Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and one that you will most likely want to remember forever. You will want photos that capture the essence of the wedding and remind you of the people that were there as well as the way that you felt that day. That is why it is so important that you thoroughly research and select the right photographer for you. Here are a few factors you should consider when choosing the right professional:
What style do you prefer? Do you want mostly candid shots, traditional poses, or a photojournalism take on your special day? If you want a combination, is the professional you selected competent in all styles? Also, do you want most of your pictures in black and white or do you prefer color?
From the samples you've seen, do the poses look natural? Are the groups shots staged in a manner you approve of? Make sure you select a photographer that agrees with your style and philosophy on wedding photography.
Do you like the photographer? Do your personalities "click"? Is he or she someone you want to be around on the most important day of your life? A photographer should be patient, reliable, friendly, professional, always smiling, and able to motivate large groups of people to assemble for pictures? The last thing you want is someone else to add to the stress of this hectic day.
Who will actually be taking the pictures? Sometimes a wedding photography company is staffed by multiple photographers who take turns shooting different weddings, so it is important to find out exactly who will be coming to yours.
Make sure you view samples of the photographer's work that will actually be covering your wedding. Also, ask whether there will be an assistant. An assistant can be quite helpful in assembling groups or making everything run smoothly, but if they are going to be taking pictures as well, make sure you view their work too.
Some people want photographs from only the ceremony which would mean 1-3 hours for the photographer, others want the works: engagement sessions, bridal photographs, rehearsal dinner pictures, photos of the ceremony and reception, and even behind the scene takes. The difference usually is only price but you have to find someone who is available and willing to shoot everything you want.
How will you receive the pictures? Can you order albums? How many proofs can you see? Will they offer you the negatives? Or will they give you the digital files? Will it be simple for family to order reprints? These are all very important questions to ask.
Most wedding photography businesses make their profits by developing the pictures, which is why they may seem so expensive. Having the company develop pictures will, however, ensure they are edited correctly, that the colors are bright, and that the final result is how the photographer intended.
No one wants to choose a photographer because they are cheap, but there is only so much money in the wedding budget and unfortunately price is often the deciding factor. When discussing prices make sure you understand all of the costs. Make sure you ask if there are travel fees, overtime charges, taxes, and how much will be covered. Also, find out how much reprints and albums cost.
There are so many factors to consider and questions to ask. Just write down all your questions before you interview photographers, select a photographer well in advance, have all agreements written in a contract, and relax knowing that you picked the best possible wedding photographer you could find. Most importantly, enjoy your wedding!