I recently had a wedding consultation with a bride and her mother at a local coffee shop. Before our meeting I told her on the phone to come with as many questions for me that they could think of. I was very impressed with what they brought to the table that I thought I’d share some with you, hopefully encouraging you to ask similar questions before hiring YOUR wedding photographer.
- How long will I have you commissioned for and is there a fee to stay longer? This is something that not every wedding photographer will make clear on their website so be sure what you are paying for. Is it all day coverage? Hourly? Half day coverage with additional hourly fees?
- How long have you been in business and how many weddings have you photographed?
- Do you require a deposit? If so, how much?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- How would you describe your working style? Are you someone who blends in with the crowd and documents what unfolds naturally or do you create more of a visible presence by taking charge and choreographing the shots?
- Can others take photos while you are taking photos? A lot of photographers will not allow this as it can be distracting, causing people to look away from the photographer having him/her have to retake the shot. It can interrupt the timeline causing the photographer to get behind schedule.
- When will you arrive and how long will you stay?
- What happens in the event you are ill?
- What equipment do you use and do you bring backup?
- Do you have liability insurance? You want to be sure your photographer has liability insurance to cover the cost if something terrible goes wrong.
- What’s your procedure with backing up my photos after the event? You want to be sure your photographer will securely backup your images on multiple hard drive systems in case one should fail.
- What will you and your assistant be wearing?
- Are there any charges not mentioned? (i.e. travel)
- What’s your cancellation policy?
- May I have a list of references? Your photographer should not hesitate to provide this information. If he/she does, consider this a red flag.
Do your research and ask questions. Find a photographer that you can connect with on a personal level. Your wedding photographer will be with you throughout the planning process and by your side the majority of the wedding day. If your personalities clash, that could damper your entire wedding day.
One last thought…Your cake will get eaten, your flowers will wilt, invitations thrown away and your dress worn only once. Though I believe those items are very important and tremendously add to beautiful photographs, professional/quality wedding photography is what you’ll always have to enjoy, growing only more valuable over time.