Getting what you want from your photographer and photos really starts months before your wedding day arrives, with choosing the style of photography that appeals to you most. Each photographer will have their own style of photography, ranging from traditional, portraiture, all the way to true photojournalism. Making sure you interview and meet with your potential photographer, looking at their portfolios, and asking the right questions will all ensure you end up with the style of photography you're looking for.
A quick note on this- "candid" photos are not the same as photojournalistic photos. A candid shot is simply a picture taken without being posed, oftentimes the subject or subjects don't even know the photo is being taken until the flash goes off. Photojournalism, although close in the fact that there is very little "posing", is different because it will always tell a story of photos. Your wedding album resembles a silent documentary. Many brides are confused or don't realize there is a difference, so they may use the wrong terms or actually ask for the wrong style of photography without knowing it.
Now that your photographer is chosen, and your wedding is coming up around the corner, it's time to make sure that you effectively communicate your wishes for your wedding day photos. Even the most amazing photographers can't read your mind, and if you have something specific you're wanting, you need to relay that to the photographer. Some tips I always give my brides:
Give a list of Must Take Shots, but also let your photographer do their job
Oftentimes a bride will present a two page list of must take photos (i.e. Bride With Flower Girl. Bride with Best Friend. Etc.). This is a problem, because you've now added even more time to your photography allotment on your wedding day. While most photographers are very good about getting the family photos done quickly, it can still take up a good portion of your photo time if you let it get out of control. You're also micromanaging your photographer in a way, which has a high probability of resulting in a wedding album you're less than thrilled about.
I advise my brides to make a list of only key family members- usually immediate family, and close extended family (Grandma, Aunt Nancy, Etc.). Your bridal party is always a given, so you don't need to write them on your list, and for anyone else you were hoping to have a picture with, there is always time after the formal pictures and events are over to take care of these photos. This will give your photographer their names, and it keeps the list relatively small and easy to manage on an already hectic day. This also ensures that the photographer has time to put their creative talents to use- after all that is why you hired them right?
Be Sure to Point Out The Details
Most photographers are very good about documenting the details that went into your wedding- the centerpieces, favors, etc. But if there is a particular detail you want noted, you need to tell your photographer.
Wearing your Great-Great Grandmother's brooch? Have a special sentiment or honor written in your program? Add these details to your Must Take Shots list, or have your wedding planner bring these items to the photographer's attention.
These are just some of the most common miscommunication issues I hear about when clients get their wedding day album back. Knowing what questions to ask both when hiring potential photographers, and when finalizing the details right before your wedding will be sure to produce an album you'll coo over.