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Wedding day comes and goes so quickly, you almost don't have a chance to really appreciate the love and beauty that goes on. That is why the photography is so important and should not be left to family and friends. You must hire a professional photographer for your wedding to get the right shots at the right time with the best quality.
Do your research! Look at online reviews, discussion forums, and ask around. It is not good enough to just look at a few images taken by the photographer. You must see an entire wedding shoot to know what it is you are going to get for your money. A good photographer won't have any problem showing you a full spread of wedding photos.
Look at those photos critically. Now is not the time to be nice and spare feelings. If you don't like what you see, when reviewing a photographer's work, walk away and look for another one. You cannot re-do your wedding photos because you only have one wedding. Look at the photos and make sure you see the emotion captured and all of those key moments are included. Take your time, review the images, imagine yourself in those pictures.
Meet and greet with the photographer who will be doing your wedding. Large studios may have several photographers to choose from and may tell you that whomever is available will show up. That's not good enough. Meet the one that is scheduled for the day and make sure you see eye to eye before signing any contracts. Discuss your vision and get a feel for how this photographer will interact with your guests.
During your discussions with the photographer, get a clear package description and pricing list. Ask about extra charges and how many hours they are expecting to spend on the shoot. It is beneficial to pay for extra time, if you think you may need it, instead of paying for overtime later.
Don't forget about your engagement shoot! The engagement shoot is a great time to get used to the photographer and feel comfortable with the way they work. This is when you find out if you "click" and it will create a better wedding experience for the both of you.
Hold your head up! During this stressful and exciting day, all you need to remember is to hold your head up high and relax your shoulders. Remember those instructions for school pictures every year? It still applies. You likely will not remember, and may not even smile, so your photographer will probably remind you to look up and smile.
Most of all, remember to relax and enjoy your day. That is why you hired a professional photographer, so you don't have to worry about all of the best memories being preserved in the pictures. It may help to assign someone, like your maid of honor, to be photographer's contact person, should they need something or have a question. That way, all you have to do is relax and enjoy.