You need a solid portfolio. If you haven’t done enough weddings yet, post your other photos too. Post a variety of styles. I have seen websites where there are hundreds of portraits, a couple of candid shots, and nothing else. That is fine if you are really good with portraits and are trying to target a specific group of clienteles who love portraits. But in general most people want to see that you can be versatile. In general, I looked for:
1. Documentary: I wanted somebody who could tell a story. Sometimes, it was a series of images, sometimes it was a specific moment well-captured, but it was important to me that the images made sense from a story POV. This does not have to be a wedding.
2. Skills: Both camera skills and editing skills. Oh, and it’s really easy to tell when somebody lacks one skill or the other. Some images are so heavily edited because they weren’t well-shot to begin with. Some have lots of potential but lack significant post-production work.
3. Originality: What is it that I can get from hiring you that I can’t from hiring all the other photographers out there? What is your style specifically that set YOU apart from everyone else? And I shouldn’t even have to ask the questions “what is it that you can do that my friend with a digital SLR can’t?” because if I do, then there is no reason why I would hire you.
4. Personality: It reflects through the way you design your website, the music you choose for your website, the way you write your blog, the way you put together your slideshow. If a website is well-designed, you get a pretty good feel of who the photographer is behind the images. The meeting in person of course helps with that also. Everyone wants to be comfortable around their photographer on their wedding day.
And yes, the design of the websites and things like that helps too. If I have a hard time navigating your website, or if I can’t agree with your sense of aesthetics there, I may just cut my losses.
I absolutely LOVE my photographer. She was, besides from the husband of course :-), my favorite part of the entire wedding :-).
Good luck!!!! I think what you are trying to do is so much fun and I wish you all the best!!