When choosing your photographer consider these things:
1. Do you want great photos, or barely passable?
Your photos will be your memories of major family events and milestones. Sure, you could probably have Uncle John, or your friend, who has a “really nice camera”, take your photos and end up with something. Or you might end up frustrated and sad, like a lady I know. She ended up with NO decent wedding photos. That’s right, they were ALL out of focus or too dark. EEK! I can’t even imagine the disappointment.
2. Money well spent?
Your photos will last longer than the food, music and your gorgeous cake. Count the cost carefully, but not so carefully that you get a bad deal in the long run. See #1 above.
Are the photos actually their work? Can they show you something besides what they have on the internet? Is it quality work? Are there any weird crops, out of focus shots, or funny shadows on people’s faces? Any strange color casts, such as a yellowy tinge to the whole photo? You want to know the photographer can take excellent photos from the “getting ready” photos through the ceremony and reception. Ask to see proofs from 2-3 typical weddings they’ve shot, not just the posed, perfect shots. Finally, is their style what you like?
4. Do they have references and reviews? (Here are just a few)
If they don’t have any, or don’t want to show them to you, there’s a problem.
When you talk with them, do you feel you could work well together?
6. Is this the photographer who will actually be there?
Believe it or not, big companies will send whomever is available, not necessarily the person you meet.
Who needs a formal, old contract? You do, if it’s your wedding we’re talking about!
A good contract is fair to both parties. Read it.