Many couples agonize over the perfect reception site, wardrobe and menu for their wedding, but then casually choose a photographer from a telephone book or advertisement. Beware that this methodology could leave you with substandard wedding albums and photos you wish you could forget. That's why it is important to thoroughly work with your wedding photographer to ensure you have beautiful photos that will last a lifetime.
CHOOSING A PHOTOGRAPHER
Make a list of several photographers to get a feel for what services are offered. Have an idea of what types of photos you'd like, e.g. traditional portraits, photojournalistic candids, black-and-white or hand-tinted special effects. Here are other tips:
* Make sure the photographer you speak with and whose work meets your standards will actually be the person shooting your wedding. Some companies farm out work to freelancers, resulting in a complete stranger knocking at your door come the big day.
* Ask to see three complete weddings that have been shot by the photographer. It's easy to look at a compilation of the "best shots," which may hide the many average shots that the photographer has taken.
* Check to see what services are included in the photo package and what requires an additional charge. Sometimes black-and-white photography or special graphic touches are an extra charge.
* Find out how much time the photographer will spend with you, namely if the fee includes all-day coverage. Can you get shots taken before the ceremony at your home?
* Question their policy for emergency situations, such as if a backup camera is available if one breaks.
Schedule a decent amount of time between the ceremony and reception for a photo session. You don't want to rush your photos and end up with poor shots.
Take the time to make a list of any important photos you would like. Most professional photographers are seasoned veterans and take a standard line-up of shots. If you have a request, discuss it with the photographer in advance. Some special shots you may want to include:
* All of the bridesmaids/groomsmen together
* Bride with each bridesmaid
* Bride/groom with parents separately
* Groom with each groomsman
* Combined family shots
* Photo with favorite pet
* Separate shot of siblings
* Separate shots of grandparents and extended family members
* Photos of the guests at tables
* Centerpieces, cake alone and scenery without people