It looks like the holidays were very happy and memorable for a lot of people this year. Christmas, New Year's and Valentine's Day are the big three for times of year that people decide to get married.
Since Jan. 1 I've been getting a lot of calls from newly engaged couples about our wedding photography services and I thought I would share my most important tip on how to choose a wedding photographer.
The rule is to hire a professional. Never, and I must repeat never, have a friend or relative or maybe your cousin's friend who knows a little about photography do it. It is a certain recipe for disaster. You might save some money, but you could very easily lose a good friend and get horrible pictures of one of the most important days of your lives.
You want to look for a wedding photographer who will make you look good by using proper posing and lighting techniques. A true wedding photographer will have experience photographing numerous weddings and knows what to expect and how to handle whatever situation may arise and that will make your day go much smoother.
They should also show up on time, be professionally dressed, and have duplicate equipment in case of technical difficulties. He or she should also have a business license, insurance and be a member of a professional photographer's organization that promotes education in the field of wedding photography. Your photographer should also have a portfolio of work from previous weddings that you can look at to see the quality and style of photography you should expect.
Photography is the most important part of the wedding in my opinion. Right now you're thinking, "of course Brent's going to say that, he is a photographer." But when you think about it, I think you will agree.
After a wedding, the tuxes are returned and the gown and brides maids' dresses are hanging in the back of a closet. The cake is gone and the taste of the food is only a memory. The only permanent thing you have left is your new spouse and the pictures of your big day.
You can cut the expenses of a wedding in a lot of ways, but photography should not be one of them. In last week's column I mentioned that I love to shoot football and you may be wondering why I like to shoot weddings, too. I always tell people it's basically the same thing: People get all dressed up and you never know if someone is going to run or make a pass. My job is to simply pay attention and be ready for anything.
(Brent Kepner is the owner and photographer at Foto 1 Pro Photo in Elkins. He is a master photographer as well as a certified professional photographer.)