So here are my top ten tips when planning your photography...
1.Do your research and hire a Professional. There are so many styles of photography now that it is important to see MANY examples of a companies work. Make sure their work is consistent. Some websites will just post their favorite shots. Ask to see an entire wedding collection to make sure their work is true.
2. Hire your photographer first. They don't need to know where your wedding is, just the date. As soon as you know that, BOOK THEM! Photographers get booked up fast. To get the one you want, you need plenty of time. So make it a priority!
3. Take bridals/ formal pictures a week or 2 BEFORE the wedding. Do your first look then too! This will relieve half of the stress of your wedding. Get them out of the way so you can enjoy your day with family and friends. Also you can have your prints done early and use them for decor at the wedding! It will cost a little more for the extra hair / makeup, flowers and photographer time but it is worth it! This will also allow you to have plenty of time to go to several locations. Save the family photos for the day of.
5. Take your wedding planner/ friend to your bridals. She/he can be a second pair of eyes to make sure you look your best. They will watch the clock and make sure you stay on time. They can also carry all your stuff!
6. Give your photographer a list of important photos to capture. This will keep you from missing any important shots like a 3/4 generation photo. Also give the list to a bridesmaid and grooms man and make them in charge of rounding up people for photos. They will know your family better then your photographer.
7. Stick to your budget. If you find a photographer who is more expensive but your in love with their work, just ask.... If your wedding is in the off season chances are they will put together a custom package in your price range.
8. ALWAYS get the print rights to your photos. Don't higher anyone if you have to pay per print every time you want a photo of your wedding. Buying prints 11x14 or larger should be done with your photographer cause It will be the best quality. But if you want a hand full of 5x7s or 4x6s, there is no reason you should pay 5$ a piece when you can get them at walmart for change.
9. Book your engagements with your wedding photographer. Usually you can get a smashing deal by booking both with the same photographer. Plus your styles will stay constant in your photos. The photographer will know you well and what you like. Getting to know your wedding photographer during engagements is great cause it will make your wedding photos go faster and more efficient.
10. Relax! You have hired a professional. They will take care of everything. If you are stressed, you will looked stressed. Have fun and smile!
Below is a list of some of my favorite local wedding photographers:
Vanessa Fulcher @ Visions By Vanessa
Joe Kenemore @ Once Source Photography
Andrew Estey @ AE Photography
Trevon Angulo @ Canico Studios