Getting great wedding images requires so much more than just a good camera. It is imperative to have backup equipment as well, such as second camera, extra lenses, second flash unit and spare batteries charged up and ready to go. All the features of the camera need to be second nature to the photographer. The wedding day can be stressful and hectic, there is no time to figure out how to work your camera.
Besides the equipment, a professional photographer knows what poses to set up and how to best anticipate moments for great candid shots. Diplomatically handling family issues and organizing family members is critical in order to get all the required shots within a limited time period.
The photographer must have an intimate knowledge of the venues being used, particularly the outside areas to be used for the photo session. I always visit the park or out door location just before the wedding even if I have been there before in order to plan which spots might make the most interesting backgrounds and which spots are best suitable for family photos and bridal party photos. You have to keep in mind any mobility issues of family members. It is also advisable to visit the outdoor site at about the same time of day that you will be shooting there to see how the light will work. The photographer must have a plan “B” as well in the event of rain on the wedding day.
Sitting down with the bride and groom and possibly the parents for a final consultation before the wedding is also very important. They can communicate any special requests and can let you know what is being planned for the day. Reviewing the agenda and making sure that enough time is allotted for everything.
When working with a limited budget, consider having the Pro cover the most important parts of the day, such as the ceremony and 1 or 2 hours after the ceremony for family and bridal portraits.