Jumping off from our much-anticipated post yesterday jam-packed with advice from the area's top wedding photographers on hiring a wedding photographer, we're proud to present the second half. We hope you enjoy reading it half as much as we enjoyed putting it together!

Each photographer handles the rights to their photos differently. Can you explain the differences?

Stevie Trischmann, Stevie T Photography: “Understanding copyrights and what your usage rights are is extremely important when selecting a wedding photographer. In short, photographers own the copyright to any photo they create and unless you have permission from the photographer, you can’t copy, distribute, scan, publicly display (online or otherwise), or manipulate the images to create derivative works.

Most wedding photographers retain the copyright for their images but handle the rights to use their images in a few different ways. Some photographers will not grant any usage rights to the clients for the images. This means they will sell prints but not the digital files. This requires you to purchase from the photographer any additional enlargements, wedding albums, cards, etc. Most photographers provide a DVD will all the high-resolution digital files (as part of the package or for an additional fee) and provide you with a limited usage copyright or personal usage copyright. This means the photographer owns the full copyright but the client can print images for family and friends, create albums or cards with the lab of their choice as well as share their favorites online. This does not, however, permit you to manipulate the images, sell the images for profit or enter the images into contests without the photographer's permission. Some photographers will grant you partial or delayed usage rights of your photos. For example, it can mean that they retain all rights to their work for a year from the wedding date and then grant a personal usage copyright at that point allowing you to print and share your images.

Of those photographers that provide a disc of images, some will resize the files so they may not be printed larger than a specified size (up to an 8x12 for example) so make sure to carefully read their policy on printing and copyright.

Usage rights can be kind of confusing so be sure to ask questions – most photographers will gladly explain their policy to you. This will help both parties involved, so there is no confusion when it comes time print or share your images.”

What’s the most efficient way to get formal photos completed before the reception?

Cassidy DuHon, Cassidy DuHon Wedding Photography: “Formal photos of family and friends should be short and sweet. Focus mostly on the immediately family and the wedding party, and feel free to make a photo list. Give yourself and your guests more time to enjoy the reception by keeping the list light. The formal photos represent only a part of the overall photography, and most weddings allow time for a a few casual snaps of extended family and friends during the reception. A little planning goes a long way! Pick a time and place for formal photos with your photographer, and then send out a quick reminder email a few days before the wedding to all family and friends needed for formal photos. Pick a member of the wedding party to help the photographer identify the folks needed for photos, or to help check off a photo list.

As important as it is to create photos of family and friends, don't forget to leave plenty of time for the wedding's two most important people: the married couple! Schedule a small block of time for your photographer to take photos of just the two of you, alone. It works well to make this moment the first time you see each other during the day before the ceremony, or choose any block of time before the reception begins. Even if it's brief, most couples really love taking a moment away from greeting guests to fully appreciate each other and the beauty of the day, and the photos will show it.”

Jennifer Hughes, Jennifer Hughes Photographer: “Many of our brides & grooms now opt to have all of their ‘posed’ portraits and family photos done before their ceremony. This not only allows them to participate in the full cocktail hour, but it also gives the bride and groom their own private moment to see each other without the entire guest list watching. Doing portraits ahead of time helps the wedding day to flow more naturally so that once the ceremony is over, the party begins!

Another option that works well is to do an abbreviated set of formals on the actual wedding day, the shots that require family members and bridal party, and then do a ‘day after’ session with the bride and groom. This way we can spend more time exclusively with the couple and not be rushed. This ‘day after’ shoot does not necessarily need to be done on the actual day after, but can be done a week or two following the wedding.

Lastly, we use a Wedding Day Checklist to gather information from our couples about the types of photos that are most important to them on their wedding day. We also use this checklist to list all group shots. It helps us to stay organized and focused and to move thru the groups quickly and efficiently. Encouraging our brides and grooms to keep their list short and combine family groups where possible, helps us to spend the least amount of time as possible on posed images and frees us to capture and document the ‘real’ moments of the day!”

