You will want to appreciate your wedding photos in the years to come. You want to look at them and show them over the years to help you remember everything - the first kiss, the first dance and all the many other things that made the day special. You want to show your wedding photos to your children and your grandchildren. Therefore, choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you will have to make and it takes time and attention.

You do not get another chance for this and therefore it is crucial to find a reliable professional who is consistent with your vision for the day and is confident that he or she can capture this.

It is very important to book your wedding photographer as soon as you have set the date - some popular photographers are booked out a year or more in advance, especially if you are planning a summer wedding. It would be a good idea to book your wedding and reception room as these can affect the style and content of your photographs. You also need to set a budget for the wedding photographer - as a rule of thumb, wedding photographs can cost around 10 percent of the total wedding budget.

You should carefully consider how you want your wedding photos to look. Do you prefer posed photos, or do you like the idea of ​​photos taken instantly, often with the subject not aware that they are being photographed? A modern trend is to present the wedding and the reception as a story told in order - the choice is entirely up to your taste and preference.

When searching for your wedding photographer, you can ask newly married friends for suggestions, or you can ask your wedding planner for advice. If you can not get a personal recommendation, try the many wedding magazines, they all have ads for wedding photographers. Many wedding photographers have websites where you can check out their past work. This is especially useful if the wedding photographer does not live near you.

Once you have done your research, create a list and contact the various photographers by phone. This determines if they are available on your wedding date and if they are within your budget. Most wedding photographers are happy to send you a portfolio of sample photos, either as prints or digital files, before your first date. Make sure the groupings come from recent weddings and are taken at a place similar to yours and that they were taken at that time of day when you are holding your wedding - the light can make a huge difference to the finished shot.

When meeting with your potential wedding photographer, try to find out who is shooting the photos. Larger studios employ a number of photographers, and even one-person clothing usually has an assistant. Sometimes the assistant takes the pictures of the wedding guests while the main photographer concentrates on the bridal party. You need to request to see the actual photographers who are going to handle your wedding, see the work.

You will need to discuss the fees. Some studios charge an hourly rate and then charge for any pictures you may wish, while others quote a flat fee that includes a specified number of prints. Often you have the choice between several different packages. Make sure you understand what is included in the package. Once you have chosen your photographer, you should discuss payment terms - you will usually need to pay a deposit to secure your date and do not forget to check the refund or cancellation policy. You should also try to determine who owns the negatives. Some photographers hand over the negatives with the wedding photos, while others keep them to make multiple prints on request. While it may be tempting to keep the negatives to yourself, keep in mind that a professional photographer will have more experience in terms of their safe storage.

The most important thing is to take up references before engaging your wedding photographer. Check if previous couples have been happy with their wedding photos and if they would be willing to recommend the wedding photographer in question.

Author's Bio: 

Ray Santana is recognized as one of Miami top wedding photographers. Specialized in wedding and engagement photography for over 15 years.