Wedding photographers should be considered in good time before the wedding just to allow yourself to find the right one if you have particular requirements and depending on the season they can get booked up pretty quickly. Summers are usually the busy season for anything regarding weddings. If you are getting married during this time, make sure to contact vendors and services that you require to ensure everything is getting organized (especially if you have already decided on the day).
When you choose a wedding photographer do research first by talking to friends who are married – a lot of times photographers will specialize in weddings so going with someone that has expertise in this area may be an advantage as far as organization and experience goes.
A lot of wedding photographers now have their portfolios online so that you can have a peak at their work without even contacting them or needing to pencil in an appointment, which is a great time saver. Look for the style of photography and assess whether or not that is what you are looking for. Some wedding photographers are more into candid photography rather than portrait photography and talented ones can do both. So have an idea in mind of what you would like (a lot of people go with a mix between the two) as your photographer will most likely ask about that early on in your communication. For wedding pictures also decide who should be in your shots as it very quickly becomes a crowded shoot. Transportation and coordination may become more complex if your photos are being taken at an off-site location, as you will have to transport everyone there. So choose where you should have your wedding party with you, parents of both the groom and the bride and maybe grandparents. Depending on the size of the wedding etc maybe you do a few group shots after the ceremony (with all your guest or maybe just family including cousins, aunts and uncles). Another thing that a lot of photographers offer are different type of wedding photography packages, basically different packages will cover their presence at different parts of the day. So the package may or may not cover the 'getting ready' part of the bride and potentially the bridesmaid. Some photographers bring along an assistant, so if you want the groom and groomsmen to be covered while getting ready as well, they might be able to handle that. Ask your photographer about how they usually handle this part of the day when you are still separated. The end of the day is another time when you can compromise and maybe not have the photographer present – during the dinner, dance and after events of the ceremony. A lot of times the day is split up in the following parts:
- Getting ready (the bride)
- Ceremony (includes the signing of the Marriage Certificate etc.)
- Bride, groom, wedding party and family shots – this happens often between the ceremony and the pre-reception (cocktails before dinner) or the reception but these days a lot of people are also doing their wedding photos before the wedding ceremony starts in order to fit their time schedule for the wedding venue and dinner. This of course requires a somewhat non-traditional bride and groom whom are okay with seeing/being seen in the wedding dress before the walk down the isle
- Pre-reception (cocktails before dinner)
- Dance and the 'after party'
Ask what kind of coverage the wedding photographers are offering. And form your idea of what it is worth to you. Often times if you have coverage for the whole day you may need to plan for the photographer and assistant to eat with your guests (so count a couple of extra people for food and beverages) or have a break so that they can arrange for food themselves. And also ask yourself if you want/need pictures of your guests eating. The part people may care about though is the first dance and the cutting of the cake so if it is worth it to you then the whole day deal may be the way to go. Or ask a photography skilled friend to cover those wedding events for you. There are lots of ways you can go here depending on what your priorities are – full coverage or cost etc.
Once you have decided on a wedding photographer and made the booking make sure to call them and follow up maybe a month in advance to confirm the location and times. Also closer to the wedding make sure the wedding photographer knows where you are to be found (hotel name, address, room number etc) if they are covering the early part of the day when you get ready.
Some photographers take it upon themselves to research the wedding location and look for spots that will do well for wedding pictures, ask them for their advice and if they have been in the area before. Or if you have a particular place in mind let them know that in advance (don't wait for the wedding day) so they can plan all the lighting measurements and other procedures they go through.
Take a load off during your stressful wedding planning. You can save time from looking for different ways to develop your film or digital photos. Browse online for various sites that gives great quality and full color images at an affordable price.
Since today a lot of people use their computers to manage their photos it is becoming more and more common that the internet and computer technology is in one way or another involved in the process of getting your wedding photos. Some photographers offer an approval type site where you can proof all your images once they are done and decide which ones you want. Some wedding photographers will give you a DVD with all your wedding pictures on it or allow you to visit a site where you can download them. Some wedding photographers also put together wedding albums of the chosen photos. Wedding photo albums are great gifts to the parents of the groom and the bride and don't forget one for yourself. Although computers are very convenient it is very nice to have a tangible book dedicated to your wedding day that you can go back and look at whenever you want to. So make sure you know if these types of services are additional or if one album is included etc.
One idea that is becoming more and more popular when it comes to wedding photography is to have your guests play photographers for an evening by leaving disposable cameras on the dining tables. Ask that they take pictures throughout the evening and then later leave the camera on the table for someone to collect and give to you. It gives you a chance to see lots of different fun aspects of your party that you might not have been able to be at yourself.