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PO Box 858 Firestone, CO 80520

Hours: 9 - 5 M-F
   
   
   
   

by Lorene Nardell

Congratulations‭! ‬You are engaged‭! ‬There is a lot to consider for your wedding day and when looking for a wedding photographer‭, ‬but it is one of the most important decisions you will make‭. ‬Your wedding will go by in a flash‭, ‬so you want to have photos that‭ ‬will last a lifetime and capture the beauty of your big day‭. ‬With so many wedding photographers‭, ‬how on earth do you choose‭?‬

The first item you will want to consider is your budget and overall plan for the day‭. ‬Are you looking at a more traditional approach or an elopement‭? ‬Elopements have become more popular during COVID‭, ‬with couples choosing to have destination weddings and few‭, ‬if any‭, ‬guests‭. ‬The beautiful destinations in Colorado are numerous‭! ‬An elopement can be an all-day and even a multi-day event for a photographer‭, ‬though it may be as short as an hour of photography as well‭. ‬On the other hand‭, ‬a more traditional approach often has getting ready pics‭, ‬the ceremony‭, ‬family and couple photos‭, ‬and photos during the reception‭. ‬One of the things I help my clients answer right away is‭, ‬“How long do I need a photographer‭?‬”‭ ‬Once you have determined this‭, ‬you are ready to search through all the pricing options available from the photographers who interest you‭.  ‬

When searching through wedding portfolios‭, ‬you will probably be overwhelmed by all the choices‭, ‬so narrowing down a few things first will help you a lot‭. ‬You have an idea of the number of hours you need‭, ‬now what about a budget‭? ‬There are wedding photographers in all the general price ranges‭: $‬0-1000‭, $‬1000-2000‭, $‬2000-3000‭, ‬and so on‭. ‬There are packages and hourly pricing as well‭.‬‭ ‬A package will clearly lay out what is offered by the photographer‭. ‬Here is a list of things you will likely see‭:‬

Number of hours

One or two photographers

Video options

Engagement photos

Prints

Online albums and/or physical albums

Number of edited photos and high-quality downloads

Ownership of photos

Extras like save-the-date cards

High-resolution digital downloads‭ (‬best quality downloads‭)‬

Many couples are opting for digital albums where they can download and print photos on their own‭. ‬Most packages offer this now‭. ‬Hourly photographers will likely provide this‭, ‬too‭, ‬and other options‭. ‬Engagement photos may or may not be included in a package‭ ‬but can always be purchased separately‭. ‬Don’t forget to find out the amount of the deposit will be and the cancellation policy‭.‬

Other things to consider when on your search‭:‬

What style of photography are you expecting‭? ‬

Does the photographer offer to speak with you about your hopes and plans‭? ‬

Are they open to listening to your ideas‭? ‬

Are they willing to look at sample photos you provide‭?‬

Do they seem easy to talk to‭?‬

Do they have a contract‭, ‬invoicing‭, ‬and a professional website‭?‬

What is the cancellation policy‭? ‬

Do they have a backup plan if they are sick‭?‬

How many fully edited photos do they offer‭?‬

Can you link family and friends to your digital album‭?‬

How long until you receive your photos‭?‬

I recommend narrowing it down to three or four photographers to contact by phone‭. ‬Generally‭, ‬the phone call will just be the icing on the cake and make the decision final‭. ‬If you are working with a wedding planner‭, ‬definitely take a look at their photographer but don’t commit‭. ‬Find the photographer that’s right for you‭! ‬Places to look‭: ‬The Knot‭, ‬Wedding Wire‭, ‬Thumbtack‭, ‬Google‭. ‬

Here’s the most important piece‭: ‬the difference between a good photographer and a great photographer‭. ‬A good photographer checks off‭ ‬all the boxes for your needs‭, ‬but a great photographer does that‭, ‬listens to you‭, ‬and has amazing artwork‭. ‬Are they passionate about photography and about making clients happy‭? ‬Can you tell from looking at the photos and the website‭? ‬A great photographer can be brand new or well established and may have a handful of 5-star reviews or a bundle‭. ‬The person behind the camera must care‭ ‬about you and blend your desires with his or her artistic eye‭. ‬For that to happen‭, ‬they have to listen to your needs‭. ‬Ask them‭ ‬for an example of a time they felt really successful as an artist‭. ‬Does the answer include any mention of a client request and how they achieved success for that client‭? ‬

Good luck on your wedding journey‭! ‬As you are probably well aware‭, ‬it’s full of excitement‭, ‬decision making‭, ‬details‭, ‬beauty‭, ‬and love‭. ‬I wish you the very best‭!‬

Lorene lives in Longmont with her husband‭, ‬two kids‭, ‬and many pets‭. ‬She is the proud owner of Lorene Nardell Photography‭. ‬She has clients throughout Colorado and is focused on making your wedding photography dreams a reality‭. ‬Find out more at NardellPhotoJourneys.com