What if the couple really doesn’t want to see each other before the ceremony?

Stephen Bobb, Love Life Images: “The best defense against chaotic formal photos is organization! First, provide your photographer with a list of the formal group shots you want. This will let them assess the groupings and plan ahead for the most efficient order, and will help them keep track of which shots they have taken during the group session. Orderly formals can sometimes get derailed when Aunt Carolyn wanders off to the bar or Grandpa Joe leaves the church to beat the rush to the reception, so be sure to let everyone who is in a group shot know ahead of time where they should be and when. Designate someone (preferably someone who knows the important people, but isn't in a lot of shots themselves) to be the ‘wrangler.’ If someone has wandered off, they can run and grab them.

Immediately after the ceremony, your guests will naturally want to come over and congratulate you. If your formal photos are scheduled for then, you should resist the temptation to talk to them. If one person starts talking to you, then everyone will want to come over for a turn. Before you know it, you're halfway through the 25 minutes allocated to group shots and you haven't taken the first shot (and Aunt Carolyn got tired of waiting and just hit the bar again!). It's best if you can plan a route from the recessional to the designated formals location with minimal guest interaction. The pictures will get finished quicker and you'll have even more time to talk to your guests later! (Note: if you are planning to do a receiving line, that's fine too, just let your photographer know ahead of time so they can factor that into the timeline.) Lastly, have fun and don't sweat the little things!”

Abby Jiu, Abby Jiu Photography: “The best advice is to have a good plan. I recommend couples talking with their wedding planner and photographer around one month in advance to discuss the timeline for this part of the day. Key details to discuss: 1. Determine location(s) for photos- Where do they want to do photos for bride and groom, bridal party, family, etc. 2. Number of combinations for family groups - the number of these photos can help gauge how much time to give for this portion. 3. Give family members specific instructions on what location and what time (I suggest adding some padding in here because there is always one late family member!) 4. Have someone that knows the family well as an appointed person to assist in identifying relatives. With a great plan you will have fun getting your photos taken and then get you off to enjoy cocktail hour!”

If a couple is on a specific budget, what are some ways they can get the most for their money?

Maria Vicencio, Maria Vicencio Photography: "The couple should figure out what aspects of their wedding are most important to them. If they'd like full day coverage – from the start of preparations in the morning to the last dance at the reception – they could potentially spend their entire photography budget on this type of package. Another option could be to have only the important parts of the day documented (e.g. one hour before the ceremony up until the cake cutting at the reception) and then add on a wedding album to their package. In this digital age, many couples opt to purchase the digital files with the intention of making their own wedding albums, but sometimes life gets in the way and the photos just sit on discs waiting to be printed. Professionally designed wedding albums from photographers are often times handcrafted with outstanding print and archival quality -- there's nothing better than seeing your beautiful wedding photos displayed this way."

Mike Busada, Mike B Photography: “Many of the couples I meet with are under budget constraints when it comes to choosing a photographer for their wedding day. However, by keeping a few simple options in mind, it is often possible to work with someone great who initially seemed out of reach financially. As someone who had a poor photography experience on my own wedding day, I can tell you for certain that basing your decisions on cost alone is the wrong way to go. You will definitely get what you pay for, and you won’t be happy with the results. I sure wasn’t!

I think the most important thing to consider on your wedding day, from a photography standpoint, is capturing high quality images. Doing this from the start allows more options after your big day has passed, whereas if you start with poor quality images, your options are more limited.

The first thing I would suggest is to find a list of skilled photographers whose work you absolutely love, and whose personalities fit with you, your friends and your family. Finding someone you ‘click’ with makes a big difference in the way the photos turn out. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a photographer or two, start looking at offered services and pricing. Professional photographers are both artists and small business owners, and they spend a lot of money on things you never see, like insurance, employees, advertising, backup camera equipment, computers, file storage, taxes, software, and continuing education. They also spend a lot of time on every wedding, even after the big day has passed: typically 24-36 man hours. By understanding this, you can help maximize your wedding photography budget by helping the photographer you ultimately choose reduce their time and costs.

