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Selecting Your Wedding Photographer - Parents' Photo Albums, Extra Prints, Proofs, Previews and Negatives


The parents' album is a smaller version of the bride and groom's album. It usually contains about twenty 5" x 7" photographs. Photos should be carefully selected for each individual family. If given as a gift, the album can be personalized with the bride and groom's names and date of their wedding on the front cover.


Extra prints are photographs ordered in addition to the main album or parents' albums. These are usually purchased as gifts for the bridal party, close friends and family members.

Things To Consider: It is important to discuss the cost of extra prints with your photographer since prices vary considerably. Some photographers offer the main album at great bargains to get the job, but then charge a fortune on extra prints. Think how many extra prints you would like to order and figure this into your budget before selecting a photographer.


Proofs/previews are the preliminary prints from which the bride and groom select photographs for their album and for their parents' albums. They are normally 5" x 5" in size.

Things To Consider: When selecting a package, ask how many proofs the photographer will take. The more proofs, the wider the selection you will have to choose from. For a wide selection, the photographer must take at least 2 to 3 times the number of prints that will go into your album.

Ask the photographer how soon after the wedding you will get your proofs. Request this in writing. The proofs should be ready by the time you get back from your honeymoon. Also request to see your proofs before you make the final payment.


Negatives come in different sizes depending on the type of film and equipment used. The most popular camera for weddings is the medium format camera. When a medium format camera is used, the size of the negatives is 2 1/4" x 2 1/4." When a 35 mm camera is used, the negatives are only 1" x 1 1/2." The larger the negative, the higher the quality of the photograph, especially when enlarged. Don't let a photographer convince you that there is no difference in quality between a 35 mm camera and a medium format camera.

Things To Consider: Most photographers will not sell you the negatives since they hope to make a profit on selling extra prints after the wedding. Ask the photographers you interview how long they keep the negatives. A professional photographer should keep the negatives at least five years. Make sure you get this in writing.

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