I'm now a married Wedding Photographer. Feels different, it really does. I can say I've been through the fires and have learned about the "other side". Which I will now share with you.
Now, after being a bride, I see with new eyes some more commandments your photographer should follow. Being on both sides of the lens, I have more information to help you pay attention to when choosing a photographer. This comes directly from my own experiences and though there things should fall under "common sense" for a photographer. Never assume and make sure your photographer's personality harbors these important but often overlooked Wedding Photographer Commandments:
1. Thou shall not be a "Photo Nazi" - Its one thing to want to get the shot for the couple. After all, it's your job and they are paying you to do it. However, making the shoot twice as long and grueling just to get 12,000 shots is bound to make the couple tired, annoyed and confused. None of these emotions are good for the photos. Keep the shots quick and organized and when you don't need them, LET THEM GO! I felt like I couldn't meet and greet my family and friends because the shoot took too long (even though I organized a schedule to prevent it--the photographer ended up blowing right through it) The couple has more to do that day than take photos. Let them mingle and interact and you'll get great memories captured. No one likes being dragged around everywhere for hours getting your perfect shot. Be confident, take a couple of shots and move on. If the person doesn't feel comfortable doing your idea, don't do it. The apprehension will show in your images!
2. Thou shall not invade the boundaries of subjects - Make sure you have a private talk with the bride and find her comfort zones...and kindly abide by them!
3. Thou shall not turn an event into a fashion shoot - I believe its an honor to be chosen to cover a couple's wedding or a quinceanera. It's a beautiful event and there are lots of great memories to capture. A couple doesn't want to ever get a feeling you are putting them through the ringer for images just for your portfolio. Your portfolio comes last to what your priorities are that day. It's a bit backwards when you think of it. If you keep your people calm and happy, they will be more compliant, more natural. You will capture more beautiful images and your portfolio will look amazing.
4. Thou shall not annoy bride and groom - I always believed that a wedding photographer should rarely be seen nor heard. This allows you to move freely around and take those great candid shots that every one loves. Being commanding, loud or snide is not cool, nor is it what clients paid you for. Speak when needed and ease up on the art "direction" (see Commandment #1)
5. Thou shall be quick, concise and friendly. My gigs are often a span of 8 hours. That's a long time. Imagine all the shots you can take in 30 minutes--a lot. That's why it's important for you to keep the shoot and groupings at an event to a minimum. You are paid to endure a long day of shooting --your couples are not. Be organized, and keep things fluid. Stay patient and friendly. Your client always comes first!
6. Thou shall take a mixture of candid and posed pictures - Everyone tends to like candid images, you know why? Because they seem more natural. Posed images can be awkward and stressful of couples. Be sure to mix up the posed and candid images so folks won't feel so stressed out and feel like a puppet.
Despite all of this, my experience wasn't awful. However, I strive for excellence for my clients and I want others to be privy to this. Make sure you interview your photographer thoroughly and discuss these commandments with them. It could make a world of difference!