10 Questions You Must Ask a Wedding Photographer Before Booking Them
September 26, 2015
Hiring your wedding photographer is critical in planning your wedding day! These are your wedding memories after all! And since it isn’t every day you plan a wedding or an event of this size you may not be sure of your next steps. There are so many details that go into creating your dream wedding and it may seem overwhelming at times. That’s completely normal!
So here are tips & questions that will point you in the right direction for hiring your wedding photographer for your fabulous wedding day!
Do Your Research...Surf the web. Pinterest is an amazing source for a plethora of wedding photo ideas! What do you like? Dislike? Remember this when you start viewing local photographer’s portfolios. View dedicated wedding websites. What are other brides saying? What advice are the seasoned pros giving? Take advantage of the valuable knowledge spread over the web. Talk to your recently married family and friends. Ask them about their experiences with their wedding photographer. How much do they charge? What services are available? How did they decide on their photographer?
Check Out Their Reviews... So you love a photographer’s work and want to know more? Take a second to look at their reviews. What are their recent clients saying about them? This is a first hand look into the provider’s past work experience.
Meet with Them… An in person meeting is the best possible way to find out if the wedding photographer is right for you. You get to see first hand if they are professional. Are they punctual? Are they dressed professionally? If they take the time to dress nicely and arrive on time, then you know they take you and your wedding seriously. What is their personality? This is a great time to see if the pro is a right fit for you. After all, this person will be with you constantly on your wedding day; you want to hire someone that you are completely comfortable being around. If meeting isn’t possible, set up a phone, Skype, or FaceTime chat.
Ask Questions... Ask questions until you completely understand; there are no right or wrong questions! These questions will help you identify if the pro matches your needs. Professionals should not hesitate answering your questions. In fact, they should welcome them! Your questions are valuable in creating the best possible experience for you!
Listen & Watch... Are you comfortable around this person? Are they confident in their answers? Do they listen to what you are saying? You should feel at ease and comfortable asking your questions. In addition, you should have a take away feeling that they truly care about your wedding day. Take it all in because in the end your gut feeling will indicate to you if this pro is right for you.
Here are the 10 Must Ask Questions for Your Potential Wedding Photography Professionals Before Booking:
How many years have you photographed weddings? Is your focus on wedding photography? Experience specifically in weddings is super important! Do you really want to hire someone who photographs birthday parties, corporate events, newborn sessions, landscape, pets, family portraits, everything under the sun, and oh yes weddings? Choose someone whose focus is wedding photography and if they do photograph other types of events and subjects, be sure it’s on the side and that wedding photography is their main interest. An experienced wedding photographer will not only produce lovely wedding day photographs, but will also be able to lend advice for your wedding day.
Do you require a deposit? And if so how much? Most photographers require a nonrefundable retainer to hold your date.
Do you have a contract? The answer to this question should ALWAYS be yes. Do not hire someone based on a verbal agreement. A contract will outline both parties’ duties and protects both you and the wedding pro. Check out this blog about why it’s so important to have a written agreement
What specifically is included in the cost? Find out exactly what is included in your package. Use this information to compare all your potential photographers’ packages. Higher quotes may include services or photo products that are an extra cost with lower priced packages. Does the lower priced package equal the higher priced package in price once the extras are added on? Does it cost more or less? Here is a sample of what can be included in a wedding photography package:
Number of Wedding Day Coverage Hours
Editing or Retouching
Images on Digital Media
Extra Sessions (Engagement and/or Bridal Portraits)
Full Print Release
Are there any additional fees? Additional fees can include travel fees, taxes, and service charges. All fees should be outlined in the contract so you know the total cost from the get-go.
What happens is I cancel? What happens if you cancel? As we all know, unexpected and uncontrollable circumstances do happen in life. To help offset this reality, your photographer should have a backup plan outlined in the contract. A clause in your contract explaining the procedures of cancellation from both parties is a must.
How many photos do I receive? Do I get a print release? Find out how many photos you will receive from your wedding day as well as your engagement or bridal portrait sessions. You may be required to purchase photos as a separate cost or you may get every single photo taken. A full print release is a must! Be sure your wedding professional is providing you with a print release so that you can get unlimited prints of your wedding moments.
Do you have back up equipment? Electronics can fail. Another sad, but true fact of life. If you have ever had a computer crash on you, then you know first hand! This is a day in your lives that you want to cherish forever, so let’s not let a faulty camera take that away from you! Be sure that your photographer has backup cameras, lens, batteries, etc.
Are you photographing other events on the same day as mine? Do not hire someone who plans to photograph other events on the same day as your wedding! If the photographer truly cares about your wedding day, then they will completely focus on your event for that day. Double booking is a big no-no.
Have you ever worked at my wedding site before? If not, will you check it out in advance? If your potential photographer has never worked at your wedding site before, this isn’t a deal breaker. A photographer experienced in photographing weddings in different venue types and lighting conditions, especially similar to your venue, is adequate. A pro that can adjust to their surroundings is invaluable. However, if requested, they should be willing to check out your wedding venue in advance.