Bridal advice: Finding the right photographer for that special occasion can be tricky

Internet research critical to making right choice

CLEVELAND - Expanding digital technology is putting outstanding photography equipment into the hands of a growing number of people, but that doesn't mean everyone knows how to use their gear properly.

A growing number of northeast Ohio brides have been turning to 5 On Your Side Troubleshooter Joe Pagonakis about the poor quality pictures they received from their wedding photographer.

Michelle Bell of North Ridgeville contacted 5 NewsChannel5 two weeks ago after paying a Solon photographer for a wedding album she had not yet received. Bell was married in June 2012, and claimed she's called the company two dozen times with no results.

"I called him every day for four weeks and he won't return my calls," Bell said. "Finally, I had to call pretending to be another customer wanting to get a bridal package and then he called me back."

A week later, Bell credited 5 On Your Side with playing a key role in helping her to finally get the wedding album she had been waiting for.

Consumers must do their homework when selecting a photographer for that special occasion.

Just because a photographer has a booth at a popular bridal fair, doesn't mean the company has instant credibility.

Consumers should check a companies record with the Ohio Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau. Brides should carefully check for reviews and comments on photographers posted in online forums and reviews.

It's important that consumers insist on a written contract, specifically listing the number pictures, the type finish and size, and well as specific information on how the wedding album will be constructed. Consumers can also have a completion date written into the contract.

Always look through a wide variety of a photographer's most recent work, ask for references and contact information. Call other brides and ask them about the experience they had with the photographer you are considering.

More tips that will help you select the right photographer can be found on this website .

Coming up in a 5 On Your Side investigation, Troubleshooter Joe Pagonakis gets results for local brides, and helps them track down the wedding pictures they paid for, in a live report on NewsChannel5 at 11.

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