Maybe you have never hired a professional photographer and understanding the lingo seems daunting. However, It is extremely important to find the perfect photographer to shoot your wedding. Let’s be honest, moments on your wedding day only happen once and out of all of your vendors you will spend the most time with your photographer. To help guide you through the hiring process of finding the perfect wedding Photographer we have curated a list of 12 questions you MUST ask.
1. What is your style?
It is very important that you choose a photographer’s style that you really appreciate and will be able to look back 20 years from now and still love all of your photographs. Photojournalism, Fine Art, Editorial and Traditional are some of the many styles to consider. Either way, your photographer should be able to gauge your preferences and assist you in your decision.
2. Do I have Rights to the Wedding Photographs?
This is without a doubt one of the top questions that gets overlooked and is very important because of its cost. A photographer who shares the rights to the photographs will deliver all of the edited full resolution photos after the wedding and you may download at your leisure. A photographer who holds the rights will deliver low resolution proofs for you to pick and choose which photos you want to purchase. Buying upwards of 800-1000 photos can get pricey. Know what you're buying!
3. How many other events will you photograph on my wedding weekend?
Smaller studios will try and cram in as many weddings as possible in one weekend. For example one photographer may take on 2 or 3 weddings in one weekend and as you can imagine the attention to detail will suffer. Try to pick someone who shoots 1-2 weddings a weekend or has multiple shooters.
4. What happens if the Photographer is ill?
It is so important to ask this question and even more important that it matches what is written up in the contract. In the rare event that the photographer is ill who is going to cover my wedding!?
5. Do you have insurance?
Just as any business, your photographer should have insurance. This is important in the case that a family member trips over a camera bag and hurts himself or herself. As well, a lot of venues require it of their vendors. You don't want to hire someone who is not allowed to work on the venue premises the day of your wedding!
6. Will you provide a contract of services and will I get a copy?
A lot of studios work based off of a handshake. Nowadays this is not the best route. It is in the best interest of the couple getting married and the photographer to work under a contract. This way all services, prices and policies are fully understood and held accountable.
7. Do you work with an assistant or second shooter?
If you are having a large wedding it is imperative to have a second shooter. It is so hard for one person to cover absolutely everything by themself on such a fast paced day. Some things only happen once in a lifetime, so it is critical to have more than one person covering such moments.
8. Do you have backup equipment?
It may seem like a no brainer that a photographer has backup equipment, however some beginners will have the bare minimum. Let’s be honest, photography equipment isn’t cheap. Be sure to ask your photographer, "Do you have a backup in case your camera body or lens breaks?"
9. What do you wear?
While comfort is important you probably don’t want to hire someone that works in a t-shirt at your black tie event. It is best if your photographer fits in with the guests and keeps a clean, low profile with their outfit selection.
10. If the event lasts longer than expected will you stay outside the contracted hours?
Knowing your wedding photographers policy on overtime is important. You don’t want to see your photographer leave when their contracted time is up, especially if you haven’t even cut the cake! Ask and know your photographer’s policy. A good photographer will check in with you before departing.
11. Does your studio edit ALL of the photographs or do you deliver unedited work?
More than likely you will hire your photographer based on the aesthetic of his/her portfolio. Typically the portfolio that you see is fully edited photographs. However, if your photographer doesn't deliver all of the photos edited, you may be disappointed in the delivered result. Be sure to ask their delivery policy.
12. How long after the wedding will proofs and album be ready?
The question everyone ignores. During wedding season things get busy for a photographer and editing your photos may not be at the top of the to-do list. Be sure to know your photographers turn around time so you know when you will receive your photos and album.