This may seem a little old fashioned but you want your photographer to provide you with proofs before you sign off on your photos. A proof is simply a preview of your photos, and is usually color and exposure corrected, but does not have a final edit. The proofs allow you to select your favorite images, rather than having your photographer selecting his or hers. Too often, you get what you get and have little to no say in the images that are delivered. The difference between two photos can be subtle, but something as simple as the curve of a smile can determine whether or not you like the photo. While photographers are looking for the best facial expressions, all too often they are focused more on the overall image quality (focus, exposure, warmth, tone) and not on what makes a photo great. I take my kids to see Santa at the Northpark Mall in Dallas every year. The photographer who has that gig, Marc Robins Photography, does a great job of providing options for his clients with proofs. Often, the photographer will snap 6 to 10 frames while the kids are up with Mr. C. You get to review the images and choose the ones you like. They are all the same as far as the technical aspects of the photographs. The decision comes down to the aesthetics, the appeal of facial expressions, body positions, eye contact with Santa and the like. The ability to choose the photos you like is key.
I provide a proofing gallery to all of my clients. Typically, clients review the proofs online, mark their favorites, they I make a final pass on the photos and deliver them. Sometimes, I sit down with my clients and review the photos together. (While the days of hard copy proofs are nearly gone, I still provide those on request.) If your photographer is not proofing with you, ask that they do. You will be happier with your photos.