The most important thing to remember is, Photographs are your lasting reminder of your wedding day. They will remind you of the atmosphere of your wedding, your dress, family, and guests. They will be on display in your home and are a record of the most special day of your life for you to look back on.
Find your photographer
It is vital to find a photographer who is experienced and aware of the requirements for your special day. You need to feel sure that the photographer you choose will take photographs showing the heart and soul of your wedding and be able to make you and your guests look fantastic.
There are many photographers available to you. Photographers are a varied breed specializing only in weddings or doing weddings only as a sideline. Some do little or no advertising, others advertise in many places. A good place to start would be to make inquiries with the selected photographers that appear in the local paper in your town. You may also consider asking friends and family for recommendations. It is also worth trying your local camera club to see if they have any members who are wedding photographers.
There is a professional list of Wedding Photographers to which some photographers choose to belong that publishes a list of its members. Although it is not a full list of wedding photographers, it can prove a useful reference point if you are struggling to find a suitable one.
Once a firm date for your wedding is decided, you can begin contacting photographers to see if they are available. It is worth starting your search for a photographer early, as the better ones are booked up quickly. It is vitally important that you view a photographer's work before you book.
A good tip is to invite a few people to come with you when you visit a photographer, especially if they have a hand in paying for the photographs. The presence of a parent, bridesmaid/best man or friend will help you to keep a clear head and give you advice on the appearance of the photographer and his work.
Decide what you want
You need to have a clear idea in your minds of what you expect your wedding photographs to be like, or at least some idea of style or specific shots required.
Would you like the traditional or more journalistic style of photographs?
Do you want exclusively formal shots?
Would you like portraits of special people taken at home on the morning of the wedding,
Would you like confetti in the air shot, and do you mind if this is staged rather than spontaneous?
Do you want to color, black and white or sepia, or a section of them all?
Know what to ask for.
There are a number of things to look for when you examine the work of a photographer.
Ask to see complete albums of photographs from two or three weddings.
Do you feel that the album tells the story of the whole wedding?
Do the pictures of the couple differ from each other: some close up, some mid-distance, some full length?
Are the groups shots well organized?
Ensure that the person is the center of focus in the picture rather than the background.
Make sure you can detail in the pictures: of the dress, the cake and the flowers
Would you feel happy owning your version of the pictures you are shown?
Questions to ask
Remember, it is important to discuss all of your needs with your photographer. They will do a better job of your wedding photographs if they are conscious of your hopes for the final outcome. Make a list of your wants and likes.
Here are some important questions to ask the photographer.
Ask if the person you are meeting will be the person there on your wedding day.
Ask how long they have been a photographer, and how long they have been taking photographs of weddings.
Ask if the photographer has professional indemnity insurance to cover the cost of retaking your photographs if something goes horribly wrong.
Find out how long the photographer spends taking their shots after the ceremony and/or at the reception.
Ask how the photographer copes if the weather is not good. Here it will help if the photographer has worked at your wedding and reception venues previously and knows the local area.
When making a booking
Having found a photographer that suits your requirements you need to discuss a price for the job. You will find that you generally get what you pay for and the more experienced photographers are likely to charge more, but this is not always the case.
Make sure you ask each photographer to quote for the same job otherwise you will not be able to compare quotations. There are variables in the cost of a wedding photographer: how long you want the photographer to be in attendance, the approximate number of photographs taken, the number of shots to be included in the package that is presented to you and the type of album the final photographs will be presented in.
Finally, make sure the photographer explains their quote and tells you of any extras that may be involved in advance.