Here are 15 questions to ask your photographer:
1. General – What You Need to Know
Wedding Photography is no easy subject and interviewing potential wedding photographers can be a daunting task.
2. What is your primary style?
This should be your first and foremost question as this is the style of photography that interests you. Do you like a classic look? Timeless? Journalistic? Casual? Formal?….. you get the gist.
3. How many weddings have you shot, and have you shot ones similar to mine?
This is a great question to get an idea of how much experience your photographer has in general. Years are not a good gauge of experience since some wedding photographers may work part time, and only shoot five weddings a year on weekends. Thus, maybe they have five years of experience, but they have only shot 25 weddings.
4. How many times have you worked specifically as a wedding photographer?
This question is designed to find out if the photographers are specialized in wedding photography or they are “one-stop-shop-photographers.” More specifically, you would be better off looking for a photographer that specializes, not only in wedding photography but the style of wedding photography.
5. How many other events will you photograph that weekend?
Larger studios with multiple master photographers will often double and even triple book dates since we have the resources. However, smaller studios may plan multiple weddings on a weekend without having the resources. Imagine a studio with a single wedding photographer shooting 2-3 weddings on a weekend, the attention to the detail, and to the client, the service could suffer in these circumstances.
6. Will a contract of the services be provided? If so, can I get a copy?
There are a lot of studios that don’t create contracts for their wedding photography clients. You should require a contract from your photographer that details what services they will be providing, pricing, termination resolution terms, etc. A contract is created for your protection, and for the wedding photographer’s protection. It is best to hire a photographer that will build a contract with you, and be wary of photographers that “don’t typically create contracts for clients.”
7. What happens if the photographer is ill?
While it is unlikely that the photographer happens to get ill on your wedding day, there is still a chance. It is crucial that the photography studio does something to take care of the situation in case of illness.
8. Do you have insurance?
Professional wedding photographers should have the proper insurance for their business. Insurance protects the photographer against equipment theft, but more importantly, it provides liability protection in case Great Aunt Sophie trips over the photographer’s bag and breaks her leg. If a wedding photographer does not have insurance, chances are they are new to the industry or are not taking their business seriously.
9. Does the package I am interested in include an assistant?
If your wedding has 50 or more guests, you should make sure you step up to a package that has an assistant photographer. Aside from the wedding site, there are many moments in which one single photographer cannot cover completely alone. There is no way to capture the first kiss, and at the same time, turn around and get the tear in mother’s eye.
10. Does your studio allow me to choose a certain style of post production?
Another factor in how your pictures will look is the style of post production that the studio employs. That is to say, they do post-produce your images. Be extremely careful, as many studios don’t post-produce your images, rather they give them to you unfinished and straight from the camera. In this situation, you are not receiving a finished and professional product.
11. Will you color correct my images?
The answer is yes.
12. What kind of equipment do you use? Do you have backups?
While wedding photographers don’t necessarily need the best of the best, it is important to have a good set of equipment. Make sure your photographer has backups. Nothing would be worse than for the photographer to miss half of your weddings because his camera or lens broke, and he didn’t have a spare.
13. Should my event last longer than scheduled, will you stay? Is there an extra charge?
Knowing up front the photographer’s policy on overages is critical. You don’t want to be surprised when your wedding photographer asks for an additional $1,000 before they release your pictures to you. Even worse, you don’t want your wedding photographer to just pack up and leave when their time is up.
14. What attire will the photographer and their assistants wear?
Even though the wedding photographers are a big part of the wedding day, it’s important that they are not distractions. As such, it’s important for the photographer to blend in as much as possible. Furthermore, for religious or cultural ceremonies, there may be certain colors that are considered taboo. Make sure your photographers will be dressed appropriately for the occasion.
15. How long after the event will the proofs, album, etc be ready?
Each wedding photography studio varies in the time it takes to produce and deliver your pictures. Studios that do not do any post production or color correction may try to entice you by saying your photos will be ready within the week, or even the next day. However, most studios that develop and produce their images will take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months.