Deciding that you want formal portraits taken at your wedding is the first step in planning. Begin at least six months in advance by gathering a list of a few photographers recommended by friends and family who have a sense of your tastes and personality. Photographers and satisfied clients agree that word of mouth is the most effective means of finding a good match. Interview at least two or three photographers, paying close attention to both the person and the work. In the sample albums that are presented for your review, consider the formal shots carefully. Look not only for pretty images that seem technically competent (for example, not too light or too dark), but also consider whether the people seem to be having fun. The photographic session is just as much a part of your wedding as the first dance, and it should be nearly as enjoyable for you and your guests. If smiles are in the eyes as well as on the faces of the people in a photographer's portfolio, you can be somewhat assured that their experiences were painless.
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