Get the Pictures You Want

To create and preserve pictorial memories that last a lifetime, you need to be assertive and specific about your desires.

1. Do your homework

Spend time researching photographers, looking at their work, and meeting with them. Also check their references. Know who is going to be taking the pictures. These lists may help you organize:

* Questions to Ask Photographers

* List of Photos to Take
Tip: List all the poses you want in the order they will probably occur. This makes it easier to check off which ones have been taken.
2. Assign your own “photographer’s assistant”

This person’s allegiance will be to you, not the photographer. Choose someone close to you who will know your family and friends and be able to point them out to the photographer. Give your photo assistant his or her own copy of your “list of must-have shots” to check off as each one is taken. This way the pressure is off you to stay on top of your photographer. Make sure your loved ones look fantastic in all your shots by having your photo assistant check smiles and fix hair, dresses, flowers, etc. A little preventative care can help ensure everyone (and everything) is preserved in your photo album looking their best.
3. Inform photographer of special events

Throwing a surprise or two into your wedding or reception helps to keep a magical, spontaneous atmosphere. For example, some brides like to slip out of the reception to change dresses and return with a grand entrance to dance the night away. Be sure to let your photographer in on the secret! Otherwise, you may miss what can be the best candid photos of special moments in your wedding or reception.

“The best thing at my wedding was the butterflies…the look of surprise and delight from my guests & the children’s faces were priceless…and it was all captured on film!” –Paula, wedding date: May 28, 2000
4. Mix it up

Have your photographer take different kinds of shots. Unusual angles or fuzzy focus can add interest to traditional photographs. Zoom in so close on the wedding cake you can see the texture, or photograph the bride and grooms hands as they talk at the reception table.

In addition, candid photos are often taken by guests at the reception tables. These provide a delightful complement to the more formal compositions of a professional photographer.

When it comes time to place your photos in a wedding album, arrange them so their varying size and style will add visual interest to each page.
5. To color or not to color?

Many of today’s brides are having their photographer snap both color and black and white photos.

Black and white images provide a classic, timeless look. This traditional approach focuses in on your faces and expressions of love without the flashy distractions of color.

Color adds a liveliness and reality to photos and can preserve a more accurate record of how your day really appeared. After all, you don’t want to have spent all that time anguishing over your wedding colors for nothing! Get the best of both worlds by combining the two approaches.
6. You (usually) get what you pay for

“PAY MORE FOR BETTER PICTURES, you’ll kick yourself later if you don’t. We paid more, but they turned out great!”
–Erin, wedding date: July 8, 2000

This does not mean you cannot save money on your photography budget, just remember not to cut corners on the quality of images. Once your wedding day is over, you will be left with your memories and your photographs. Make sure you have the best.