the proverbial box.

Whatever your style or budget, there’s a photographer in the York region with the vision, talent and personality to fulfill the most important role on the most important day of your life: creating the permanent visual record of your wedding.

— By Stacia Fleegal

More on wedding planning:

Dos and don’t of planning a destination wedding

Would you like to renew your vows?


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3 Responses

  1. Besides just checking the Knot, there is also Wedding Bee, My Wedding, and all sorts of other great sites out there. Bridal Shows are good to, because there is many photographers there at once for you to talk to!

  2. Kara Eberle says:

    Thanks for the feedback!

  1. January 19, 2012

    […] the time to select the right wedding photographer will ensure that all those details .. Read more: Smart Magazine | Six things to consider before hiring a wedding … Cranbrook Wedding Locations and Wedding Services | Cookies … Tags: bridal-show, bride, flowers, […]

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