It helps to have some things clear in your mind as you approach your wedding photography.
There's so much to think about as you plan your wedding. And while you might have thought about what type of photography you'd like to record the day, there are some other questions you should probably consider as you set about looking for your perfect wedding photographer and your perfect album of wedding photos.
1. Do you want an engagement shoot?
Apart from being a record of an important part of your relationship, having an engagement shoot allows you to interact in a professional capacity with your photographer before the stress of the wedding day. You'll get a feel for the way your photographer works, and your photographer will get a feel for your personalities.
As Mike Rickard of Narshada Photography says: 'An engagement shoot will allow you to get to know your photographer better and become comfortable around her or him. And you can use the photos from the session as your Save the date! cards.'
2. A 'First Look' shoot?
Have you thought about having a 'First Look' shoot, when the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony? Depending on where you have it, the bride might emerge from behind a tree or impressive door, or she could walk up behind the groom and tap him on the shoulder. It could involve reading letters to each other, or exchanging gifts.
A first look shoot is not exactly traditional, but it's beautifully intimate and allows for the creation of photos without the pressure of being absent from your reception.
3. How about an 'unplugged' wedding?
Some couples prefer for their guests not to take photos or video at their weddings. It really helps for the focus to be on the wedding itself, the solemnity of the vows, and then enjoying the reception, rather than on sharing photos via social media.
Even if you choose to allow photos and video at the reception, you might want to consider an unplugged ceremony. And check with the minister, registrar, or celebrant, too. Sometimes they request that guests don't take photos.
Remember to communicate this to your guests, so that there isn't any disappointment or confusion on the day.
4. What about giving your guests a chance to get photos?
If you don't mind your guests taking photos at your reception, have you thought about how you might want this to happen? You certainly don't want your guests getting in the way of the professional photographer you've hired to record the day, and you don't want to be keeling over from thirst as everyone takes their turn posing you and asking you to pause for a photo.
One of the neatest solutions that I've seen for this is for five or ten minutes to be allocated to guests for their photos. However, this is something that you will need to discuss with your professional photographer first and consider when might be an appropriate point to schedule it.
5. Do you want, and can you afford, a second shooter?
Some photographers like to work with a second pair of hands; while one of them is photographing the bride and groom, the other can be taking photos elsewhere. It's a great means of casting a wider net and capturing more of the action at your wedding. However, you might not want another person at your big day, or you simply might not be able to afford it. But give it some thought.
6. Are you having a videographer?
Do you want a video record of your wedding day? Some people treasure their wedding videos; others realise that they spent money on something that they never watch. If you do decide that you want a video, think about asking your photographer if they regularly work with a videographer or have any recommendations.
7. What are you wearing?
No, this isn't me trying to advise you on your wedding gown, I promise. It's more a reminder that depending on the time of year and the weather you might expect, having a pair of wellies, a wrap, an umbrella, or even a parasol to hand might be a good idea for outdoor photos.