Finding the Right

Photographer & Videographer

Every wedding needs a photographer and some kind of music - make sure yours fits the theme.

  • What questions to ask?

  • Picture Opportunities

Advantages of having a photographer and videographer


When you are figuring out your budget, you may realize that photography and videography account for about 12% of your overall costs. 


A wedding should not take place without a photographer.  A photographer will be able to think of great poses or locations. They are also skilled at making sure a picture looks good- symmetry, all faces visible, nothing cut off, etc.


Plus, many photographers will be able to offer you a basic package that maybe something like:

2 hours of shooting, 1 11x14, 18x10, and 30 pictures in a basic album. This type of package will be sufficient for your wedding photo needs and you will get professional pictures that are professionally developed.


Questions You Should Ask Your Photographer 

1. Ask the photographer if he/she has a lot of professional experience. 
Portfolios of images say a lot but don’t always give the full picture. A photographer who comes highly recommended or referred to is one worth looking at but be sure to ask the following questions: 


  • Do you have professional training? 

  • Have you done outstanding work outside of wedding photography? 

  • Have you worked as photojournalism, fashion, commercial, editorial or the arts? 

  • What are your awards, accolades, publications and exhibition records? 

  •  Can I see published material?

2. Ask yourself if the photographer has the right mix of skills and personality? 

A photographer’s personality may be difficult to assess through his or her portfolios alone. Be sure you talk to your photographer, either on the phone or in person. See if you are both on the same wavelength.


Ask yourself: 

  • Does the photographer have positive energy – is he/she easy to talk to and enjoyable to be with?

  • Can the photographer integrate your ideas with his/hers? 

  • Is he/she genuinely fun? If so, can he/she truthfully portray laughter and joy?

  • Does the photographer "get you".

  • Can he/she represent you for who you are?

  • Can the photographer capture your true character?

  • Can the photographer take control during group shots and be non-obtrusive during intimate moments? 

3. Ask the photographer about his/her style. 

Not all photographers excel at all styles of shooting. Some have a flair for glamour and fashion while others take on a more gritty photojournalistic approach. Others have sensibilities leaning towards the fine arts and can reach into the subliminal, the abstract or the unconventional. Be clear on the photographer's strengths and decide if this is the style that suits you best.


You can ask him/her: 
Whose work are you influenced by? (name historical and/or contemporary photographers, artists, etc.) 


  • Does your portfolio reflect sensibilities about light and design? 

  • Are you good at shooting action?

  • Can you capture "The Moment" without skipping a beat? 

  • Does your work show originality and is it non-formulaic? 

  • Do you strive to make each wedding portfolio unique?

  • Can I see some of your work which would prove it to me? 

4. Ask yourself if the photographer has a sense of adventure? 

Adventure doesn't always mean scaling cliffs or sailing around the world. But having a sense of curiosity and a zest for life will reflect in a photographer's work. Creating images that are "Larger than Life". This takes vision and a deep appreciation of life itself.


  • When meeting a photographer and reviewing his/her work, you may wish to ask yourself: 

  • Can the photographer create wedding pictures that would be interesting, funny, evocative to anyone - even to people who were not at the wedding

  • Would the images be good enough to appear in other contexts ie. in a coffee table book about Canadian Life or in a fashion magazine or photographic exhibition?

  • Do they take the necessary risks in order to make an ordinary image appear extraordinary? 

5. Ask yourself if the photographer understands the importance of shooting at inspiring locations? 
Location shooting is a focal point of the wedding. You want to have the memory of an adventure. With this in mind, seek out places that may be "off the beaten track" - places like a trail through the desert, a pear orchard in bloom or an open grassland underneath an endless sky. 


  • Where your wedding takes place can sometimes trump when it takes place. You’ve put a lot of time into planning these things. Why not engage your photographer to be part of the process.

  • Be sure to consider the following and ask the photographer:? 

  • Do you have the desire to make our day an exceptional experience, not just a series of pictures

  • Can you bring to life the locations we have chosen? 

  • Have you scouted those locations for lighting, obstacles, accessibility, parking? 

Are you willing to shoot in the rain?

Can you keep a tight timeline so we are not late for the wedding ceremony or reception? 

