Making decisions about your wedding photography and your wedding photographer are very important parts of planning a wedding. Although you will always have memories of your most important day, wedding photographs visually document the event for a lifetime.

Here are some wedding photography tips that will help you make good decisions to ensure your wedding photos turn out exactly as you want them.

Tip #1: When is it time to think about wedding photography?

The time to think about your wedding photography depends on how long it is to your wedding date. In the United States, the average time of an engagement before marriage is approximately 18 months. Using this average, you need to start thinking about hiring a professional wedding photographer about a year before the wedding.

Tip #2: Why do you need to hire a wedding photographer early on in the wedding planning?

Wedding photographers are very busy people and they have to schedule their work well in advance. You want to be sure that the photographer of your choice is available on the day of your wedding.

Tip #3: Do you need to hire a wedding photographer, or can you hire any professional photographer?

It is always preferable to hire a photographer who specializes in weddings. The reason for this is because s(he) has experience with such occasions and knows when and where all the traditional shots should be taken.

Professional wedding photographers also have many creative surprises up their sleeves – from unique uses for indoor and outdoor lighting, different exposures, contrasts, and special lenses.

Tip #4: How do you find a good professional wedding photographer?

Most brides do not have a clue as to where to find a good professional wedding photographer – and for good reason – most have never needed one before.

Ask your married friends for referrals. You can also get recommendations from the caterer, the ceremony and reception sites coordinators, your wedding planner, as well as from the equipment rental company you are using.

Before making your final choice of wedding photographers, set a time to meet with them. Look at their portfolios and very importantly see if you get along. Does s(he) seem personable, flexible, and organized?

Tip #5:  What other photographs do you want?

Consider what photographs you want taken other than at the wedding ceremony and reception. A few possibilities are:

  • Engagement photo for newspaper announcement
  • Studio wedding portrait photo a few days before the wedding (with or without the groom)
  • Pre-ceremony photos of getting ready for the wedding
  • Pre-ceremony photos with family, wedding party, and possibly the groom
  • Congratulations and (last tip) remember to have a lot of fun. The wedding is your special day and your photos will reflect how beautiful you are, inside and out.