For most people a wedding is a once in a lifetime event. It is a long held tradition to have pictures to commemorate the occasion. In days of old, people would hire a painter to capture the likeness of the bride and groom and if they could afford it other members of the wedding party. When paintings gave way to photography, the tradition held and every wedding was captured on film.

It is now the digital age and while family and friends will no doubt take lots of photos, it is still not the same as having your wedding portraits done by a professional wedding photographer.

The biggest benefit of hiring a pro is the level of professionalism that you will get. These are trained artist, they know how to capture the best lighting and how to immortalize a serene moment. You will know you are talking with a professional because he will be listening to you not trying to sell you on what he has to offer. It is always best to ask to see their portfolio and to get some references.

Many brides leave the hiring of the wedding photographer up to the wedding planner. That is good to do, if you can afford one but if you can’t it is up to you to find a professional. This may be harder than it sounds since there are many advertisements for wedding photography placed by rank amateurs. These are the ones that we hear the horror stories about. You know they go to sleep, eat more than the guest or get drunk on the job.

Hiring a bad photographer could really ruin not only the photographs but the day itself. When interviewing the wedding photographer there are a few things you should pay close attention to. The first is, is he patient, professional behavior and speech and is he friendly. This is a person who will be involved in your wedding planning and your wedding day from start to finish, he will interact with your guest and if they are not the friendly, patient sort it could be a bad experience all around.

Another benefit of hiring a professional is “guarantees”. Your wedding is a one shot deal and if something doesn’t come out right you can always get a portion of your money back. Now here is the tricky part you have to be careful with the contract that you sign. Read it thoroughly so that both you and the wedding photographer are clear about what reasons will be good enough to demand a refund or at least a discount.

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The best place to start is with friends and relatives that have recently had weddings. Look at their albums and this will give you clear picture of the wedding photographer level of expertise. Once you have settled on a photographer ask about their ability to create digital albums. Since this is the digital age you can have your wedding album uploaded directly to your wedding website for all to enjoy. The true benefit of hiring a professional is the way the photographs will look.