I had a conversation with a friend recently about wedding photography, and how important it is. As I told her and as I have learned from experience, after all of the planning, DIYs, "I Do's", champagne, cake and dancing, your pictures are the only thing you have to remember the day (well, and video also if you are having one). It may seem like a lot of money upfront (the average is hovering around $3000 for 8 hours coverage last time I checked) but it is an investment, and an important one.
Some advice as you begin your wedding photographer search: 1. Scour wedding blogs and through them find photographers' blogs. Sites like Snippet & Ink (scroll down the left hand column under "Photo/Video Blogs"), Style Me Pretty (she features real weddings every day), Style Me Pretty's Little Black Book (choose "Photographers" from the pull down menu) and Elizabeth Anne Designs have tons of links to amazing photographer's websites and blogs. 2. Figure out what style of photos you like, and look for a photographer who specializes in that style. 3. Remember that most photographers will happily travel anywhere (for a fee) and sometimes will even drop their prices for you just so they can have a mini-vacay, so don't rule out someone who's work you love just because they don't live near you. 4. While you are scouring: Decide which shots you love, create a file, and share them with your photog. Let them know that you want to go for something similar, but keep in mind photographers are also artists and won't want to copy a picture exactly, but they will get a good idea of what you are going for. 5. Having a "photo checklist" with not only the family shots and such, but a list of the crucial shots you wanted to get on it as well. Share it with your photographer before the big day. Remember though that flexibility will allow your photographer to get creative on the wedding day.
My adorable blog friend and awesome photographer Jenna Cole had some great advice to add as well: Photo by Jenna Cole "The one thing that I would caution against is choosing a very specific shot and then asking for an exact duplicate. This will not lead to happiness with your photos. If you want a specific shot, hire the photographer who took it! - I do have a clause in my contract that states there is no guarantee of any specific images. Likely your photographer will have something similar. - Getting inspiration is great, so you can say "I would like a shot of my shoes alone, of my dress hanging somewhere pretty, of my husband and I holding hands and walking away from the camera." Those are things that photographers can do for you!"
Are you a photographer? Anything you would like to add to help brides? Leave a comment!