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4 steps to picking the perfect wedding photographer

WATCH: Professional photographer Jennifer Kapala joins Global Calgary with advice on how to pick a photographer for your wedding day.

Picking a photographer to document your wedding day is a big decision that most often comes with a substantial price tag.

Professional photographer Jennifer Kapala joined Calgary’s Global News Morning on Monday with some tips on what to keep in mind when deciding who to hire.

1) Figure out your budget

First off, you’ll have determine how much you’re willing to spend on your wedding photographer.

“Think of it long term,” Kapala said. “Your pictures have the ability to really transcend time and it’s something that your grandkids will look at. So when you think of budget, think of it in terms of a long-term investment.”

READ MORE: Calgary wedding planner honoured by Vogue

If you fall in love with a photographer whose prices are outside of your budget, Kapala suggests re-assessing which parts of your wedding you really need photographed.

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“Do you really need to be getting ready and having that photographed? Or do you want it more for the ceremony?”

2) Determine what photography style do you like

Once you’ve set your budget, you’ll have to determine what style of wedding photography you like the most.

“What style appeals to you? Is it dark and dramatic? Is it light and airy?” Kapala asks.

Remember the decision you make will be one that lasts you a lifetime.

3) Research photographers and their reputations

Next, Kapala suggests speaking with friends and family to see if they have any recommendations.

“Word of mouth is a great source,” Kapala said. “If you’ve got friends and family who have gotten married it’s always great to go back to them and find out what sort of experience they had, who would they recommend.”

READ MORE: Calgary couple’s wedding photo captures moment before massive summer storm

4) Get a contract

Once you’ve picked a photographer, make sure you get the details of your big day in writing.

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“You want to make sure you get a contract that covers you, so that on your wedding day you’re not dealing with any surprises,” Kapala said.

“Make sure you know what’s going to happen if your wedding is delayed two hours, is your photographer going to stick around? When can you expect to see your gallery for the photos? What’s included in your package?”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Kapala specializes in child and family portraits and not wedding photography.

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