Hiring a good photographer is extremely important! Your flowers will die, your band will stop playing, your guests will go home, and your memories may fade. But your pictures will last you a lifetime! So, keep these tips in mind as you go through the process.
Personality Counts. Choosing a photographer should involve more than simply considering his or her body of work. Just as important is the feeling that person gives you. You have to click with your photographer and enjoy being around each other. After all, you'll be side-by-side for 10 hours on your wedding day!
Practice Makes Perfect. Use your engagement session as a trial run. Unless you're professional models, you and your fiance might feel a bit uncomfortable in front of the camera at first! Not to worry. A good photographer will help you relax and capture images that reflect your personalities.
Similarly, although it's a southern tradition, brides everywhere should consider having a bridal portrait session before the wedding day. This is a great way to test out your hair and makeup with your bouquet and dress. While you may have thought your makeup looked heavy or your hair a bit big in person, it often translates slightly differently on camera. Seeing pictures of the complete package a few weeks before your wedding will allow time to make final adjustments (i.e., scale the size of the bouquet a bit, make your hair fuller, etc.) before your big day.
Your face will hurt. You may never again have to smile so long! Family portraits will seem like an eternity. But try not to force your smile, as your grandmother will be so disappointed that your "eyes" aren't smiling in your picture with her. Instead, grab some bubbly, take some much needed breaks and enjoy the moment!
Plan in Advance. Always give your photographer a shot list. This is especially important for organizing family portraits and documenting details the photographer may not know about (i.e., you're wearing your grandmother's earrings or wrapping an heirloom handkerchief around your bouquet). A shot list is a great tool to ensure you get most of the pictures you want, but don't be overly disappointed if you don't get them all. Your photographer will surprise you with so many awesome candid pictures you didn't expect!
A Balancing Act. A good photographer will be present but not obtrusive. Your photographer should capture candid shots without you ever knowing he or she was there. You may think you hired a ninja!
Ownership Rights. Don't assume you own the pictures. Many photographers will share photos with you but maintain the copyright to the images. Don't let this freak you out. Carefully review the contract before hiring your photographer to ensure you feel comfortable with its provisions. Share how you plan to use your pictures with your photographer and whether or not you would like your wedding to be featured in a publication.
Patience is a Virtue. It takes a long time to get your photos back. Pictures posted on social media will have to suffice for the six weeks until yours arrive! And it takes even longer to create and order your wedding album. Narrowing down your favorite 50 pictures for the album will feel like the hardest task you've ever encountered. Take your time, and the end product will be fabulous!