To find a wedding-day photographer, start by asking recently married friends, as well as other wedding pros, for recommendations. Call photographers to check availability and prices, and set up meetings with those you like so you can evaluate their portfolios. When interviewing a candidate, view posed photos and candids to make sure she is equally competent at taking both types to have a good mix of both.
To judge quality, look for technical skill—clear, well-lit pictures—and for the photographer's ability to capture the moment. If you're considering a mix of color and black-and-white shots, be sure to look at examples of both.
Assuming you like the style and quality of the pictures, New York–based wedding photographer Andy Marcus suggests focusing on the following points:
- Find out exactly how many hours the photographer will be spending at the wedding. Be sure she leaves enough time to do posed family and bridal-party shots, plus all the special moments—from your grand entrance to the bouquet toss— hroughout the day.
- Ask if the photographs will be printed by hand or machine. Hand printing may cost a bit more but it insures superior color and custom-cropping of your images.
Also ask if the fee includes retouching. If not, it can cost hundreds of dollars extra.
- Make sure the photographer has backup equipment and will dress appropriately.
- Find out exactly how long it will take to get your album or finished prints after the wedding day. Only use a photographer who's willing to put a date in writing.
- Be sure the photographer's personality is compatible with yours—you'll be spending a lot of time with her.
Apply the same requirements to prospective videographers, and discuss the specifics of what might be in your final tape: Full-ceremony coverage, a childhood photomontage, special effects, etc.