TIP #1:

Follow your intuition. Photography is a personal experience and your first impression is usually right. When you see aphoto for the first time, it’s the split second reaction to theimage that tells you if you like it or not. If you look at a photo too long, you can usually find several things that you like about it, but nothing compares to your first impression. Follow your gut!

TIP #2:

Stick to your budget. It is so easy to get carried away when planning your affair. Most of us have been dreaming about our weddings since we were little. When making these big decisions, your emotions can get the better of you. There is always a way to get what you want, it may take it a little more work, but it is a lot easier to save money than to earn it.

TIP #3:

Check for focus. Digital cameras are complicated computers. Even a $5000 Canon or Nikon camera body and lens has difficulty figuring out what to focus on. A photographer must focus on the eyes. If the camera focus is even on the shoulder, the image will not be sharp. Focus is a good test ofyour photographer’s skill level.

TIP #4:

Check for grain or pixilation. How a camera captures images in low light is the best test for camera quality. At least half of your party will be at night, so this is a biggie. Expensive, professional cameras work better in low light. Look at reception images, if you do not notice a grainy feeling, then your photographer has quality camera.

TIP #5:

Have a good battery system. Waiting for a flash to recycle is tiresome. There are only two ways a photographer can fix this. The first is to use $12 worth of Lithium AA batteries. You can buy these at any Walgreens. I recommend that you use these in your personal camera too. It really makes a difference. The second option is to attach a battery system, like Quantum, directly to your flash. Wedding photographers usually hang these over their shoulder when they shoot. Alkaline batteries can take up to 10 seconds to repower, a photographer can miss a lot in 10 seconds.

TIP #6:

4” x 6” proofs. Most photographers don’t offer proofs withtheir packages anymore. Ask them how much extra it would cost to add this. Nothing beats looking at your wedding pictures in an album. I would expect a photographer to offer4” x 6” proofs for approximately $1/image.

TIP #7:

Keep your group formal list simple. I have perfected the following list. It works every time! Make sure to give your photographer a list with names. This list only takes 30 minutes to complete:

Bride and Groom (once during the group shots, and once during the reception)
Bride and Groom with the wedding party, include the parent

Bride and Groom with the Groom’s immediate family

Bride and Groom with the Groom’s extended family (If they show up to your wedding, include them.

Bride and Groom with the Bride’s immediate family

Bride and Groom with the Bride’s extended family