Wedding Photography is no easy subject and speaking to potential wedding photographers can be quite daunting, especially if you haven’t spoken to one before and don’t really know what to ask.
Whilst this list gives you a reference of what questions to ask, you may benefit by reading my other blog “Top Tips to finding your perfect Wedding Photographer” to at least give you a chance of finding the right photographer for you to meet and speak to.
1. What is your primary style?
Although you should have already researched the photographer you are meeting, you should have an idea of their photography style. However looking at a website and portfolio will give you an idea of the style of photography they shoot, it doesn’t necessarily give you an idea of how they work to achieve that style.
For example, if you are seeking a photojournalism, you are looking for someone who shoots this way, candid, in the moment and in a non-obstrusive. You see the work of the photographer and love it, but don’t realise it was staged to look that way. So its important you fully understand their style and how they work to get it.
2. How do you manage a wedding?
All weddings are different. There are big weddings, small weddings, different requirements, times and venues restrictions, the list goes on. Speak to your photographer to make sure they understand what you want your wedding to be like and if they can handle your requirements. I had another client who attended her friends wedding and the photographer blended into the background. There was 200 plus guests awaiting instructions on the formal group photo and didn’t know what they were doing. 20 minutes later with people just standing around in the blistering summer heat, one of the groomsmen had to take control and organise the shot as people were complaining and elderly grandparents suffering. Again if this is something important to you, ask them how they handle these situations and if they take control.
3. How many times have you worked specifically as a wedding photographer?
This question is designed to find out if the photographer is specialised in wedding photography or they are a “jack of all trades photographer(s).” More specifically, you would be better off looking for a photographer that specialises in weddings. Please have a read of my other blog “Why hire a Professional Photographer” to get a full understanding of why this is important.
4. Will a contract of the services be provided? If so, can I get a copy?
There are a lot of people that don’t provide contracts for their wedding photography clients, however this is a risk. A contract is created for your protection, and for the wedding photographer’s protection. You should require a contract from your photographer outlining the details what services they will be providing, pricing, termination resolution terms, etc. 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.”
5. 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 photographer does something to take care of the situation in case of illness. Ask about options should this happen and make sure you have this stipulated in the contract.
6. Do you have insurance?
Professional wedding photographers should have the proper insurance for their business. Insurance protects the photographer against equipment theft and lost data, but more importantly, it provides liability protection in case of injury caused by the photographer or their equipment. If a wedding photographer does not have insurance, chances are they are new to the industry or are not taking their business seriously. It is also very important as most venues will require all suppliers to have insurance protection.
7. What kind of equipment do you use? Do you have backups?
Whilst wedding photographers don’t necessarily need the best of the best, it is important to have a good set of equipment that can handle a lot of different situations and back ups equipment. 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.
8. Should my wedding 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 money 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 missing those important moments that means so much to you.
9. 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 respectful and dress appropriately. I have seen photographers turn up in shorts, jeans, trainers and T-Shirts branding themselves and their business like it doesn’t matter. If this is something that is important to you (and it should be) make sure you make it clear to them.
10. How long after the wedding will the photos, album, etc be ready?
Each wedding photographer varies in the time it takes to produce and deliver your pictures. On average it can take up to 6 weeks for your images to be post processed. I have heard horror stories from clients i have met who have told me their friends waited a year for their photos to be handed over. Albums will take longer as they get edited by your photographer and outsourced to the print company. The times on these will vary on the company used.
These are 10 of the most important questions you should ask your potential photographer.