So you've found a couple photographers for your wedding. What's the next step? Meet with each photographer in person and go over these questions. Trust me they are very important and will help you get a better idea on who will be good for your wedding. Are your personalities a good match? This person will be right next to you for at least eight hours on your wedding day, so you'll want to choose someone you can easily communicate with. After all this is a job interview for them. Treat it as so.
PRINT THIS OUT. Bring it with you when you meet your potential photographers.
Date and Time
• Is my wedding date available?
• Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding? Larger studios will usually set up an interview with you and you'll meet a client relations person. A salesmen or women. NOT THE PHOTOGRAPHER. It's like a blind hire. ASK TO MEET THE PHOTOGRAPHER.
• How many other weddings will you photograph that weekend? The last thing you want is a stressed out overworked hire who will not have time to focus on you.
• Will you have any assistants with you on that day? They should. I can't tell you how many times I've seen photographers pull guests to hold a light or reflector. I've even seen the bride have to go get equipment for the hire. If the answer is no... run!
• How will you (and your assistant) be dressed? Pink shirt, blue tie, white pants, and converse. It is important to let us know what attire you expect. We don't want to stand out.
• How many weddings have you photographed that were my size and style?
• Have you shot at my venue? If not do you plan on visiting it before the day? Scouting is important. I'm sure you don't want to be running from location to location in heels just because the photographer wants to explore.
• Do they have a portfolio of recent weddings shot. From start to finish, that you can browse? Ask to see a full client album. Many photographers will show you only their best few images. It's important to see the rest. As well as to make sure the images you saw were not just a stylized shoot (a staged wedding setting for the purpose of building a portfolio.... aka not a real wedding)
• May I have a list of references?
• What's your wedding-photography style? Traditional, photojournalistic, artistic?
• How would you describe your working style? Are they a ghost? Do they blend into the crowd and get candids, or are they more choreographed and highly structured.
• What makes them different?
• What equipment will they be bringing? Write down the list they give you.... when you get home do some research. Is the equipment considered professional?
• Can I give you a shot list? Might seem strange but some photographers do not want a list of photographs to capture throughout the day. It can be limiting and distracting. Find out what your photographer prefers. Make sure it matches what you'd like
Packages & Payment:
• Are you able to customize your wedding package? Make sure you get what you want!
• How long after the wedding will I get the proofs? Will they be viewable online? On a CD? A thumb drive? 4-8 weeks is average.
• What is the ordering process for photos and albums?
• How long after I order my photos will you receive them?
• Will you give me the digital images, and is there a fee for that? Will the digital images be high-resolution? Will I get a print release?
• When will I receive a written contract? If you don't get a legitimate contract...... run!
• How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due? Do you offer a payment plan?
• Do you have liability insurance? Many venues require all vendors to carry insurance. If your photographer does not have insurance... run! The last thing you want is the bill for camera repair or worse. A medical bill.
• Do you have backup equipment? Things happen. You as the bride and groom should not have to pay for a photographers equipment failing. If they don't have back up equipment they NEED to have a second photographer. if they have none of those... RUN!
• What time will you arrive at the site and for how long will you shoot?
• If my event lasts longer than expected, will you stay? Is there an additional charge? Schedules change. Make sure your photographer can go with the flow. Yeah you may have to pay overtime but at least the moments will be captured.