6. Price Range

Although, the last thing you want to do is shop by price, is this person within your budget?

If not, is he or she worth the price difference?


Make sure you understand what everything costs, including reprints and albums. 

7. Delivery

How long does it take to get your proofs back, thank you cards, your finished album, your bridal portrait, etc.? 

8. Offering

Whether it's a la carte or a package, do you understand what you are getting?


  • Is there any room for changes and will it cost to do so?

  • Sometimes the packages are fixed, sometimes they can be customized, in any case, ask.

  • How much time will he/she spend?

  • What if you need more time? Make sure that you know what's coming.

Here is a List of Other Questions You Should Ask

  • Have you shot a wedding at my location before?

  • Do you have an assistant?

  • Do you have backup equipment and is it the same quality as the primary equipment?

  • What time will you begin and how long will you stay until?

  • When will the proofs be ready?

  • Do we get to keep the proofs? 

  • Do you mark your proofs?

  • Where and how are your proofs marked? 

  • How much extra for unmarked proofs? 

  • Do you use high-speed film to expose natural light? 

  • Do you have telephoto and wide-angle lenses?

  • Do you work well with the other vendors? i.e.: coordinators, caterers, videographers. 

  • Can you work from a photo checklist that we create? 

  • How will you be dressed? 

  • What goes on the all-important contract? 

  • The name of your photographer

  • The time that he/she arrives and leaves 

  • The number of proofs you will view in order to pick your enlargements and/or keep 

The description of the package you ordered 

A list of guaranteed prices for enlargements. If they have a brochure with prices then get the photographer to write down that the prices on the brochure they gave you are the prices that you will be charged.


  • The cut-off date for these brochure prices.

  • All additional charges, services, taxes, travel, etc...

  • Get the exact cost on the contract. 

  • An explanation of what happens if your photographer doesn't show up. 

  • The date and deposit amount and how much is still owing.

  • Your name, address and phone number, and the names and addresses of the ceremony and reception locations.

The Reception


  • Shot from outside reception site (to set the tone) ., reception details such as place cards, guest book, centerpieces, decorations

  • Bride and groom arriving

  • Receiving-line moments

  • tableheadBride and groom at

  • Parents'table

  • Guests' tables

  • Close-up of friends and family making toasts

  • Bride and groom sipping champagne

  • groom's parents whispering to each other during dinnersandBride'

  • Bride and groom chatting up the guests

  • Bride and groom's first dance

  • Parents dancing

  • Bride and Dad dancing

  • Groom and Mom dancing

  • Wedding party dancing

  • Grandparents dancing

  • Kids playing or dancing

  • Musicians or DJ doing their thing

  • Guests going nuts on the dance floor 

  • Bride laughing with bridesmaids

Capture both the sight and sound



The main advantage of videography is that you are able to capture both the sight and sound (and essentially, the mood) of the wedding day. Many videographers can do special effects that will play your favorite songs during the video, have family interviews spliced in, etc. You're sure to love the video no matter what.


A videographer can often get some better shots than a photographer can because the camera is always on, so you don't have the wait for a flash, or changing a lens. Also, videographers can catch more of a candid view of your wedding. Since most photography is posed, it doesn't really show the feeling of the day. With videography, you get to see the bride's spontaneous smile, the groom leaning in for a kiss, the flower girl dancing with the ring bearer, and much more.


How to Choose the Right Videographer For Your Wedding

When couples choose to have a wedding video, they choose a product that will convey not only the memories of the day but the very emotions, actions, and feelings experienced by the bride, her new husband and everyone who was invited. Because of the importance of the video, choosing a videographer for your wedding may seem like a daunting task. 


Step 1 
Narrow the field by personality. Like your photographer, you'll be spending a lot of time around your videographer as you decide what you want in your video and on your wedding day. Hire someone whom you can get along with and whom you feel understands what you want. Someone whom you like will be more likely to deliver a product you will enjoy for years to come. 

Step 2 
Decide which style you will want. Do you like long shots like in the old movies, or quick, music-video cuts? No wedding video is the same, and videographers are like directors and filmmakers: they all have their own way of telling the story. Hire a videographer whose footage you feel comfortable with and that most suits you're aesthetic. 

