You have seen it on practically every wedding photographer's web page and in bridal magazines. It seems that everyone wants to give the bride and groom advice on how to choose a wedding photographer. Most of what I have read is sound and useful advice, but I thought it might be helpful to write an article that explores this in more detail. So lets look at the mistakes brides and grooms often make in choosing their photographer.

Over the past 25 years as a wedding photographer, I have had the opportunity to speak with well over a thousand engaged couples. I am always surprised by some of the criteria many of them use to choose their wedding photographer. Here are the top 7 mistakes I feel many brides and grooms make when selecting a photographer for their big day:

1. RELYING ON WEDDING VENDOR REFERRALS. This may be the worst mistake of them all. Many wedding vendors trade referrals with other wedding professionals with no real knowledge of the other's work. And yes, many times it's an honest referral based upon working a few weddings with one another. But how much can a DJ, for example, really know about the quality of a wedding photographer's work? Often times this type of referral is just based on the fact that the DJ has worked with the photographer at a number of events and liked him or her. Did the DJ ever see the final result? Did they see the wedding album? Probably not.

2. JUDGING A PHOTOGRAPHER BASED SOLELY ON A "GREATEST HITS" WEDDING ALBUM PORTFOLIO. There is nothing more misleading regarding a photographer's talent than looking at a sample wedding album that is a compilation of their best shots at 50 different weddings. An album such as this may be useful in understanding just how great an image they are capable of producing, but that's really all it tells you. Ask to be shown an album of one entire wedding from start to finish. A good wedding photographer should be able to produce a number of complete albums, which will give you a better idea of how your own wedding will be photographed. Virtually anybody with a decent camera can get one great shot per wedding!