There are so many things worth preparing for before your wedding day. Since I am a photographer, I would like to share some thoughts from a photographer's point of view and cover this topic in several sub-topics.

1. How to choose your photographer.

See previous work.
The first thing that comes to mind when I choose a photographer is to see his / her previous works. Photography is an art, not everyone with a camera can master it. Although the digital camera has revolutionized how photos are taken, giving the photographer more leeway to correct their mistakes after shooting, photographers still need photographic skills and knowledge to capture moments. That skills and knowledge cannot be developed or acquired overnight. It takes time for a beginner to become a fully fledged artist. No matter what the photographer says, if you do not like his / her previous work, do not work with that photographer. Remember that you want to hire someone to record perhaps the most important moments of your life. You will not regret after seeing the wedding pictures that you are not happy with. Budget enough money, and take enough time to find and hire a skilled photographer that matches your style and taste.

Photography styles
Traditionally, wedding photos are mostly made in studios with props and setups. Photographer often provides very specific modeling instructions and advice to brides and grooms. If the subjects know how to pose correctly, it can result in stunning photos that are sharp and well-composed. Unfortunately, many people are camera-minded and do not even know how to smile in front of a camera. Under this circumstance, posed shots may not be the best choice.

Photojournalistic wedding photography has gained its popularity over the last 15-20 years. This photography style offers less formalized shots with much less positional requirements from the subject. Photographer takes the pictures without giving too many instructions and registers raw and unoccupied emotions. Sometimes subjects are not even aware that they are being photographed. I personally prefer this approach to portraiture because people look their best when they are under their natural state. However, this approach may impose technical limitations on the photographer. As lighting is one of the most important elements of photography, the photographer may not get all the preferred lighting when moving around as a journalist. Photographer really needs to rely on their knowledge and equipment to get the best photos taken.

Weddings are never a natural event; therefore, hybrid style is often used. Hybrid style photography is a mix of staged shots with photojournalistic shots. Photographer can ask group shots to be arranged while taking honest picture to show emotion or story.

This is the only question that is asked most often. When choosing a photographer, many brides set the price as the deciding factor. I think this is not the best approach to choosing the right photographer. Please remember that you are hiring someone to document the most precious time of your life. There is no other chance for the photographer to ask you to do the ceremony again or take the same photos twice. You really need the help of professionals, not some amateurs. The cost of professional photography has dropped significantly due to the popularity of digital camera and competition. Wedding photos used to cost $ 2,000-6,000, and most photographers charge between $ 1,000-3,000 today. How much should a couple spend on photography services? I would say about 10-15% of your total wedding budget should be a fair distribution. I have seen amateurs advertise their wedding photography service for only $ 450 and offer to provide a DVD disc to the client right after the wedding. I think this is an irresponsible way to make wedding pictures. Good photos must be created both during and after shooting. What I mean is that finishing is also important in addition to good original photos. Post-production can correct the color, create romantic feel and add some fine details to the originals. The wow factors are usually due to finishing. Post-production is time consuming and requires technical and artistic skills. Amateurs who deliver DVD right after the recording try to avoid the time spent on post-production (or even do not know how to make good post-production) and time with the client after the wedding.

Author's Bio: 

Ray Santana is recognized as one of Miami top wedding photographers. Specialized in wedding and engagement photography for over 15 years.