Many couples I meet with request a second photographer (second shooter) to help cover the day. I encourage this whenever possible, as it leads to much ‘richer’ coverage overall. However, it is generally not necessary to have a second shooter present for the entire day. Ask about having a second shooter there for crunch times only. This is usually the period from one hour prior to the ceremony, through the first hour of the reception (about 3 hours in most cases). You don’t need to spend money on a second shooter to capture photos of people dancing at the reception late in the evening!

Also, get organized! Most couples I meet with have horror stories about being involved in weddings where the photographer spent up to two hours or more on formal photos. It generally shouldn’t be this way. With a little prior planning, this time can be cut to thirty minutes or less. Think about your formals and who should be in them. Make a list of the group shots you’ll need and then assign somebody to review the list and keep those people from wandering off after the ceremony. In almost every wedding there is someone who feels they should have had a bigger role to play- this is the perfect person to recruit for the job. If you do this with a little bit of organization, it can easily save up to an hour of more.

Another way to save some more time – and don’t forget time is money – is to ‘front load’ some of your reception events like the cake cutting, major dances, toasts, bouquet toss, etc… Shifting these items towards the beginning of the reception lets you release your main photographer much earlier, often saving several hours. Make sure your planner knows that you are trying to reduce your coverage time and to work with the photographer on planning key reception events. This way, there are fewer interruptions during the reception and you can just relax, have fun, and let people dance!

Many times couples would like an album included in their package, but don’t have the money up front to commit to buying one. I think albums are a really important aspect of your entire wedding day experience. I would suggest talking to your photographer about adding an option to buy an album, with a package discount, at a later date. This will still give you the option to purchase your dream album with some of those monetary gifts you will probably be receiving on your wedding day! Another option is to add an album to your gift registry.

If you are willing to consider some of the options above, you can easily reduce your overall costs, still allowing for great images that you will treasure for a lifetime. Be sure to have an open mind and to discuss your budgetary concerns with the photographers you are interviewing. I think you will be pleasantly surprised!”

Krista Jones, Krista A. Jones Photography: “There are few things you can really take away from your wedding day. Invitations will be thrown away, your flowers will die and your daughters won't want to wear your wedding dress. Your wedding photos are one of the only things that will last.

Not only is your wedding day the start of a new life with your best friend, it's also probably one only times in your life you'll have so many of your friends and family in the same place. On such an important day, I highly suggest choosing a photographer whose work you absolutely love.

Better photographers tend to come with at a higher price but that doesn't always mean they're out of your budget. Book your photographer's lowest package and put more of your photography hours towards the beginning of your wedding. Most couples don't need their photographer to stay throughout the entire wedding reception. If my couples are on a budget, I encourage them to schedule their first dances, speeches, cake cutting, garter toss and bouquet toss towards the beginning of the reception so I can leave halfway through the reception. Dancing tends to get a little repetitive halfway through the reception - especially because not everyone will dance.

Smaller packages don't always leave enough time for portraits so consider booking a day-after session with your photographer. You could put a little wedding gift money towards the session or even ask for a session as a wedding gift.

The same goes with albums. I know not all of my couples can afford to order albums before their wedding so I allow them to place an order for their album after their wedding day when they tend to have a little influx of money from wedding gifts. If an album is something you would really love but can't afford ahead of time, check to see if your photographer has a similar policy.”

What kind of advice do you give to couples to help them prepare for an engagement session?

