You’re probably new to this whole wedding thing, and getting everything just right can seem overwhelming. One of the crucial aspects of any great wedding is the photography. After all, memories can fade with time, but the photographs will memorialize this special day forever.
Unfortunately, many new couples are not thorough enough in the searching, screening and hiring of their photographer. Not knowing what to look for and what questions to ask can lead to misunderstandings, hidden costs and poor quality work.
Not to fear; this quick guide will provide you with the most important questions to ask when considering and hiring a wedding photographer. Getting it wrong can lead to loads of trouble, but getting it right can mean your wedding is captured in the most stunning and meaningful ways imaginable.
Do you have our date available?
If the answer to this is “no,” there are no further questions necessary. However, if this photographer is absolutely perfect for you, and you are in the beginning stages of planning, you can be flexible with your date to get the right photog.
What is your style of photography?
This should be established at the very beginning of the discussion. Familiarize yourself with a few basic styles of photography (e.g. artistic, traditional, portrait, photojournalistic) and decide how you would like your ceremony to be captured. You should choose which style is right for you and then begin your photographer search based on that.
Can I see a full wedding album that you shot?
For obvious reasons, photographers will only display their best work in their portfolios and websites. However, you will want to make sure that you can see at least one full album to make sure that all of the work matches up with what is displayed. If it looks like what you would want from your own wedding album, you can move forward.
When can we meet?
It is absolutely crucial that you meet your photographer in person before you make any plans. You will be spending your entire wedding day with this person, and you need someone with whom you can be comfortable and find a certain chemistry.
How many weddings do you work in a year?
This question should help you establish how experienced your potential photographer is. Some people only work part-time, so while they may have “five years of experience,” they only work 15 events per year. You also don’t want someone who works 350 events a year, since this person will be overworked and probably provide poor quality work.
Have you ever shot my venue or one similar?
An established wedding photographer in your area should be familiar with the popular venues in said area. This way, they are familiar with all the lighting, backdrops and any other relevant issues for photographing the space.
You can normally find out if the photographer is well-established with a simple web search. For instance, if your wedding is in Jersey Shore, you would want a photographer who is on the first Google page for “NJ wedding photographer.”
What is included in my package?
Make sure that you understand the pricing and everything that comes with your specific wedding package. See if prints, proofs and albums are included in the price as well as an engagement shoot and any other necessities.
Can I see a sample contract?
If the photographer doesn’t work with a contract, that should be a deal breaker. Make sure you get a contract that establishes who owns the rights to the photos, any termination resolution procedures, any additional fees and all other relevant information.