Oh my goodness… you know what gets me SUPER EXCITED?!?!
Sour and gummy candy.
Those and…wedding photography! I swear, sit me in front of an Instagram feed to look at beautiful wedding photos with a bag of sour and gummy candies to eat and I’m one happy camper!
Well… I don’t have any sour and gummy candies to give you, but I DO have a list of questions for you to use when meeting with a potential photographer. These questions and prompts can be used to help you discover if the wedding photographer you are meeting is the right fit for you. Remember, this person will be right by your side for at least eight hours on your wedding day, so you’ll want to choose someone you feel comfortable with and can communicate easily with.
1. How would you describe your photography style (e.g. traditional, classic, creative)?
Most photographers will use a blend of several styles but you want to go with a style a photographer likes to shoot best and has the most experience shooting so you get the best results. Click here to get up to speed on the various photographic styles so you can discuss your preferences with your photographer.
2. How many weddings have you shot, and how many do you do in a year?
You only have once chance to get beautiful wedding photos, so you’ll want to hire someone who knows how to get the shots you are expecting. Asking this question gives you an idea of how much experience the photographer has in general. Years are not a good gauge of experience since some wedding photographers may work part-time and only shoot a couple of weddings per year on weekends. So, maybe they have five years of experience but they have only shot 25 weddings.
3. Do you back up your files online just in case? Do you have backup equipment?
Sadly, yes this is something that you have to ask. I can’t imagine why for the life of me a photographer wouldn’t do this but the sad fact is that there are some out there that don’t do this VERY important process. I can’t imagine that gut wrenching feeling of a photographer telling me they lost all of my precious photos from my wedding day. There’s no going back and getting those moments captured in images again. There is no excuse for photographers not backing up their images.
4. How do you describe your shooting style? Are you laid back or aggressive? Do you tell the whole story of the day?
I think this is a great question to ask because it helps to learn more about the photographer’s personality and to see if their personality is a good match.
Photo Credit: Lacewood Photography
5. How do you make us feel relaxed in front of the camera?
As soon as someone points a camera my way I instantly lose all ability to smile and stand awkwardly in one spot. What I loved about our wedding photographer was that she didn’t give harsh directions but gently guided us into the best poses. Asking this question to your potential photographer gives you a bit of insight into his/her working style and into their personality.
6. What happens if you get sick on my day?
It is super unlikely that the photographer happens to be sick on your wedding day but there is always a chance. It is critical that the photography studio does something to take care of the situation if this were to occur. Ask the photographer if they have any suggestions on call in case of an emergency.
7. What will we do if it rains or snows?
Knowing what to do if it rains or snows on your wedding day is important for both you and your photographer. I actually wrote an article on this very subject but you want to make sure your photographer knows what to do in the event the weather isn’t ideal on your day. They should have a plan as to where they would go for photographs, how they would shoot, etc…
8. Have you ever shot at my venue(s) before?
Your photographer should be aware of any lighting needs or issues specific to the space. For example, photographs in a barn venue requires extra care. Fredericton-based photographer Julie Whitlock adds, “make sure your photographer is experienced in lighting and processing. The orange colour of most barn interiors and the rafters presents a challenge!” If they haven’t ever worked in your venue, they should be willing to check it out beforehand!
9. How long after the wedding do we get to see the photos?
You’ll want to see the photos basically the day after the wedding and the wait can be pretty darn agonizing. Every photographer will vary in the time it takes to produce and deliver your photos so it’s best to ask them up front. If you know in advance, you can manage your expectations.
10. What is exactly included in your packages?
Like with any contract you must know what’s included. When comparing fees, check whether prints, albums and proofs are covered. They can all alter the costs significantly.
After you have met with the potential photographer you want to go over the details of their packages/contracts and ask yourselves the following questions:
-Do I feel a connection with this photographer as well as his/her photos? Are our personalities a good match?
-Am I comfortable with this person’s work and communication style?
-Has this photographer listened well and addressed all my concerns?
What other tips do you think should be added to this list? I’d love to hear your ideas! Leave your comment below.