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you want someone who can consistently produce the best possible images throughout the entire event.”
Professional or Amateur: How Do You Know?
How can you be certain that you’re dealing with a professional photographer? According to Aleman, there are certain qualities that differentiate a professional photographer from an amateur.
Experience: Whether full time or part time, a professional photographer views photographing weddings as their career and passion in life. A professional photog- rapher will have many years of experience photographing weddings, evident in an extensive portfolio and referral list.
They know how to deal with the unpre- dictable nature of a wedding and can quickly adapt to any situation, whether a change in weather or gear malfunctions.
 PHOTOGRAPHY
Don’t be afraid to ask prospective photog- raphers how many years of experience they have and to see their photography from a variety of weddings.
Education: A professional photographer will be educated in photography, whether through college coursework or specialized training. They should be very knowledge- able on lighting, posing and the technical aspects of photography. Most professional photographers continually upgrade their skills through educational opportunities offered through professional associations such as the PPA, which currently has 22,000 members.
Photographers belonging to these organizations attend training sessions and conferences on a regular basis to learn different techniques and the latest trends in photography. “Being involved in the PPA gives photographers an opportunity to keep their skills on the leading edge,” Aleman says. “Involvement in a professional organization is an indication of a photog- rapher’s commitment to photography as a discipline.”
Professionalism: From their website to the way that they present themselves, a professional photographer will exude pro- fessionalism and have a reputable business. When you meet a photographer for the very
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