TIPS for finding a Photographer

Written by: Dugan Studios

Finding a good photographer and or a good videographer can be stressful for a bride and groom. The wedding photography market is flooded with amateurs claiming to be professional. They have one decent camera, no lighting equipment, and no formal training. By comparison there are not that many true professional wedding photographers out there. The same holds true for wedding video. The equipment necessary to be a true professional photographer or videographer is very expensive. A professional will arrive at your wedding with backup equipment. An amateur will not. Cameras and microphones do fail. Without backup equipment there will be no photos or video. All photos and video are recorded to SDHC cards in the camera. A professional will record to two separate cards simultaneously creating an automatic backup. All photos and videos are edited on a computer and hard drives do fail. A professional will backup their hard drives. Here are my tips to guide you through the process of finding a good reasonably priced photographer and videographer.


Expect to pay a minimum of $2,000.00 for professional wedding photography. I have talked to couples who have paid less and they were very upset with the quality of their photos, therefor they wasted their money. · Be sure that you have two photographers at your wedding. Two photographers working together will help keep everything on schedule. · If your photographer schedules multiple weddings on the same day be sure that you view the work of the photographers who will actually be with you the day of the wedding. Some photographers will show you their best work and then send different photographers to your wedding, you will not like the results. Be sure to meet with the main photographer that will be at your wedding.

You will be with them all day and you must like their personality. Dugan Studios only schedules one wedding per day. · Avoid photographers who only have one style of photos, such as black and white, lens flare, candid, available light, etc. You will not be happy with the results. You want two photographers working together to provide a combination of styles with one of the photographers skilled in posing and off camera lighting. · Ask to see a complete wedding of photos such as a wedding album or online gallery. Don’t make your decision on just a few of their best photos from multiple weddings. Many photographers will show you beautiful staged photos that can’t be replicated at your wedding due to time restraints. · Expect to receive all of your edited photos in an online gallery and USB drive with a print release allowing you full rights to print and share your photos. Your photographer will retain the copyright to your photos to allow them to use the photos for promotional purposes. · You can save money by making your own wedding book of photos.

I do recommend that you choose a package with your photographer that includes a wedding album. A wedding album has thick pages and is very elegant. A wedding book has thin pages and is not nearly as nice. You have to be a professional studio to work with the companies that produce albums. You can use Blurb, My Publisher, and many other websites to produce books for your parents. · Be careful when choosing your wedding package with your photographer as far as time limits. Specifically, your reception. Most receptions run behind schedule by an hour. If you plan to have all of the formal events complete by 9pm and therefore the photographer can leave by 9pm, plan for 10pm when setting a price with your photographer. Most photographers will charge an additional 150.00 to 300.00 to stay for an extra hour. We at Dugan Studios always stay until the end of the reception, so this is not an issue with us.


Expect to pay a minimum of $2,000.00 for professional wedding video. Prices very greatly so make sure your videographer meets the minimum requirements as listed below. Otherwise you will not be happy with your video and will waste your money. · At minimum for your ceremony you should have two videographers, three HD cameras, two wireless microphones, and a digital audio recorder. The groom must wear a wireless mic during the ceremony, this is the only way that we can hear your vows on the video. Audio is very important to video and many videographers don’t understand this. Without audio you have no video. Dugan Studios is the best at recording both video and audio of your ceremony. Make sure your videographer meets these requirements. · Clarify with your videographer exactly what you will receive and what format the video will be in. Many wedding video companies only provide a Wedding Trailer of your wedding video online.

This is a 5-7-minute highlight video. That’s all you get. If you choose Dugan Studios you will receive your full ceremony video, full reception video, plus a 20-minute highlight video online and on a USB drive. · Choose a videographer with the shooting style you are comfortable with. Some videographers are unobtrusive and you hardly know that they are there. Some make it a big production, are demanding of your time, and flood your reception with lights. Choose the style you like by viewing their videos online. Dugan Studios style of shooting is unobtrusive using minimal lighting through out the day and at the reception.

Should You Choose One Studio for Both Photography and Video?

This is a great question. Studios that only do photography or only do video will tell you no. Studios that do both, there only one or two, will tell you yes. Dugan Studios is one of the studios that do both and I will tell you yes, it is better to choose one studio for both photo and video, with some clarification. Dugan Studios has a four-person crew of two photographers and two videographers. You receive full coverage of both photography and video. Some photographers will tell you that they will provide you with a video, but it is only little snippets of video through out the day and not full coverage. Some videographers will tell you that they can provide still photos, but they are only still frames from their video. You can choose Dugan Studios for both photography and video, photography only, or video only.

In Summary

Hire a professional. Your photos and your video will be your most prized keepsakes from your wedding. There is only one day to capture your wedding, there are no second takes. Choose a photographer and videographer whose personality and shooting style matches your personality and vision.

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