Photography is at the top of most couples’ wedding planning list. The reason behind this is very simple, there is a lot at stake when choosing the photographer for your wedding. The pictures will become, after all, one of your most treasured mementos…
Finding and investing in the right photographer for your wedding day is paramount in making sure your pictures look just right. So, how can you make sure that you are hiring the right person? Ask your photographer the right questions.
For starters, take a cursory look at wedding photography styles and then look for professional wedding photographers. Once you narrow it down to a couple of potential options within your budget, take your questionnaire with you and see how it goes.
What is their previous experience?
Be sure to check their website to see samples of their work, check testimonials and be very straightforward when asking them how many weddings they have shot or how many do they usually shoot per year. You want someone that is experienced and that can deliver under pressure. If there is bad lighting at your wedding, will they be able to cope and still deliver great pictures? How do they manage if it rains? Being prepared for bad scenarios will guarantee that if and when that time comes, you won’t have to stress about it.
Get to know them personally.
Nobody asks to become best friends, however it helps to connect and relax when you know person a little. Ask them about their hobbies or why they got into wedding photography or any previous awkward wedding experiences. It definitely would help and simply more fun to have around a buddy than ‘sir’.
Ask them to show how full wedding day gallery looks like.
Most of the pictures you will see on the website, instagram or anywhere else are the selected/best ones among many others. Naturally photographers would like to showcase their best work and so it is very important to see how they photograph the whole day. How do they photograph the details, how to they approach group and family portraits, or even how they take pictures of people going crazy on the dance floor.
Will they be shooting alone or with assistant?
Mostly the option is stated in the package, however some photographers always shoot with assistant, so they don’t specify this in the packages.
What is important to you?
Don’t be scared to ask photographer to do a specific shot or remind them anything that they might miss. For most of us its not a first rodeo, so we know generally what moments are important and where to be in order to capture them, however we don’t know you personally yet, for some details are important, for some crying aunties, for some speeches. Share your view and taste, what you like and what are you looking for.
What do they include in their average package?
When comparing fees you should have a detailed description of what your deliverables will be: prints, albums, online gallery, proofs and editing. Sometimes photographers include only web size images, which are great for digital use, but if you would like to print, you would need a bit better quality and so you photographer can charge extra for that.
Another important point is coverage: the amount of time you actually get and what is the charge for overtime. As the wedding day unfolds, times in the schedule are often adjusted towards the reception and so, first dance might be at 10pm rather than 9pm as you initially planned.
What kind of backup plan do they have?
You have chosen a great photographer and have achieved good communication, everything is planned down to the second but, things can still happen to derail the best-laid plans. So, do they have backup photographers in case they are sick or have a problem? If you have decided on a studio, chances are they have a team available, but if it is a solo professional make sure they have a colleague that you approve of to help save the day.
How the payment works?
Ask them how much is deposit and when it has to be payed, same for the rest of the amount. Deposits are payed to confirm and secure the day, photographer needs to reserve that day, say no to any other inquiries and start preparations. Deposits are usually non-refundable. Mostly deposits are 15-30% and the rest of the amount to be transferred at least a week before the wedding day. Some photographers split in half.
How long after the wedding will it take to see the photos?
Of course, you will want your photos as soon as possible. However, if you and your photographer have a designated date or set period of time, you will be able to better manage your anxiety and hold your photographer accountable in case of any delays.
One last bit of advice, get to know your photographer as much as possible. You will most likely be spending a great deal of time with them during your wedding day, especially if you are taking pictures while you dress up or doing a photoshoot before the event itself. Communicating and planning ahead will be fundamental in achieving the best possible results and having a great time doing it.