Choosing your wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you will make when planning your big day. They need to have a strong combination of artistic vision, professionalism and experience, as your wedding photos will take pride of place in your photo albums for generations to come. Ask the following questions and rest assured, the professional you hire will be the perfect one for you.
1) What is your shooting style? (Fashion editorial, traditional or documentary)
You will know from looking at lots of portfolios, which style of photography you prefer, whether it is the fly-on-the-wall documentary, the stylised fashion editorial or the classic traditional. Therefore, it is very important that the photographers you meet know and specialise in your chosen style.
2) Do you shoot on film or digitally?
Film is more demanding in terms of editing and getting the right shot the first time around – the results are pretty amazing. While digital is less time consuming, it is just as impressive. Both will look ace so don’t worry too much. Just balance up results vs time on the big day!
3) How many weddings do you photograph a year?
This is an incredibly important question, as it will give you an indication of how experienced your photographer is and how much they are likely to charge! For example, a photographer shooting less than 20 weddings a year will either be extremely expensive, as they dedicate a lot of time to the shooting and the editing, or they will be reasonably cheap, because they haven’t yet established a solid reputation in the industry.
4) Can I see an example of a complete wedding album?
This means you will see all the photographs taken on your wedding day, not just the ones the photographer has chosen to show you.
5) May I contact previous customers for references?
Any successful photographer will be happy to put you in touch with previous customers, as they will be secure in knowing they will receive great feedback!
6) What wedding packages do you offer and what do they include?
You want to know if the package includes the album, the editing, the engagement shoot and visiting the venue before the day. Essentially, you will want to find out exactly what is included in the wedding package so that you won’t have to pay additional charges for extras you thought were already included!
7) Do you have insurance?
A professional wedding photographer should have both professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance for between £2-5 million.
8) Have you taken photos at my wedding venue before? Would you be willing to visit the venue before the wedding day?
If your photographer has shot at your wedding venue before, make sure you ask to see a complete wedding album taken at this venue! This will give you a much clearer indication of what your wedding photographs will look like.
9) Do I need to cover your travel costs or is that included in the price?
Again, this is another question to make sure there aren’t any unforeseen costs. Similarly, you will want to know if you will need to pay for petrol or overnight accommodation, or both.
10) Will it be you photographing us on the wedding day? Do you plan on bringing assistants?
We advise you to think carefully before you ask for 2-3 assistants to attend your wedding and cover it second by second. We find that an experienced photographer can capture your day with discretion and thought, with you and your guests barely knowing that they are there.
11) Do you have any good back-up photographers you can call on should something happen to you?
Though the likelihood of your photographer not working on your wedding day is slim, you will want to make sure someone is there to pick up the ball and capture your special day!
12) Do you carry back-up equipment?
Even if your photographer has an awesome camera, that is not enough! In fact, even two cameras may not be enough. Should one break/run out of battery, your photographer is back to just having one camera. A professional photographer will carry three cameras minimum and just as many different lenses.
13) What do you usually wear to a wedding?
You want your photographer to blend in with your guests as much as possible, which is why you want to make sure they don’t come to your wedding in jeans and a T-shirt, while everyone else is in ball gowns and tuxes!
14) When can I expect to see the finished wedding photographs?
You will want to know when your online gallery will be up on the website and how much reprints of your favourite photographs will cost you.
15) Will I get all of the photographs or just those selected by you? How many photographs can I expect?
Printing the photos yourselves can be a cheaper option so ask if this is possible – just make sure that they are printed on quality paper, so that they don’t wear with time.
16) Although you have the copyright, can I print my own photos from the wedding disc and can I put your photos on my blog?
You want to make sure that you won’t have to pay for any extra photograph that you want printed. Similarly, if you want to post your images online, you will want to know that you are allowed to do so!
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