Step 1: Find your Style
Documentary/Photo Journalistic/Candid: Instead of a series of posed photos, these are candid or spontaneous pictures (read: not styled) of people, decor and the action.
Portraiture: If you prefer classic portraits (think: your parents' wedding album), go with a traditional photographer who specializes in portraiture.
Fine Art: Similar to documentary photography, this style gives the shooter greater artistic license to infuse their particular point of view and style into your photographs.
Edgy-Bold: This style of photography, an offshoot of fine art, is marked by outside-the-box, tilted angles (called “Dutch angles") and unconventional framing.
Step 2: Do Your Homework
Carefully review potential photographers' websites and blogs to check out photos of other weddings they've shot, which will give you an idea of their style. The design of the website may also give you clues about the photographer's personality and sensibility. Check out their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages too. Read their client Reviews on google, Wedding websites.
Step 3: Set Up Interviews,Meet-In Person
Meet your potential photographers in person. Call to see if they're available for your wedding date. Set up in-person meetings to look at more of their work. Be prepared to talk about your venue, your wedding style and what you envision for your photos.
Step 4: See a Full Wedding Album
For good reason, photographers show prospective clients a portfolio of their best pictures, all from different weddings, so you're seeing the best of the best. If you see that the full gallery photos are just about as good as the ones chosen in the highlight gallery (that is, they're all so good it's impossible to choose!), you're on the right track.
Step 5: Review Albums, Products with a Critical Eye
When reviewing a photographer's album, look for the key moments you want captured. It's also very important that you detect sensitivity in capturing people's emotions; make sure the photographer's subjects look relaxed, not like deer caught in headlights. While you two are, of course, important, you want to see smiling shots of your friends too.
Step 6: Make Sure Your Personalities Match
Is the photographer excited by your vision when you describe it? To get the best photos, your photographer needs to be assertive enough to seek out great moments. They should ask lots of questions and be a good listener.
Step 7: Compare Packages
You won't be able to nail down an exact dollar amount until you're sure of what you want, how many albums you need and where your photographer is based, and packages range from $2,500 all the way up to $15,000-plus on the higher end of the spectrum.
Step 8: Confirm Your Shooter(s)
Make sure the shooter on the Wedding day is the one you met.Many larger photo studios have more than one photographer on staff, and unless you specify it in your contract, the lead photographer may not be the one shooting your day.
Step 9: Ask About Your Rights
Find out if you get the print rights or the Photographer retains them. Most contracts dictate that the photographers retain the print rights.
Step 10: Get the Postproduction Details, delivery Timelines.
How many images should I expect? Will they be high resolution or low resolution? Will the proofs I see be the retouched versions? Do i get a DVD, Flash Drive? How soon are the final Edited images, Album delivered?