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Wedding Photos: Should You Hire a Pro or DIY? (page 4 of 4)

Thinking about going the DIY route for wedding photography? These tips can increase the odds of success.

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Catching Candid Moments

"Knowing the flow of the day will help with capturing candids," Megan says. "Being able to capture a tear streaming down the mother's face or the groom's face as the bride walks down the aisle are examples of wonderful candids. A long lens, she adds, allows you to position yourself farther from subjects who might get self-conscious if they spot you snapping them at close range.

Courtesy of Megan Marascalco

Tanya says her secret is to anticipate key moments and be in the right place with the right equipment when they happen. And always ask about planned surprises, she says: "Brides and grooms need to know it is OK to surprise your spouse or guests. It is not OK to surprise your photographer. You risk losing the shot."

Getting Guests Into the Action

Megan and Tanya both like photo booths to get guests involved in the pics. "People have a blast with photo booths," Megan says. "You can use fun props, fun backdrops and even come up with a personalized theme." Or, she says, ask the wedding planner or DJ to help coordinate a large group photo at the reception.

Tanya recommends the Wedding Snap app, which lets guests share iPhone and camera phone photos easily. "Many brides have a room full of guests taking pictures, but they never see the pictures. Or low-res images will only end up on Facebook, where you can't print them," she says.

Picks for Prints

Don't stint on prints, Megan advises. "People tend to be drawn to the discount prices at chain stores and pharmacies," she says. "Just remember that you get what you pay for." A photographer or a professional printing company may be costlier, but the payoff is quality prints you'll enjoy viewing for years.

And don't feel pressured to put together a wedding album right away if money is tight. "Better to have 10 quality shots you love than hundreds you hate," Tanya says. "If you can't afford the album right away, ask to do it later or, better yet, to buy the high-res files."

Tanya cautions that most album companies only work with professional photographers, so DIYing it can be tough. However, a few companies, such as Album Boutique, will accommodate amateurs. Tanya also suggests having a book created through consumer book company Blurb.