According to Beverly Clark's "Planning a Wedding to Remember" you should follow these general guidelines when selecting a photographer to ensure your memories are preserved in a way that reflects your taste, then find photographers on Kudzu.com.
Understand different photography styles and choose the ones you want
- A traditional style means all the typical wedding poses will be covered, including bride and groom at the ceremony, the wedding party posed in formation, the bride and groom feeding each other cake, tossing the bouquet, etc. Traditional doesn't have to mean boring; a good photographer will convey these kinds of classic shots with updated panache.
- Candid refers to shots that are not posed and are taken when the subjects are not expecting them. You'll want to be sure you arrange for the photographer to take a higher quantity of these photos to eliminate the "duds."
- A romantic style uses soft-focus lenses and special lighting. Couples generally choose just a few of this style, and usually just of the bride (though that's not a rule) mixed with other styles.
- Infrared photos are black and white shots that provide a stylized and dramatic look using film that reacts to heat instead of light.
- Photojournalism is the newest trend in wedding photography in which the day is "documented" from start to finish and includes many candid shots as well as stills that accent the day, such as empty champagne glasses, a table full of favors and place cards and exterior shots of the building in which you are married.
Visit each photographer in person
If you don't feel comfortable with a photographer and his or her personality, it will show in the photos. Select a professional with whom you have an easy rapport, someone who puts you at ease.
If you choose to go with one of the larger companies, make sure you get in writing that the photographer you met with will be the one who shows up on your wedding day.
Find out how long the photographer keeps the negatives, whether they can be purchased and whether they are kept in a fireproof safe.
The matter of the bill
You can choose a photo package, which reserves a set amount of time, usually from two to eight hours. Find out how much their hourly fee is after you go over the allotted time.
These packages also generally include a set number of prints and albums. If a package doesn't have what you want, ask if you can swap out some of the items, such as an engagement photo instead of an 11x14 wedding print.
Ask to see sample albums from recent events
Did the photographer vary the poses? Use different types of lighting? Do his shots seem to capture the personality of each couple, or is he merely going through the motions at each event? Many photographers have portfolios available online.