The best photographers not only capture the main event, but also record the little things that make your day unique. Consider these points when choosing your wedding photographer.
ASK TO SEE OTHER WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHS.
Professional photographers have portfolios of their work to show perspective clients. Leaf through several weddings to get a sense of how the photographer works and what the final outcome will be. Consider her style, presentation, how she edits the photos and how you feel when you view them. If you have your heart set on location photos, don’t pick a photographer who specializes in studio portraits and vice-versa. This is also a good time to see if you and the photographer “click.” She will be spending a lot of time with you, so you want to find someone you’re comfortable with.
Once you find examples you love, ask for references. Former clients can tell you how easy the photographer was to work with, if they got the pictures they wanted and if their photos were delivered timely.
COMMUNICATE YOUR IDEAS.
Be very clear on what you expect. You might be lucky enough to hire the best photographer in the city, but even the best can’t read your mind. Make a written list of all the shots that you want taken. Explain the different groupings in the family photos. It might be helpful to ask a relative on each side to corral the family members you would like to be in the photos since they will be unfamiliar to the photographer. If there are family “issues,” such as divorced parents or siblings who no longer speak to each other, decide how you will handle these photos ahead of time – don’t be afraid to make your photographer the bad guy in setting up the shots.
DISCUSS YOUR BUDGET AND GET IT IN WRITING.
Get a written proposal from the photographer that details his pricing and what you will receive. Are you paying for just the photography, or are prints included? Will they be put into an album, and if so, what kind? Have a signed, itemized contract in place before any work is done. Resist the urge to save money by having a friend or family member take the pictures unless they are a professional photographer. There are no take-twos on a wedding and this is one area you don’t want any disappointments.
Put more than a little thought into choosing who will be taking the images of your wedding. Today’s photos are tomorrow’s heirlooms.