The time as finally come – you are ready to pick your wedding photographer! Such an exciting time; however, as cameras become more and more affordable, there are photographers popping up all over the place claiming to be professionals – then making it harder to find the best one for you.
DISCLAIMER: As you read this article, keep in mind I am merely suggesting some of the most important things to bring up in conversation with your photographer. There’s much more to discuss with your photographer that we would be more than happy to discuss with you!
This one is of utmost importance and that is why I wanted to make it number 1 on the list. While you may stumble across some talented photographers in your search, it is very important that they have some experience in wedding photography. Your wedding day is very important and having a photographer that understands the flow and will be able to take charge when needed will allow you to enjoy your day as you should.
THINGS TO ASK: How long have you been doing wedding photography? How many weddings?
2) Do you have a contract?
Contracts are so important! If your photographer does not have a contract, there is nothing legally binding them to uphold their end of the deal. They should have a contract laying out price, schedule, location, etc.
3) What happens if you get sick on my wedding day?
This one is pretty obvious. Does your photographer have someone in place in case they cannot show up? Nothing sucks more than having a wedding and no one to capture it…unless of course you do not mind an entire wedding album of filtered Instagram photos.
4) Do you carry back up equipment?
Hiring a photographer that does not carry back up equipment is like a skydiver that does not have an emergency parachute release. Well, maybe it is not as life-or-death, but it is just as important! Nothing is worse that you be in the middle of pictures right before the ceremony and the photographer says, “Oh crap! My camera stopped working. Looks like I cannot finish your wedding. Have a good honeymoon!”
5) Do you have insurance?
Now insurance is a little like the back up equipment; it is more of a necessary precaution for both you and the photographer. You can be at ease that if one of your guests (for whatever reason) breaks or steals the photographer’s equipment, you will not be liable for replacement. And it covers the photographer if their equipment (for whatever reason) were to hurt one of your guests or you, insurance will cover the hospital bills.
6) Will you be working with an assistant?
I personally have found that working with an assistant allows me to take a little edge off the technicals and focus more on the creative aspect. Although this is not a necessity, it typically means the photographer will be able to focus on what is most important.
7) Are there any local wedding vendors you would recommend?
If you have not booked everything you need for your wedding (cake, DJ, venue, etc.), ask the photographer if they would recommend anyone. Having shot so many weddings, I have worked with a very large number of vendors. If you want recommendations, I can tell you who I would recommend and, also, who I wouldn’t. See if your photographer has a “Preferred Vendors” list they can share with you.
Check out my Preferred Vendor List.
8) Do you retouch my images?
This one is important because there are photographers out there that just deliver your images straight out of camera and, on the opposite side, there are photographers that edit your photos beyond humanly natural. Now, if you enjoy either of those styles, that is completely fine, but it is important to know what to expect. Look through the photographer’s portfolio and see if you can find consistency with their editing style.
9) How soon will I get my images?
Your photographer (if they have experience) should have a general idea of how long it takes to deliver your wedding images. I tell my clients it takes about 6 weeks to deliver the final images on a USB and publish their premium online gallery.
So there it is: 9 questions you should ask your wedding photographer. These are some of the questions I believe are most important to discuss. Do not be afraid to be completely open about your expectations and hesitations. Wedding photographers are here to serve you and make your wedding day spectacular. Do not waste time on photographers that cannot answer these questions honestly.
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