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Choosing a Photographer

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! It's likely you have dreamt about this day and now it's finally here. It is one of the most significant days in your life. We understand you have a lot of important decisions to make this day unforgettable and enjoyable. Picking a photographer is one of the most important choices, as she will be responsible for shaping your memories. Your wedding day is supposed to be FUN, and you need a photographer who recognizes that. Remember that you will be spending a large portion or the wedding day with your photographer, so it is important to find someone whose personality meshes well with your own and who is able to capture and reflect your personality in the pictures. To help you in this process we came up with a few points to consider and a few ideas to mull over. The more you have explored the various options offered in wedding photography, the easier it will be to choose the right photographer for you - one who will be able to meet your needs and satisfy your expectations.

The first consideration is what kind of photographs you want. Do you prefer mainly traditional wedding portraits in a more formal style; photojournalistic, spontaneous candids or a mixture of the above with a sprinkling of playful and quirky ones? Candids are a great way to capture the mood and atmosphere. Imagine a beautiful bride in profile looking out her childhood bedroom window. Formals, however, make great gifts for friends and family.

A good photographer will be able to combine her expertise and artistic vision with your wishes. She will listen to you and incorporate your desires in her work. Experience enables the photographer to not only offer advice on how to make beautiful pictures, but to also foresee possible glitches and assist in planning an acceptable photo schedule. Make a list of the pictures you want: bride's family, groom with brothers, uncle Ernie and aunt Selma with the bride. Your photographer should meet with you before the wedding to brainstorm ideas and set a schedule for photo shoots throughout the day. Make sure the photographer is clear on the proceedings of the day. Thus she will be able to advise on what you need and the best time to do it. If you have a wedding planner, make sure she is in contact with the photographer. It is often harder than expected to gather everyone at the same time and place for pictures. Thus, we suggest that you plan a photo session with the wedding party and family members before the ceremony and festivities get underway. Although this is a deviation from tradition where bride and groom do not see each other before the ceremony, experience shows it is the way to get the best shots. Everyone looks beautiful and fresh. It is also a good idea to allow ample time for the party to get comfortable with the photographer, so no one looks stiff and uneasy. An experienced photographer should also be able to do things quickly, lest the process drags on and results in more annoyance than fun. The right photographer knows when to be assertive and gather everyone for a family portrait or when to simply stay in the shadows and take candid shots. If you have time between the wedding and reception, formals can be done then. A viable alternative to seeing the bride before the ceremony is to use the cocktail hour when all the guests are occupied. The garden, if available, can be a lovely backdrop for a portrait. Take a walk through the town, posing by land marks. Take advantage of the city skyline for an informal wedding party grouping. Shoot down a busy sidewalk with the bride and groom as the center piece. This approach yields fun and unusual pictures where members of your party are interacting with each other and having a good time.

Every wedding has its own flow. You need a photographer who is not only flexible, but is also able to adapt to the changing environment on the fly. What if it rains? - lets have some fun with colorful umbrellas. Someone running late or has to leave early - ask if the photographer can digitally add them. If your celebration lasts longer than expected or you find yourself wanting that last-minute picture of your high-school soccer team, will your photographer be willing go the extra mile? Discuss this before hand, so there are no unpleasant surprises or unexpected extra charges.

But lets not forget the special moments. There are first kisses and there are tiny kisses newlyweds sneak when they think no one is looking. The way they hold hands and occasionally look into each other's eyes… The way his hand falls on her waist when they share a dance… The way she brushes his hair off his forehead… - these tell a different love story the watchful photographer records. What about the father of the bride and mother-in-law dancing the Macarena, or a child taste-testing the cake. The photographer should always be on the lookout for theunexpected and unique. Don't forget to ask your photographer to take pictures of all the details you spent so much time perfecting. Flowers, center-pieces, place-settings, invitations, service programs - all these are small, but significant parts of your wedding.

It is a good idea to have an engagement sitting at the photographer's studio a few months before the wedding. This way you can see the photographer in action. You will also experience how it feels to be the subject photographed and find your "good side."

Another option to consider is film vs. digital. Do you want to be able to view your pictures immediately or would you prefer to get archival quality prints from negatives? Do you want a leather-bound wedding album or a CD of digital pictures? Does the photographer offer digital retouching service to get rid of blemishes and red eyes? If you choose film - we suggest going with a photographer who uses medium format cameras. A medium format negative is three times as large as a standard 35mm, thus it allows for larger prints without graininess or loss of details. It is a plus if the photographer has can offer archival quality black and white to assure that your wedding portraits last for generations. While you are planning your wedding, just remember that this is your day! You deserve to get the pictures you want. We hope our guide helps you pick the right photographer. Learn beforehand as much as you can about the options available to you and the services the photographer provides. It is informative to visit the studio and take a look at sample wedding albums.

Pryde Brown Photographs is located in the heart of Princeton, at 180 Nassau Street. We invite you to visit and learn more about our wedding photography. For an appointment or if you have any questions don't hesitate to call (609) 924-9792.

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