We’ve talked a little bit in the past of how hard it can be for couples to pick a wedding photographer. After all, you’re not experts in photography and you’ve never planned a wedding before so how do you know what you are getting and what to ask a photographer before you hire them. So we put together a list of 10 things you should ask or need to know from your wedding photographer before you hire them. We hope it serves as a useful guide.
10. What style do you shoot? You will hear words like photojournalism-style and stuff like that. Simply, you should expect your photographer to be comfortable in all styles because a wedding is not paint by numbers. There are posed portraits that need to be taken and there are candids that you want captured. You want to make sure you are comfortable that they can capture all of it.
9. Do you put time limits on the day? A lot of photographers base their pricing on number of hours worked. You can hire someone for eight hours or four or 12. Some – like us – don’t use time limits because we believe the day should unfold how you envision it and not according to a schedule set by a photographer. But that choice is up to you so make sure to ask.
8. Who will shoot the wedding? Believe it or not sometimes it’s not the photographer you met. Some use associate photographers and charge a lower price. Be sure you know who you are getting.
7. Ask for a contract. Your wedding photography is not cheap. There should be a contract that lays out everyone’s responsibilities, including protections for you. In our case, our contract includes a timeline of when you can expect your images to be delivered. There are too many horror stories of brides waiting months or even years to get their stuff. Ridiculous!
6. Do you have insurance? Reputable and responsible businesses carry insurance.
5. Will you get the full-resolution images. Some photographers provide them as part of the initial investment and some charge extra for those images. Neither is wrong but just make sure you know exactly what you will get for your money.
4. Ask to see examples of work. Any good wedding photographer should come prepared with a slideshow or prints and albums for you to see during your first meeting. It allows you to see their style and see if it matches what you want from your photos.
3. Ask how they have confronted a difficult situation. Every single wedding has a surprise that no one has planned for. It just happens. I have yet to see one where it doesn’t, so find out how your photographer reacts to a changing environment. Good ones use it to their advantage to get unique images. Bad ones don’t.
2. Ask if they have any specials or ways to help with the cost. Believe it or not, we understand how expensive weddings can be. It doesn’t mean asking someone to do it cheaper but asking if there are any sales on prints or albums or other ways to help.
1. The last one is not really a question but a little bit of advice. Pay attention to how you get along with the photographer you are interviewing. You will spend an inordinate amount of time with them in a somewhat stressful situation. Are you comfortable with them. Do you feel like you can trust them. If the answer is yes, you’ve probably found your photographer.
Good luck to all of you planning weddings. Please let us know if there is anything we can do.