"Picking a photographer is one of the most important decisions you'll make. The day itself is a blur and the quality of your images helps you remember and be able to share your day with others for many years to come."
Doing your research is paramount, most told me, and bridal shows can be the place to get started because you can see portfolios and talk with photographers. There are two shows in Northeast Ohio this January, by the way: the Today's Bride show at the I-X Center in Cleveland and the Boutique Bridal Bazaar in downtown Cleveland.
Most of the respondents to this day's question said they chose their photographers based on portfolio. I chose Cavanaugh Photography for the same reason. There were images of theirs that made me CRY. That's true talent: capturing the emotions of a day in such a way that a stranger to the bride and groom can feel them.
Others said they chose to work with friends (recall that I'm a reporter, and many of us reporters know plenty of photojournalists). One also said she chose a younger photographer to save on price.
Here's a snapshot (woo, I'm so clever!) of the other advice offered:
*Give your photographer a list of must-have photos, that way you know you'll have the shots you know -- going in -- that you want.
*Ask who will actually be shooting your wedding. Some teams have more than one photographer, so if it's a particular photographer with whom you're impressed, you'll want to make sure it'll be him or her shooting your big day.
*One former colleague of mine discouraged me from having the officiant stand in front so guests can see the couple's faces. The reason: Front and center in most of her pictures was the pastor's butt. Another friend of mine, though, noted that they did the same but used steps to put them at a higher elevation, so it was less noticeable.
*My recommendation: Make sure to ask about rights to the photos. I wanted them so that if, in 10 years, we want to print a whole bunch of our wedding images for an anniversary party or for display above our mantel, we would have the rights to do so.
Some specific photographer recommendations for my betrothed readers from me and my peanut gallery: Cavanaugh Photography; Graham River Productions; Making the Moment; Marty's Studio; Paul Floyd; oh, and did I mention, Cavanaugh Photography?!
Here's a really helpful infographic; it presents 10 questions you should ask prospective photographers, plus a list of shots to request be taken. One image I know I want is a shot taken from behind Steven and me, aimed into the crowd of our guests, while we sing a karaoke song together. We love to karaoke, and we love the people we're inviting. The image would be magical, I think.
What's a must-have photo for you?