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 traditional or more journalistic style of photographs?
- Do you want exclusively formal shots or would some relaxed photographs of friends and family help you to remember the whole day?
- Would you like some portraits of special people taken at home on the morning of the wedding, where you can ensure everything looks perfect (the photographer could visit you both separately)?
- Would you like a confetti or bubbles “in the air” shot, and do you mind if this is staged rather than spontaneous?
- Are there some people you would like your photograph taken with apart from the traditional selection? For example are some of your guests travelling from another country who you see rarely?
- Are you inviting an old school friend that you had a photograph with when you were very young that you could update on your wedding day?
- Would you like all colour shots, black and white or shots using other effects such as sepia toning?
There are a number of things to look for when you examine the work of a photographer.
- Are you offered a complete album of photographs from one wedding, rather than a collection of good pictures from a selection of weddings?
- Do you feel that the album tells the story of the whole wedding?
- Are the pictures of the couple different from each other: some close up, some mid distance, some full length?
- Can you see a selection of tidy, well organised group shots, and are all of the group positioned in the shot, or have people been missed off at the edges?
- Do you feel yourself looking at the subject of the picture or a distraction in the background?
- Can you see detail in the pictures: of the dress, the cake, the flowers, people’s faces in shots taken from a distance?
- Do the people in the photographs look relaxed, happy and comfortable? It is helpful to check not only the bride and groom but also the friends and relations in the photos.
- Would you feel happy owning your version of the pictures you are shown?
- Don’t forget that there are a variety of different styles of photography and of presentation. If one photographer does not share your ideas of style, then try another one. It is difficult for photographers to drastically change their style to suit yours.
You should also make sure that the photographer you choose quickly establishes a good rapport with you and makes you feel comfortable. He should be able to advise you on where and how to stand without making you feel stupid!
You can always opt to have two photographers of varying styles at your wedding, if photographs are particularly important to you.