Well, its time to put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and lift your magnifying glass on the Baltimore area. You are ready to delve into a realm that you haven't had much experience with and the more facts you can find out about the wedding photography arena the better. You don't want to just take a chance on this decision because this is a big one, probably one of the biggest decisions for your special day other than saying I do. We want to help you with your search so we have provided a guide below that will help you focus on what is important to look for in a wedding photographer.
In the age of the world wide web, we recommend that you head to the web and start doing some searching for Baltimore area wedding photographers. Flip past the first couple of page results because those sites are usually placed there because they were paid for. When you start looking at the actual photographer's websites, pay attention to how professional the site is. While this doesn't necessarily speak to a person's abilities as a photographer, it is a reflection on them and anyone who wants to be called a professional and someone of high quality should have a quality website. For the sites that you are drawn to, check out their portfolios and decide if you like the way they shoot a wedding. For those that you do like, call them and check if your wedding date is open on their calendar. If it is, setup a face to face meeting.
At your meeting, you will want to come armed with a lot of questions. Find out if they have shot a wedding similar to yours. Ask about their experience and why they got into the photography business. Find out how many weddings they do per year. You want to make sure they have enough wedding experience to know the pitfalls and how to adjust on the fly. Ask them if they would be willing to do some site visits if they were hired. If they say no, tell them that you can no longer consider them. This is about getting everything as right as possible and any vendor you hire should have your best interests at heart.
Talk about what wedding packages they offer. Find a package you like that includes the albums you want and the number of prints you would like to get. If you don't see everything you want in a particular package, then ask if you can add any items and how much extra would the cost be. One other thing that is worth discussing is if they like to work with a second shooter. This may cost more, but it can be a real advantage in getting a variety of images and angles that would not be possible with only one photographer.
Have the candidate give you a timeline on when you can expect to get your prints and albums. You might also want to ask for a CD of all of your images. Ask about retouching fees as well and color correction. We caution you here, wedding photography is not cheap, a professional has spent years honing their skills and has spent thousands of dollars on equipment to make you look really good. Ask yourself if you want to leave the memories of your special day in the hands of Uncle Bob or Cousin Trish or in the hands of a quality professional.
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