Step 3 
Check the videographer's equipment. Some amateur videographers use cameras you can purchase at big-box stores for $600 or less. Although good for consumer electronics, they are not professional cameras. Likewise, if the videographer's camera equipment looks too big and bulky, check the model number online to make sure it is current. You will want cameras that shoot in HD. Make sure your videographer has a lapel microphone for the groom. Without it, you won't be able to hear your vows. 

Step 4 
Be ready to pay for quality. Do you know the old adage, "you get what you pay for?" That's true in wedding videography. Amateur videographers take the footage, put it in some editing software, apply dissolves and cuts---and they're done. A good videographer will spend more time with your footage creating a story from it, making sure the music they're using matches with the visuals and fine-tuning color and audio. That takes a little more time---and a little more money. But the difference in the product will be stunning, and you'll never regret the money you spent.  

When you are figuring out your budget, you may realize that photography and videography account for about 12% of your overall costs. Here are the advantages of having a photographer or videographer.​

Classic Pictures


Here are some of the most classic pictures that you will want for your wedding. The best idea is to print this page out (or copy it into another program)and cross out what pictures you don't want and add anything you can think of that you would want.

  • Getting Ready

  • Bride's clothes hanging on the wardrobe, on the bedpost, or over a chair

  • Bridesmaids doing bride's hair and makeup

  • Bride and bridesmaids getting dressed, applying makeup

  • Mom helping the bride with one last detail, such as veil

  • Full-length shot of the bride in gown checking herself out in the mirror

  • Detail of clothing, shoes, garter, something borrowed, something blue

  • Touching shot of the bride with parent(s) and/or stepparent(s)

  • Touching shot of the bride with the sibling(s)

  • Bride hugging honor attendant

  • Bride with bridesmaids

  • Bride with all the women

  • Groom getting ready with Dad and pals

  • (tying the tie is a classic)

  • Touching shot of groom with parent(s) and/or stepparent(s)

  • Touching shot of groom with the sibling(s)

  • Groom with his arm affectionately around best man

  • Groom with all the groomsmen

  • Groomsmen putting on boutonnieres or bowties

  • Intimate shots of bride and groom with parents and siblings pre-ceremony

  • Dad whispering last-minute advice to groom

  • Groom ready to go

  • Bride ready to go

  • Bride and groom separately making their way to the ceremony

Before the Reception


Note: You can also take these before the ceremony

  • Bride and groom together

  • Bride with her happy, proud parents and/or stepparents

  • Bride with her entire immediate family

  • Groom with his happy, proud parents and/or stepparents

  • Groom with his entire immediate family

  • Bride and groom with all parents

  • Bride and groom with immediate family members from both sides

  • Bride and groom with groomsmen

  • Bride and groom with bridesmaids

  • Bride and groom with the whole wedding party

The Ceremony


  • Guests streaming into the site

  • Ushers escorting guests to their seats

  • Ushers escorting moms to their seats 

  • Close-up of groom's adorably nervous mug waiting for his other half

  • Bridesmaids and groomsmen walking down the aisle

  • Flower girl and/or ring bearer entering

  • Honor attendant walking down the aisle

  • Grandparents walking down the aisle

  • Wedding party waiting at the altar

  • Groom walking down the aisle

  • Bride and Dad/escort/parents walking down the aisle

  • Close-up of the bride just before she makes her entrance

  • Bride and groom at the altar

  • Altar or canopy from the back during the ceremony

  • Wide shot of the audience during the ceremony, from bride and groom's point of view

  • Faces of bride and groom as they exchange vows

  • Close-up of bride's and groom's hands as they exchange rings

Cake Table


  • Bride and groom cutting the cake

  • Bride and groom feeding each other cake

  • Dessert table

  • Bouquet Toss

  • Perhaps a vertical shot from in front of the bride)

  • Tossing and catching of the garter

  • Bride and groom leaving, waving from getaway car's backseat

  • The rear of car departing

The Kiss

  • Bride and groom proceeding up the aisle, guests' smiling faces at their sides

  • Bride and groom outside ceremony site

  • Congrats shots: bride and groom hugging, laughing, and crying with good friends and family

  • Bride and groom leaving ceremony site

  • Bride and groom in limo backseat

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