Your wedding photographer is arguably the most important wedding professional you will hire for your big day. It is important that you become familiar with him or her, so that you know that your personalities will mesh. I like to chat with my clients beforehand so that they feel comfortable with my style, and also my personality. When you are speaking with your photographer, here are a few important questions that you should ask.
Are you available?
This is an obvious one, but probably should be mentioned. Many wedding photographers book 12-18 months in advance. If you love a photographer, and know your date, check their availability first!
What is your style?
Professional photographers have their own unique style. If you are drawn to their website, you probably like that style, but it is important to ask a few questions. Some photographers are documentary style. They may do portraits, but spend little time on posing because they want you to enjoy your party. The majority of their most romantic pictures will be taken at candid moments. This style of photography is perfect for those that are camera shy.
There are other photographers that want to capture lots of detail shots of flowers, rings and table settings. If you enjoyed every aspect of wedding planning and want every detail remembered, than this is the photographer for you.
Do you like bright and airy or dark and moody? Make sure you are familiar with the photographer’s work so you will be happy with the end results.
What is your experience as a wedding photographer?
How many weddings have they shot/ how long have they been in business? Years of experience should not necessarily be a sole deciding factor. I have known photographers to be in business a year and create fabulous work. I have also known photographers who have been in business 30 years and have not grown or improved. But if they have only been in business for a year, with 5 weddings under their belt, you may want to look at a more seasoned photographer. Look at reviews. If they have plenty of happy clients, you know they are doing something right.
How many other events will you be shooting that weekend?
Larger studios shoot multiple weddings a weekend. This is common. Ask how many they are shooting that weekend, and how many they are shooting that day. If you are one of three weddings that day, ask yourself how much personalized attention you will be receiving.
Do you carry liability insurance?
Professional photographers should carry insurance. Most venue require photographers to carry insurance, and some even request a copy sent to them from the insurance company. If you are hiring a professional, they will have insurance.
What is your pricing? What is included?
Be sure to ask what is included with the price. How many hours of coverage with the photographer by there? How many photographers are included and will the second shooter be there for the entire day, or just bridal prep and the ceremony.
Contract & Retainer Fee
The contract is an important step in the booking process. Be sure to read your contract and ask questions. Inquire about the payment schedule. What is the retainer, and when is the final payment due?
When will I receive my images?
This is a big range. Some photographers only take a couple of weeks, others can be months. If a photographer is on the long end, but you love their style, then this shouldn’t be a deciding factor.
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