Andrea Jae Ackermann & Renata Janes, Andrea & Renata: “Besides some of the more common advice pieces that can be given (don't wear all white or anything too busy, pick a place that's personal, etc.), we encourage our couples to view their engagement session like a fun date. We all know that it can be awkward to be photographed, so embrace the weirdness and have a good time! Enjoy the time you are spending with your fiance and this fun part of the wedding process. Don't be afraid to be silly or make a pose your own; those things are what make your photos yours! We really want our couples to come away from their engagement session feeling like they've had some quality time together amongst a busy season, which may not happen if they are too worried about how they look and what they're doing. Trust your photographer - they want you to look fabulous, too, and will do what they can to make sure that happens! Most of all, determine to have a fun time. Just like your wedding day, the engagement session will go by quickly and is a great opportunity to make wonderful memories.”

Saskia Paulussen, Saskia Paulussen Photography: “Be prepared to have a fun and relaxed experience that will so enhance the wedding photography itself, as it gives the couple and the photographer the chance to get to know each other before the big day. Women especially feel confident on their wedding day that their images will look great, as they have seen the result of working with their photographer during the engagement sitting. Men, who typically are more hesitant about photography, will have more fun on their wedding day as well, as they are more comfortable having spent time with their photographer prior to their wedding day.

Have a change of clothing so that you can have different looks for your engagement sitting such as a more formal and casual outfit. In general, for portrait sittings wear clothing with little to no pattern. Color is not as important, as the image can be converted to black-and-white if needed, but patterns are always a distraction.

Plan on an engagement sitting taking about 1- 1.5 hours so you have time to relax and have fun with it. Choose a setting different from your wedding so that you have a variety of images – for example, if you are getting married in the country, maybe go to an urban setting, and if you are getting married in an urban setting go to a more rustic location for your engagement sitting. Also, if you have the time, choose a different season for your engagement sitting than your wedding season so your foliage is varied.

Bring any props that are important to you as a couple as you will want to commemorate them and an engagement sitting is perfect for that.

Most importantly...have fun! Happy moments are best captured when they are genuine and spontaneous.”

Katya & Arthur Shterenberg, StoryMotion Studios: “An engagement session is a fantastic opportunity for us and the couple to get to know each other before the wedding day, and nothing inspires us more than a couple who trusts us to capture their authentic story and create beautiful art! Good communication is key to trying different things and pushing the creative envelope. If you have any ideas or questions about clothing, props, pets, locations, etc., don’t hesitate to mention them when planning your session. Your photographer may have some advice or ideas for you as well. If you feel tempted to share a photo that you saw in the past and liked, consider the mood of the image, how and why it made you feel that way. However, don’t aim to copy lighting, setting, or a pose. You chose your photographer for a reason, and you want them to create something unique for you rather than copy somebody else!

The location for your session could be anywhere. Don’t just think ‘D.C. monuments during cherry blossoms,’ unless those have some very special meaning for you. We like to work with our couples to find locations that are special to them. During our initial consultations, for example, I always make notes about the couple’s wedding, proposal, personal stories, favorite pastimes, etc. Those notes are of great help when we are brainstorming about picking a location for their engagement session. For example, we had a couple with whom we decided to do the session near Eastern Market, a location that they love spending time at. While walking together between spots, I saw a ‘Used Books’ sign across the street and an adorable little shop with the entire front window lined with rows of books and remembered that the bride told me that she ‘love-love-loved’ to read. How perfect was that!? Needless to say, it was a cozy and meaningful little spot for the couple to get comfortable in front of the camera, even though they didn’t even know it existed when we planned the session!

Engagement portraits don't have to take place locally either. See if your photographer is willing to travel. Would you consider bringing them to some amazing location that holds a special place in your heart? Whenever we travel, we often tell our couples if we might be in a different city or place that might be special to them. A year ago, for example, we photographed an engagement session in NYC, where the couple lived and worked at the time. We created fantastic images at the locations that had special meaning for two of them. The bride even mentioned to me later that she walks by some of those places daily as she goes to work, and it puts a smile on her face to think of the engagement session!”

Why is wedding photography so expensive?

