Years from now, the photos and videos of your wedding day will still be with you; you’ll share them with relatives, show them to your children and grandchildren, and so they need to be as good as possible. This takes some work though, and you need to start early…
Choose your photographer as soon as possible
You need to start looking for your photographer around a year before the big day. Ask for recommendations and references, comb through photographers’ websites and approach the ones you like to ask to see a full shoot, not just the highlights on the website. Are any shots badly out-of-focus? Do you like the overall “feel”, so guests look relaxed?
Meet your favourite two or three
Make a shortlist of two or three photographers and set up a meeting. You need to be able to relax with this person at your wedding; can you have a laugh? Does he or she seem warm and genuinely interested in weddings?
Assume you’ll over-run…
…and make sure you can pay for the overtime. Find out what the basic package is and then add some for an extra hour or so – you don’t want your package to end just before your big finale, do you?
Have an engagement shoot
If you feel nervous about your wedding day shoot, try an engagement one beforehand. This will help you to get to know your photographer, as well as to find out your ideal photo style and give feedback.
Make your shot list
Keep it sensible, though. You don’t want your photographer to schlep through every tiny cousin holding hands with every granny. Pin down some basics and then some special shots you want – your handmade favours, for example. You also need to tell your photographer about any special considerations, like the fact your youngest bridesmaid can go from angel to The Exorcist in three seconds flat…
Have portraits done before the ceremony
Your hair and make-up will be perfect and you will feel more relaxed for the ceremony itself; plus, you won’t miss cocktail hour!
Keep your chin up
Literally. A common complaint among photographers is that brides and grooms lower their heads and shuffle about because they’re nervous. Keep your heads up so you get some full-face images, even if you’re not smiling.
And then relax!