Firstly you will need to have a shortlist of photographers whose styles that you love, once you have narrowed it down to 2-3 then you can arrange meetings. When it comes to choosing a photographer for your big day it is important you meet in person if possible, you will be spending the majority of your day together so you need to make sure you are comfortable around them.
You will want to find out how consistent your photographer is with their style, ask them to show you a range of full weddings, not only will this show if their style is the same throughout you can also observe their attention to detail. You should love their style of photography beforehand but doing this will also show the style in which they are most comfortable shooting it is this that will create the better photographs.
Have you ever shot a wedding at our venue before? If not do you plan to check the venues out in advance for the best photography spots? If at all possible, your photographer should be visiting the venue prior to your wedding day to familiarise themselves with the area and to scout for potential locations. It is also a good idea for them to see what the lighting is like.
How do you like to photograph? Do you prefer to take charge and choreograph set ups or do you blend into the background and shoot more candidly? Personally, my working style is the latter...I would much prefer to be a stealthy ninja and capture the moments that no one even realises rather than being more visible. I will take charge when it comes to family group photographs and lead the way during the couple shoot but personally for me, I would prefer to stay hidden unless needed.
When it comes to the family and any group photographs, I personally find it very useful when the couple have a list of the guests they would like to take photographs with, it means that the photographer won't be put in any awkward situations if Dad is onto his 4th wife and Mum has a toy boy and also ensures that time is not wasted so things run smoothly and everyone can go back to enjoying their drinks and canapes.
If we decide to go with your standard package are we able to add hours if needed? Chances are you will choose the correct amount of hours you require as usually once the cake cutting and first dance is over, a few party shots of people dancing then you will no longer require your photographer but it is useful to know that if the schedule does run over you can rely on them to stay, this will usually incur an extra cost of course so make sure you find out the hourly rate.
Lighting will be a question your photographer will most likely ask you about, they of course will come prepared with some extra lighting but it is important to know beforehand if the room will be flooded with magenta lighting or if it is an outside venue there will be extra lighting around.
Will you edit and colour correct the images before I see them? Each photographer is different, some will send you the proofs for you to choose from whilst others will retouch the majority of them for you.
And now the most important question that all brides want to know is - How long post wedding until I can receive my images? Most photographers will say approx 4-6 weeks and they will offer a sneak peak prior to this, you will be dying to see your portraits but by knowing in advance you can at least be prepared for the wait, remember, editing a wedding to the best standard takes time ;-)
There will be other questions you may wish to ask like can you provide a photo booth? What are your album and print options? Do you bring an assistant? Do you think we need a second shooter? Do you charge travel fees? Will you be publishing our images?
There is so much to think about when booking your photographer and it is vital you do your homework and make sure you choose the right one for you - good luck!