Michael Bennett Kress, Michael Bennett Kress & Associates: “Understanding value for any service requires being educated on a subject and that is subjective for the viewer to understand. And Google, the great equalizer, makes that part difficult. The other problem facing the inexperienced shopper of wedding photography these days is that because camera technology has gotten so much better it is harder to differentiate an experienced pro and someone who has photographed a couple dozen weddings and has a great web site. On a beautiful day with open shade anybody can set the camera to P for ‘professional’ and shoot beautiful pictures. It is when the sun sets during the reception when that inexperience with different lighting situations can be a disaster. In order to truly understand this issue one needs to consider value vs. trust.

If you are going to hire a photographer for one of the most important lifecycle events in your life, are you going trust them enough to feel relaxed knowing that you are in good hands and all you need to do is enjoy your wedding day? This is how I get such great moments captured. You want to know the professional has been there successfully for so many other satisfied couples that you believe in them as much as they believe in you as a couple. This mutual trusting relationship is invaluable on your wedding day because at this point it is too late to worry about anything except enjoying the day and the moments with your new partner. The last thing you want to be thinking about is if this person knows what they are doing and has the proper back up essentials that only a professional would know about. You have to believe in that person to uphold that trust. Just for that reason alone I shoot with a camera that backs up matching data on two separate cards at the same time.

Expertise in any profession requires continual training and investment in your craft. Digital photography profoundly changed the business of photography in many ways, but reinvestment is one of the biggest cost problems with being a photographer. My first digital camera was $7500 and within four years it was only good for a paper weight because the technology changed so fast. Cameras, lenses, camera maintenance, computer equipment, backup data costs, color correction, rent, production costs, insurance, are all part of being in this profession – the list is endless. In addition to all of these fixed costs of running a business, that is nothing compared to the amount of time and related expense that it takes to complete a job. After spending 10 plus hours shooting the wedding, we will then easily spend 20 hours of production time per job.

The art of producing great wedding photography that endures a lifetime is something I feel privileged to do for my clients. The true value of great wedding photography can’t be measured until you don’t have it, and then you understand the real value and what you have lost.”

Jennifer McMenamin, Jennifer McMenamin Photography: “Wedding photography can seem expensive if you simply divide the cost of your package or collection by the number of hours that your photographer is shooting on the day of your wedding. But there is so much more work and expense that goes into producing the beautiful, fully edited and finished set of images that your photographer delivers after your wedding. Least tangibly, you're paying for your photographer's training and experience. Long after your guests stop talking about whatever food you served and you've stash your carefully boxed dress at the back of your closet, your photos will allow you to relive your wedding day -- and experience moments that you didn't even notice at the time. Your wedding album is really the first family heirloom of the new family you create on your wedding day. An experienced professional photographer with the appropriate gear -- and back-up gear -- will know how to capture those moments and create those lasting memories for you despite any difficult lighting conditions, rushed schedules, bad weather, anxiety you might feel in front of the camera and other unexpected obstacles that arise on your wedding day.

More concretely, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that happens before and after your I do’s. Beforehand, there are preparations -- from phone calls to help map out a timeline for the day and discuss any tricky family dynamics to time spent scouting unfamiliar locations. There's travel time -- and in the DC/Baltimore area, any good photographer is going to allot way more time than she thinks she'll need to get through traffic to your wedding. After the big day, photographers must upload to their computer the thousands of images they shot at your wedding, back them up to another storage device, edit them down to presentable number of photos and then process and finish every image that they'll deliver to you. This may involve getting rid of any unwanted color cast -- say, from church light bulbs that leave everything looking a little green -- or converting some of the images into classic black and whites.

After the full collection of images is complete, your photographer exports the finished images to discs or thumbdrives or online proofing sites to deliver them to you. Many photographers prepare blog posts and slideshows and Facebook galleries to share with you. Experienced pros back up your finished wedding images a third time and store them off-site, ensuring that your photos will be safe in the event of a fire or break-in at their studio. If your photography collection includes prints, albums or any other tangible products, there is more work involved in producing each of those. So the number of hours that your photographer devotes to you and your family for your wedding photography is exponentially greater than the number of hours that actually you see her in action at your wedding.”

