Book the photographer early.... just like the wedding venue and reception, the photographer may be booked up to 18 months in advance for the most popular times of year! Do not leave it too late as you may be disappointed that you could not obtain the services of the photographer of your choice!
The 'WWW' makes it easy to find a multitude of photographers and see examples of photos. Make a note of photographers who's work you like, then arrange a meeting. Make sure you see physical examples of their work and albums. If you cannot visit them, ask if they can visit you at your home. You can compare styles, quality and value and discuss what you require for your wedding photography.
When you commission a photographer you will be probably be concerned about the price and what you get for your money, these are all important things to consider! But you should also consider the experience and professionalism of the photographer. You can check to see if they are serious about their photography, by asking if they have any professional photographic qualifications? In addition you should check that they have insurance for public and product liability! Too many brides and grooms have been disappointed because they did not do the research, or they commissioned someone without the necessary skills for such an important occasion.
Make sure you are not asked to hand over the full payment (or balance) for any photographic work until you have received your photos and the completed album. If any photographer asks you to pay in full up front, be very concerned!
One thing to establish is that the photographer you meet and discuss your wedding photography with is are they going to be the actual person taking the photos. Always ask to view a number of completed wedding albums rather than a compilation of the photographer's favorite images. Once you have checked the credibility of the photographer, make sure you book someone that you BOTH feel happy with.
If you do have any special shots - ones you've seen in print or on a website, by all means show them to the photographer. This will inform the photographer as to what photographic coverage and style you are looking for on your big day. However, don't pin down the photographer too tightly, you could destroy the spontaneity and creativity they have to offer you within the surroundings of your wedding and reception. Remember that when setting up specified photos this takes time, you must therefore be able to give this time to the photographer!
The photographer will be trying to capture the whole event; therefore it is recommended that the Bride, Groom and their families take an active part in making sure specific photos get taken on their wedding day. Please remember that the production of photographs is a combined effort of the photographer, the Bride and Groom, their families and of course, the guests. It's a good idea to get a family member, best man or a bridesmaid to assist in this matter, as the photographer does not know who is who. The Bride & Groom should try to arrange this before the wedding day.
Finally will the photographer give you the customer the edited image files after completion of the work? You may find that they expect an additional payment to obtain the digital files! Check to make sure there are no hidden costs?
The best persons to judge a photographer’s ability to produce your wedding photographs is you! Do not leave this task to another family member as you may be disappointed by their decision.
Do not book on price alone, as the old saying goes: You get what you pay for!