When organising your wedding, it's all a bit of a minefield especially when it comes to the photographs and photographer. You already have so many choices to make about your big day without having to think about whether or not you want your wedding filmed, have black and white prints, sepia prints, classic or modern style? Phew!
The best advice is to choose a photographer that has been recommended by someone. Ensure you see the wedding photographs of the couple who have recommended the photographer as their idea of great photographs may not be the same as yours. If it is not possible to have a photographer recommended then ask them to show you their portfolio. Looking at photographs shot by them will give you an idea of what their style is like. You also need to like the photographer you select. Now this may sound silly but actually wedding photographers are central to the wedding day and will be there for most of it. Why not request to see one in action? This will then help you decide whether or not you could get on with him/her on the big day. Good photographers are decisive, clear and professional; the good ones manage to round everyone up successfully without bossing wedding guests and without upsetting anyone.
When it comes to style, the best thing to do is to not pick one! Yes, that's right, don't pick one. The best wedding photographs are often a different style from the ones you thought would be the best. So, when you meet with your photographer say that you want a range of photographs. These are to include set stiff' posed photographs with various family members/wedding guests. In other words, ensure that you get the usual shots; Father of the Bride and the Bride, Bride getting out of the car, Bride and Groom saying vows, Bride and Groom with his family, Bride and Groom with her family, Bridesmaids, Bride and Groom with friends etc etc. These are so important and will form the basis of your wedding album. Also request some arty' shots e.g. black and white prints of your bouquet, the marriage certificate, the church, your wedding shoes, your dress hanging up etc etc. Why not also request some church shots in sepia to give them a gentle feel? When it comes to the reception, make sure shots are taken of the room before the guests enter. With even the most civilised of guests, reception rooms always look messy once people are eating, napkins are used, plates dirtied and glasses used. This is also an opportune time for that all-important shot of the cake too.
With regards to the rest of the reception, ask your photographer to take 1 shot of each of the tables with your guests. This will be a posed photograph and a great memento for your album. Later, the photographer can then take some random pictures of guests enjoying themselves. You could also put disposable wedding cameras out on the tables for your guests to take pictures of each other. Quite often, shots taken on these cameras are really liked by the bride and groom and end up in the album. If you can afford to keep your photographer into the evening, ask him to take lots of shots of people dancing, drinking, chatting and laughing. These fun' style pictures will give a really different twist to your wedding album.
So, in essence, try not to go for anything too rigid when it comes to choosing your photograph style; best to go for a range of styles, themes and colours for an album to remember. And, remember that you will only get one chance to get the photographs right so it's one of those areas that you can't really afford to cut back on.