Woo Hoo! You’re engaged! Congratulations!
Now comes the big question… do you have your photographer?
Too daunting of a task to think of right now?
to worry, choosing a wedding photographer is really not that difficult
if you know what to ask. Being educated about each photographer’s
qualifications and offerings is the first step to narrowing down the
list of choices.
We have answered thousands of questions from
hundreds of couples and we have narrowed down the most important
questions that everyone should know. This list is not 100 questions
long! This is a relatively short list but these questions are the ones
that are the most important ones.
So let’s begin!
many weddings have you photographed? First off, why is this important?
It is important because it shows experience. You want a photographer
that has photographed more than a few weddings. Experience is necessary
because you want a photographer who knows what they are doing! How to
pose couples and groups. Knowing what photographs to take and how to
take them is key to quality photography. You don’t want to have to tell
your photographer what photographs to take and how to pose people you
have enough to think about; and besides what are you paying them for?
Do you do photography full time? Not all photographers do this as their
main job. More and more people are picking up photography as a hobby or
to bring in some extra income. Weekend warriors are rampant in the
photography industry. This is something you may want to know. To some
couples, it does not matter, but if it does matter then this is a good
question to ask.
3. Do you carry backup equipment? This also goes
to experience. Every photographer who has been in business for awhile
knows that anything can happen and usually does. Only carrying one
camera and lens is just asking for failure. And you certainly don’t want
that failure to happen at your wedding!
4. Do you have business
insurance? Not only to cover equipment but liability as well. This is a
sign of a professional. A professional business should always have
5. What will you wear to photograph my wedding? You
would be surprised what we have seen photographers wear to photograph
in. You should know going in if you can expect yoga pants or black jeans
or professional attire. If you are having a casual wedding and don’t
care then you do not need to worry. But if you are having a wedding
where you do not expect to see yoga pants and flip flops then you should
make that clear up front.
6. How long after the wedding will our
photographs be available? Some photographers will take as long as 6
months to edit a wedding. You should know how long to expect before you
7. How many edited images can I expect? This is important
because some photographers take 2,000 images but only edit and deliver
300. You should know in advance if you will receive all of your
photographs, less bad ones of course, or only a selection of photographs
8. Do I receive my high-resolution digital files and will
they be watermarked and resized? A combination question but it all goes
together. Of course, you want to know if you will receive your digital
files. The vast majority of photographers do offer them in their
packages but there are still some holdouts that will charge extra for
them, so you should know. And along the same lines, some photographers
will resize and watermark the digital files that they give you so that
you are still forced to order prints from them.
9. What is your
deposit and when is the balance due? Again, you should know this up
front before you book. Every photographer will do this differently. The
average options are; a specific deposit amount with the balance due
before the wedding; a 1/3 now, 1/3 before the wedding and the final 1/3
upon delivery; payment plans etc. Just make sure you know when and how
everything is due.
10. Are the photographs that I see in your
samples a good indication of your style? This is important. You want to
like the photographs that your favorite photographer is showing you. If
you do not like the sample photographs then that is a good indication
that you will not like the photographs they take for you. You cannot
expect the photographer to shoot in a different style just because they
have a price and personality that you like. Make sure you love the whole
11. Are there any additional fees I should be aware of?
Taxes, editing, travel, meals, additional time etc etc. You should know
these things before you book.
12. Do you have a contract? Never book a photographer without a contract! This protects both of you.
so did I overwhelm you? I certainly hope not! Of course, there are
other questions to ask, lots of them, but these are what I would
consider the most important. And you should ask about packages and other
details but this is the nitty gritty must know stuff.