Choosing a wedding photographer is a big deal. This is the person who will be capturing images of your wedding day that you’ll have for the rest of your life. So naturally you want to choose an artist whose work you trust, love, and will want blown up on a canvas in your home forever. It’s a big decision! When speaking with a potential photographer it is, of course, important to go over information like price in relation to your budget, traveling fees, and how many hours they shoot. But what are some other things you may want to ask as you have these conversations? What are things you should know about your photographer and their work before you sign the contract and send in the deposit? Here’s what to keep in mind during your phone calls and meetings with potential photographers.
1. What Is Their Photography Style?
This question actually has a lot of layers to it, as it can mean different things. Certainly each photographer will have an editing style that is their preference (dark and moody, light and airy, editorial, etc.) and it’s important to know how they like to edit and view their work, absolutely. But style can also mean how they prefer to shoot. Are they very skilled at posed shots or do they prefer a more candid look at the day? If it’s important to you to get posed shots of the bridal party but the photographer you’re speaking to prefers more casual shots, this might not be a good fit! Another aspect of their style is how they prefer to be present at the wedding. Will they do whatever is necessary to get the perfect, stunning shot they’re hoping for or are they more likely to be a total ninja, taking what photos they can while not interrupting the view and vibe for your guests? It’s a good idea for you to know ahead of time how they view their role in your day.
2. Do They Work Alone?
Although this may seem like a strange question, it’s extremely important for you to know if you will be getting one photographer or two. If their contract includes a second shooter, this means you will have the option for more angles, more details, and your photographer can essentially be in two places at once (they can be with the bride and bridesmaids getting ready while the second shooter is with the groomsmen, for example). However, if they don’t always work with the same second shooter, or are potentially working with someone new for your wedding, it can be tough to know the quality of that shooters’ work. Although your photographer will absolutely vet them, of course, it can happen that you end up with a less than stellar professional, and that’s not something you as the client have much control over. It’s up to you what your preference is, but it’s important to know how many photographers will be arriving that wedding morning!
3. Can You View a Full Wedding They’ve Already Shot?
This is one of the most important questions to ask a wedding photographer. You may love the social media or blog posts you’ve seen of your photographer’s work, but it’s essential to be able to see a full wedding album before you commit. Being able to view the photos from a wedding day your photographer shot from start to finish will give you a much better idea not only of your photographer’s style, but also of how they put together a comprehensive album for their clients. It doesn’t matter if this is a physical album or a digital one, just as long as you get to view the full scope of a wedding day. All the better if you can see more than one, or if they have images from a venue similar to yours so you can see how they capture that type of vibe. This is one of the most helpful things to see from photographers as you’re making your final decisions!
4. How Will You Receive Your Photos?
This is a multilayered question as well, but it’s essential to ask because it’s horrible to have assumptions about your wedding photos and then receive something you didn’t expect! It’s essential to find out if your photographer offers digital or physical products. Some do both options, while some offer only digital or only physical items. If it’s very important to you to have a beautiful, professionally made album or essential to access all of the edited digital files of your photos, this choice might have a big impact on your photographer decision. It’s also important to ask if the person you’re choosing promises or guarantees a certain number of photos. This is often worded as “approximately [xx] photos per hour” so that you have an idea of how many you might receive.
5. What Is Their Emergency Plan?
Hopefully this is something you never have to experience firsthand, but it’s beyond essential to know what your photographer’s contract states for emergency situations. Things like sickness, death in the family, plane delays, acts of God, etc. are all potential events that could happen on or around your wedding day and you need to know ahead of time how they will handle these. Most photographers will likely have a resource list of folks they can call in to take their place, should the need arise, but it’s not something you want to leave to chance, that’s for sure! Discuss this with any potential photographers and find out what their emergency plan is. Again, hopefully it’s not something that you will actually need, but it will surely give you peace of mind to know that there’s a plan in place, just in case!
Choosing a photographer can be a tricky thing, but it’s also one of the most exciting. You get to decide who will be preserving the memories of this important, special day of your life! Be sure to ask any and all questions you might have to put yourself at ease, choose the artist that’s best for you and your partner, and then take a breath and get excited!