A Snapshot in Time

Photographs are one of the things that will truly keep alive the events of your special day. While knowing how to handle a camera is important, you need a photographer with great people skills and the ability to control large crowds of unruly Bridesmaids and Groomsmen or family members. There’s a fine line between being a gentle conductor and an absolute dictator. Find out which side of the line your photographer falls – preferably before the big day.

Should a studio provide photography and videography services, approach it as two separate companies rather than assuming they offer equal quality or skills.

Ask to see the photographer’s recent work and not an album collection of their “greatest hits”. Find out the photographer’s opinion between formal and candid shots. Inquire if s/he offers any special features or options, such as personalizing your wedding album with an engagement photo taken at a special location such as the place you first met or had your first date.

Here are some other questions to ask:

  • How long have you been shooting weddings?
  • Do you have any references?
  • What if you’re sick the day of our wedding?
  • Do you have or carry back up equipment with you?
  • Is your equipment of professional quality or caliber?
  • How many exposures will be taken?
  • Is there a limit on the number of exposures or time?
  • Can I obtain the photos in color and/or in black and white?
  • How well do you work with children? (This is particularly important if you have a number of small children in your wedding party.)
  • Will you attend the rehearsal, and are you familiar with the ceremony and reception site?
  • What was your greatest challenge and how did you handle it? (This is a great way to get an inside glimpse of the photographer’s personality.)
  • May I see proofs of your last wedding shoot?
  • Can you keep to our time and action plan for the ceremony and reception? (You don’t want your guests waiting around while the photographer takes picture after picture.)
  • Do we receive any quantity discounts if I consolidate my order?
  • Will my wedding photos be available online for family and friends to view and order?

As you’ll be spending quite a lot of time with your photographer on your wedding day, choose one that you’re comfortable with so that you can let your hair down and be yourself.

Whether either film or digital capture is used, the important thing to remember is that photographs and video, professionally done and processed, will last a very long time.

Film and negatives have stood the test of time. Digital is a lot more convenient and less expensive, but CD’s or DVD’s of digital photo images can fade after 4 or 5 years. So, it is important to re-record or “re-burn” those discs every few years just to be on the safe side.

A professional photographer should save all digital images on high-end, gold plated CD’s/DVD’s, as well as saving the same images on two (2) external hard drives. And, even though the CD manufacturer claims 100 years life for its products, the technology hasn’t been around near that long. So much for the technical aspects of photo archiving.

Remember, it’s not the how the photographs are recorded, but the quality and feel of the photos. Make certain to look over your perspective photographer’s body of work. And be sure to ask questions about certain photos that you especially like or dislike for whatever reason. Conveying these concerns to your wedding photographer is important, that way, s/he will know what you don’t want, and will spend more time and effort on getting the shots you really like.

However, there are many shooters (wedding photojournalists) with an eye for those special candids who will capture a lot of photos you won’t even know about until you see the proofs, and you will be glad they got them. gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Stew Schrauger of Natural Visions Photography for his professional advice. You may contact Stew at 928-772-1094, or visit his site at, or email him at