Robert Isacson, Isacson Studios: “If you look simply at photography as a line item on a laundry list of must-haves for a wedding, the price may seem daunting. However, unlike some wedding purchases, photography by a true professional stands the test of time. It’s an investment. A work of art. The photographer is entrusted with capturing once in a lifetime moments that family and friends will cherish for generations to come. In other words, photography is a pretty big deal.

The mastery of light, composition, and impeccable timing is what makes the work truly exceptional. It’s never as simple as point and click. The photographer is the director, the composer, the producer, and in some cases, the therapist. Beyond all the equipment and technical expertise, it takes tremendous talent and years of experience and dedication in high-pressure situations to beautifully capture those hidden, magical moments where true emotion is revealed.

On the most important day in a couple’s life, why leave it to chance? People who shop by price alone are taking a huge risk. Hiring a skilled photographer is more than the number of images, the size of the prints, or how many hours he or she invests at the wedding or in the studio.

Ultimately, what the client is paying for is the art that is created—not the piece of paper it's printed on or the digital media it's burned to. Remember, anyone with a camera and a computer is not a photographer. When considering its enduring impact, clients who may have once questioned the price of professional photography are usually the same ones who say the work and its sentimental value are absolutely priceless. The point is to never have regrets. Photography is an investment that delivers lifelong happiness. How many other things with a price tag can say the same thing?”

What are your thoughts on the current trends in wedding photography, and where do you see things going?

Michael Bonfigli, Michael Bonfigli Photographer: “Although I am not one to follow trends too much here are some of the things I’ve tried in the past and seem to be catching on with a lot of photographers.

Proposal photography is an idea where the groom-to-be (or sometimes the bride) arranges with the photographer to photograph the moment of marriage proposal. This can be a very fun few hours but make sure it is well planned. Coordinate well with the groom on exactly how he plans to propose, where the photographer will be shooting etc. Also have a plan B just case of bad weather. In my case I ended up shooting in the rain, but it made for an even more dramatic and romantic photo…don’t forget the umbrellas! Also along with this is simply an engagement session where one takes informal portraits of the couple, in a fun natural environment. I really love the idea of photographing a date, at a baseball game, favorite park, or hang out. Mix it up with non-posed and portraits for a complete package. This takes more time than the usual one-hour portrait session but it’s well worth it, a lot of fun and the couple and photographer will get to know each other better before their big day!

Boudoir photography is becoming a popular trend among soon-to-be-brides, who often use the resulting photos as a gift to the future husband. The photos are meant to be classy and tasteful, taking a nod from classic pinup-inspired posters. I have done a few of these and they usually take between two to four hours to get the best shot. Just make sure the bride feels at ease with the poses and that there is an agreement that the photographer may not post the photos online (unless of course she is okay with it).

Another trend is trash- or cherish-the-dress sessions, or as some call it, the day after photo session (other words used are Rock the Frock and Fearless Bride). A trash-the-dress photo shoot isn’t always about destroying a stunning, beautiful and often-times expensive wedding gown. It’s about obtaining stunning, beautiful, and often-times dirty photos of the bride in the wedding gown. The concept sometimes consists of a photo shoot taken in an environment where the dress is literally going to get trashed. Typically taken after the wedding, these photos allow couples to take pictures in water, on sand, in a forest, climbing mountains, or in whatever terrain suits their style and personality. John Michael Cooper, a Las Vegas wedding photographer, is credited with starting the photography trend in 2001.”

Pamela Lepold, Pamela Lepold Photography: “In this day and age we are bombarded by so much to do that multitasking has become our way of life. It is hard to keep things personal when we are overloaded with emails, texts and late hours at work. Fortunately, there is one area that is becoming more and more personalized by the year... weddings. Gone are the days of following traditions as we move on to a new day of celebrating from the heart.

