If you want to save money on a photographer, chances are you are going to need to find someone with less experience to take your pictures. This may require a little more effort of your part to be attentive to all the details that make an interesting picture. It is not just the responsibility of your photographer to ensure that your engagement or wedding photos turn out the way you want. Especially if you going with someone who has minimal experience and a low pricetag.
Educate yourself about some basic photography techniques and show examples of what you like to your photographer. Your photographer should know these basics but you should keep them in mind when you explain what you want and when you choose locations. Here are some examples of composition:
1. Fill the Frame: Get in close.
2. Rule of Thirds: Imagine photo divided into 9 equal parts. Place subject/points of interest along these imaginary lines.
3. Leading Lines: Use lines to lead the viewer to your subject
4. Contrast: Use contrast to make your subject stand out
5. Rhythm: Repetition of the subject
6. Framing: Consider natural frames to add depth to the photo and emphasis on your subject
7. Perspective: Experiment with different points of view
Make sure you talk to your photographer about the type of photos you like best. Do you prefer candid shots over posed shots? Do you want lots of pictures of guests or more detailed pictures of the wedding decor? Every once in a while there will be that perfect picture that was serendipitously captured at just the right moment. But more often it will take a little effort and preparation. Practice poses in a mirror or have a practice session with a camera beforehand so you feel comfortable with your posture and putting your best face forward. It may sound silly but unless you are naturally photogenic, it will probably be worth your time.
Even though your photographer should be paying attention to the details, you may also want to beware of telephone poles coming out of your head, unflattering outfits, or awkward couple positions that look painfully uncomfortable. I remember one invitation I received years ago where the couple was sitting on the floor and their legs were strangely intertwined. I couldn’t tell whose legs belonged to who. Remember that you may love an outfit and it may look great in the mirror, but not all outfits photograph the same.
For more pointers, read this post written by a professional photographer who gives some advice for having a good experience. Good Luck!