Next, move on to the product. Assuming you have identified the style of shot youíre after, know the colour of the film you want, and have made the decision on whether to use a digital or conventional photographer, you need to ensure that the person you are speaking to can cater for your needs (if you havenít yet decided these things, take a look at The Main Options article to help you out). That said, you shouldn't just take their word for it. Ask to have a look at their previous work and see if it is up to the grade. When viewing their albums, you need to determine:
Do the people in the images look happy and relaxed?
Is sufficient variation in the album to keep you interested?
Is the detail in the images is clear (focus on items such as flowers and the dress)?
Does the album seem to tell the whole story flowing smoothly from one photograph to the next?
Most importantly, would be happy if this were your album? (obviously you wouldnít want an album full of pictures of people you didnít know, but you know what we mean!).
If you are happy with the potential end product, the photographers appearance and personality, and they are available to attend on the day, then we are more than half way there!
Presuming that you have now been able to identify just a handful of photographers that are still in the running, lets now get down to the nitty gritty.
Initially, ask if the photographer is qualified. They should be a Qualified Member of either the Master Photographers Association (MPA), Guild of Wedding Photographers, British Institute of Professional Photographers or Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP) Ė and remember thatís a Qualified Member, not just a Member. Of course membership of a professional body is not essential for a photographer, but you should tread carefully with anyone who provides you with a poor excuse as to why they aren't!
Next, you need to determine how long they will take to get the images back to you. You should roughly expect to wait around one month so be wary of someone who tells you that you could be waiting six months!