How to choose a photographer?
Of course, your introduction to a photographer begins with evaluating their portfolio, which is probably the most important step in finding a professional. It's understandable that not everyone is an expert and determining the level of skill is not easy, but you're choosing a photographer for yourself, so your own taste is the main criterion. And perception is based on simple parameters: brightness, contrast, clarity, color saturation, and it's essential that the focus is on people, because there are all kinds of "photographers" out there... =) A small caveat: a lot depends on the screen you're viewing the photos on... Perhaps the photographer can show you the photos on a good screen or in printed form during the meeting.
It's also important to note that many photographers use "toning" to speed up processing. It looks stylish, but in reality, it's shoddy work. Toned photos may look fashionable, but they lose contrast, detail, and natural hues. If you need to make a stylish photo "on Instagram," you can easily tone it yourself in the same Instagram. But if a photographer gives you such a photo, you'll never be able to return it to its classic look.
Like all advanced photographers, I recommend striving for classic: the picture is sufficiently contrasting, without highlights and shadows, with moderate color saturation. Also, pay attention to how the photographer shoots in different conditions, whether it's outdoors or indoors, in different weather conditions and at different times of the day.
So, you've looked at the portfolio and decided to get to know its author. First of all, it's logical to find out if they're available on the day of your wedding. Then, we find out the approximate price. Most likely, you've already decided how much you're willing to spend on a photographer. If the price and portfolio suit you, then it's time to arrange a meeting. There are many things to discuss, and we'll talk about them further...
Just making a phone call is not enough - you're not ordering sushi! You will need a personal meeting with the photographer. This person should be attractive, well-groomed, and intelligent, as they will be among your guests and family during this very personal moment. Don't rush to meet! Set aside some time to discuss the wedding day in a calm atmosphere over a cup of aromatic tea. It's preferable to meet during the day when it's still light outside. The photographer will bring photos on a tablet or in a wedding book. Let the photographer know which photos are important to you on your wedding day or show them pre-prepared photos on your phone that you like (for example, posed shots, close-ups, photos with friends or family, etc.).
It's difficult to get an exact price over the phone. The photographer needs to understand what you specifically want and the scope of the work. Different photographers have different rates. Some charge hourly, while others offer package deals. It's best to book a photographer in advance, as you will not only be sure that you won't be left without a photographer, but there may also be bonuses. In the end, you'll get wonderful photos that you'll be happy to put in your wedding album or photo book. Some photographers offer discounts on pre-wedding shoots - so-called "Love-Story" shoots. By the way, photos from a "love story" can be shown to guests during the banquet in the form of a slideshow or photo film.
Discussing the photo seeeion
Discuss the locations, poses, and timing of the shoot in advance with your photographer. If you have ideas for wedding photos, share them with your photographer. You can also arrange for a Love-Story shoot to get to know your future photographer better and to get even better results during the wedding walk. It's also important to discuss group portraits: there are often nuances with the arrangement of groups (for example, someone doesn't want to stand next to a certain person in the photo). Photographers usually choose the photos for their own processing, and there is also something to discuss here (perhaps you want more black and white photos, or you prefer portraits in full or you prefer reportage shooting rather than posed).
After the wedding, the photographer will give you a certain number of best printed photos and a flash drive with the shots, and you can also order a photo book. If you want to give several photo disks to your close ones, tell the photographer about it. It is very important to remember that the quality is more important than the quantity. Professional wedding photographers often choose 1000 frames out of 3000 taken shots in total, and only 50-100 photos for the final photo series that will delight you more than a hundred million photos from less successful photographers. The photos should be of such quality that they can be placed in a photo book and printed on canvas.
Be prepared that if you ask not to post the photos on the internet, the price of the same shooting may increase, as these photos could serve as advertising for your photographer.