Wedding photography trends are no different. Traditional photographers have been overtaken by the photojournalist who can document the day as it happens without stopping to pose every photograph. Couples like the behind-the-scenes approach to wedding photography and now are seeing a new breed of photojournalism popping up. Couples are looking for a photographer who can not only capture the moment, but also tell the story of their love in those moments. Finding a photographer that understands what makes you click as a couple and takes the time to get to know you makes all the difference in your wedding photographs. Couples want personal, creative and individualized photographs...not just something off a shot list. They want a photographer that can document the day and incorporate creative portraiture that captures their individual personalities in the events of the day. This is the latest trend in photography and the newest craze in photojournalism.

That leads us to the next photography trend... the day after photo session. The once popular ‘Trash the Dress’ session is now an experience for all couples, even those wanting to preserve their gorgeous gown. Couples are opting to have a fun portrait session in their wedding attire the day after the wedding (or within a few weeks of their wedding day). This is a fun way to capture gorgeous portraits without having to worry about keeping the dress wrinkle free. Many couples feel less stressed about their wedding day knowing that they will have more time for portraits during a day after session. Now couples can go to a different location that was too far to venture on the wedding day and they don't have to worry about wedding day weather, knowing that their day after session can be scheduled on a beautiful day.”

Natalie Franke, Natalie Franke Photography: “Wedding photography trends often reflect the stylistic preferences of the modern bride and with a merging of technology and visual culture in the last decade, photographers are beginning to push the limits of their craft to better capture a bride's wedding day!

Stylistically, I have continued to see more photographers approaching a naturally processed, candidly captured, approach to their imagery. A nostalgic appreciation for film photography has created a demand for images that are authentic and reminiscent of the past. I believe that the industry will continue to move away from heavily-processed filters and towards a more classic and timeless approach to image-making.

Brides want their images to reflect the beautiful photographs they see in magazines and on wedding blogs - inspiringly crisp, clean, and downright breathtaking. An increase in bridal participation through websites like Pinterest and Lover.ly has also continued to push photographers creatively to capture weddings in new ways. Modern technology has merged the worlds of weddings and fashion producing an overabundance of inspiring visual imagery for brides and photographers alike.

In the future, I see wedding photographers continuing to improve the quality of their craft as they move to please a new generation of brides with higher expectations and a fashionable taste driven by an increasingly visual culture!”

Deb Lindsey, Deb Lindsey Photography: “I don’t believe that good wedding photography should be trendy. Wedding trends change all the time…this year’s hot colors, cool flowers, pies and cupcakes instead of wedding cake …. All really great wedding photography captures the emotion, tells the story and masters the light. Over time, the photos become the memories.

I admit a bias towards photojournalistic style wedding photography; it’s real, it’s what I do and what I admire. One trend I do see is a nice mix of wedding storytelling with artistic portraiture. It’s not always easy to do given the limited amount of time for couple portraits in the course of a busy wedding day, but it’s definitely worth putting that time aside. Giving your photographer enough time to make beautiful portraits (some posed some with natural interaction) on your wedding day will always pay off. That’s the time when we can put you in fabulous light against a gorgeous background and go to town!

Some wedding photography trends drive many of us crazy — like spot color, odd tilts and photos overprocessed in Photoshop to create a faded vintage effect. Too often, these tricks are aimed at improving images that are subpar. I prefer the use of bold, vibrant color in a way that makes the images pop. A few techniques -- such as tilt-shift (in which the center of the photo is sharp and the edges are blurry) or using a fisheye lens -- can be effective if used sparingly.

But most importantly, good wedding photography stands the test of time. You don’t want to look back on the photos in your wedding album in 10 years and wonder, ‘What were we thinking?’”

We hope you've enjoyed this series on hiring a wedding photographer, we had a lot of fun putting it together. Huge thanks are due to the photographers kind enough to share their wisdom with us!