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The most common mistakes a bride makes when hiring a wedding photographer - and how you can avoid them.

* uddersfield photographer John Woods (pictured right), who has been photographing weddings for over 20 years, offers some advice on booking a wedding photographer.

Nobody would dream of ringing up a dress shop and asking: "How much are wedding dresses? We just want a rough idea.'' Yet this happens to photographers all the time. Shopping on price alone can be a recipe for disaster.

Wedding photographers have different styles, undertake different coverage, offer different albums and have different skill levels.

Our advice would be to look at a photographer's website, decide if you like their style and contact them to arrange an informal chat.

All photographers should be happy to show you their sample albums and answer any questions you have.

There are a lot of amateur and part-time photographers covering weddings today so you really need to have a good look at their work.

A studio-based professional will also have business landline not just a mobile number.

Here are some things you should consider before booking a wedding photographer.

Are they qualified? There are three main trade associations for wedding photographers. The MPA (Master Photographers Association), SWPP (The Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers) and the BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photography).

Of these only the MPA insist that all their members work full time in the photographic industry.

A Licentiateship qualification shows they have reached a competent skill level. For a list of photographers in this area that are qualified you can search on the MPA website Have they taken all the images themselves? Look for the group shots. If a sample album is just full of images of a gorgeous bride, is she a model? Have the pictures been set up by a professional photographer and shot over his or her shoulder? Is the photographer insured? Professional indemnity and public liability insurance are a must.

What is an engagement shoot? The engagement shoot is becoming more popular as couples can get used to working with the photographer before the wedding and sometimes get a free picture.

Should I go for an album or disc only? Most professionals prefer to give the bride and groom an album of beautifully printed images.

Previously, the reluctance to offer a disc is mainly because they didn't want their photographs to be cheaply printed in a supermarket with a colour cast or on a home inkjet printer.

Badly printed photographs could affect a photographers' reputation.

These days more photographers are offering a disc only package and for 2011 we have an innovative album that holds both a CD and a set of pictures.

This means copies can always be compared to the original ones in the album to make sure the colours are correct.

Details are on our website Finally, your photographer is charged with the task of recording your wedding day for you. They will be creating the only material thing that survives past the honeymoon.

They will have to interact with the vicar/priest, the reception venue staff, your wedding planner (if you have one), the car drivers, the DJ/band, the toastmaster (if you have one) and all of your guests.

You will be spending a good proportion of your day with your photographer.

They will be focussing on you all day, watching for the special moments that make great pictures.

This means your photographer is more than just a service supplier.

To get the full return on your investment you will need to work with them before, during and after your wedding.

So book someone you can get along with, someone who can work around and within your plans.

Before you book a photographer for your wedding day you are welcome to have a free chat with us at our studio in the Byram Arcade.

We''ll give you some impartial advice from our years of experience to help you make the right decision.

Good luck for your wedding day, and for your future together.

OFFICE & STUDIO 11-13 Byram Arcade, Westgate,Huddersfield HD1 1ND Phone (01484) 514744 EMAIL:
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Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jun 21, 2011
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