A wedding takes just one day, but photographs keep the moments captured to be shared for a lifetime. The decorations and the food may fade away but the photographs would remain intact for years. These photographs help rekindle the spark and joy long after they were celebrated.

Wedding photography, although surrounded by happiness and smiles, is a very serious business. May photographers make a profession out of it, and it’s not just some side job you can pick up for extra pocket money. It takes more than just a nice camera to capture the truth and the emotions of a wedding. In order to immortalize the moment properly, a photographer needs a great amount of expertise in angles, framing, timing and lighting. Before hiring a photographer for your wedding day, do your homework first.

Hunt for the Photographer

Start the hunt for the photographer as soon as the wedding date is set. Starting the search well in advance gives you lots of options to choose from. Look up opinions and reviews from others who have worked with these photographers. Do a good market research, and make sure each photographer you consider has a decent-sized portfolio of work to look through.

Budget

Set your budget limit beforehand. With each photographer you consider, look at what options are available within your price range. Some photographers charge per hour, others per event, and others per the amount of prints you purchase. Look at exactly what you get out of each different service, and decide what best fits your needs, wants and price tag.

If you have no idea how much you should be spending on wedding photography, look up as many photographers as possible. Compare and contrast as many priced packages as possible to decide what’s best for you.

Number of Hours

Many photographers charge by the hour. When planning the wedding, decide how long each part will take, and which parts you want the photographer to cover. If you’re willing to pay the price, the photographer can cover the preparations, the official ceremony itself, the posed pictures, and the reception afterwards.

Keep in mind that not all aspects of the wedding require professional photography. For example, you may be able to find a friend or family member who is an amateur photographer. You could ask them to cover the reception and the preparations at a reduced price or as their wedding gift to you.

See the Wedding Samples

Go through each photographer’s portfolio, with a special focus on former wedding shots. Look for sharpness, clarity and originality in the photos. Look for previous experience in shooting a wedding similar to yours. For example, if you plan to get married on the beach, look for a photographer who has successfully shot a beach wedding before. If you found your spouse on a┬ámatrimonial site, check the site’s forums and popular links to see if there are portfolios of recommended wedding photographers.

Scope of Work

Discuss your vision to the photographer. Visit the wedding venue with him beforehand, showing him what you imagine for the day. Give him the theme colors for your wedding, and show him what the wedding attire will look like. This will help him visualize ideas for your wedding photo shoot. Ask for his thoughts and perspectives, and see if your ideas match up.

Personality and Flexiblity

Finally, make sure the photographer you choose is easy to get along with and is open to change. Find someone who allows open communication so you can talk often and get comfortable with each other. Make sure he is open to last-minute changes, if necessary. Weddings take a lot of planning and can be stressful to execute, especially if something changes at the last minute.