The Real Questions You Should Be Asking Your Wedding Photographer
The internet has countless articles to help you plan a successful wedding day. No doubt, loads of them are really useful and contain heaps of information that will serve that exact purpose. One article I've seen so many iterations of is the "Questions You Should Be Asking Your Wedding Photographer", and I've also been on the receiving end of these question lists.
There are, of course, plenty of things that you should be asking, and these lists usually hit on a few, but does it really matter to you what I’ll be wearing on your wedding day? (!) What editing software I use? What model of camera & lighting I’ll be using?
I will get to some important questions, but first let's talk about the biggest question on what makes a wedding photographer suitable for you, your partner and your wedding. It isn't about camera gear, clothing or image count. On the day you'll spend a lot of time with your wedding photographer. It's so important that you can be happy and comfortable in their presence.
Once you have narrowed down a list to styles & costs that suit, the biggest question is:
' Will I be happy & comfortable spending time with this person?'
Some reasons why I think this:
1. Your photographer will be there when you're getting ready in the morning. They'll be there after the reception guiding you through the inevitable group shots, the couple shoot, and will still be there when you're busting a move on the dancefloor. If there is a personality clash, it will almost definitely impact on your enjoyment of your day.
2. When you get on well with your photographer, the relaxation count goes through the roof. I can't overestimate the importance I place on trying to create a super-relaxed atmosphere around what I do on a wedding day. It's not only good for you, it's great for the photos.
3. Most people enquire with me saying they don't want really posed / traditional photos. That's amazing for me as it's how I want to shoot weddings. It's only really possible though when people aren't thinking about being photographed. And that comes from being relaxed.
4. Your guests don't want to feel like they're under a microscope all day. The comfort factor extends beyond the two of you and out to the rest of the wedding party. Chances are, if you are a good personality match with your photographer, they will get on well with your guests as well.
You're really not going to get a good answer to this question if you go into a meeting armed with 20 questions pulled from some random blog post. I've been there, and more often than not, I leave the meeting knowing very little about the couple, and knowing that they don't really have a grasp of how I work and what I do.
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What do these questions really tell you?
If I tell you that I'm using a Canon Mk3 and editing in Adobe Lightroom does it make a difference from me saying I shoot Nikon D750 and edit in Photoshop? And how should I respond if you ask me to describe my style?
Now don't get me wrong, there are some things that you should definitely find out before going ahead with a booking. If photography is important to you (and if you're reading this, I'm guessing it is) please make sure that you're investing in a professional & experienced photographer. It would be horrific if your photos were lost because your photographer, for example, doesn't have an appropriate backup system in place and loses your photos on a corrupt hard drive.
Therefore, once you've established if a photographer is going to be a good fit for you, it's important to make sure that they're going to do a good job for you. As much as I put the relationship aspect, there really is a minimum standard you should expect of somebody that has such a huge responsibility on your day and will probably be allocated a significant part of your budget.
I've been asked all of these before and they're all legit questions, but sometimes I think people don't always really know what the answer should be. So along with the questions, where appropriate, I'll add a bit of info on why it's relevant.
1. Are you insured?
A bride to be told me recently she was told to ask this, but had no idea what for. Your wedding photographer should be insured for Public Liability (in case someone trips over my bag and breaks a leg, for example) and Indemnity (for failure to deliver on contract, e.g. if memory cards corrupt etc).
2. Can I see some full weddings?
Every photographer / videographer / florist / cake maker / dress designer shows off their best work. Their websites will usually be populated with their favourite work. That doesn't mean it represents all of their work. Please make sure you've seen a fully gallery from your photographer. You might love the website but if all the images are in beautiful light in beautiful settings, check that your indoor Winter wedding is going to look just as good for you.
3. What's the final product?
4. How do you work on the wedding day?
This will most likely have been addressed when initially chatting, but it's good to know if the photographer is going to be hands on in telling you were to be and what to do or take a more back seat approach. There's an important distinction here between photography style and working style. Photography style should be pretty clear from website / portfolio and hopefully you're on board with this before you've gotten this far.
5. Do you have back-ups?
I don't mean equipment here, that should be a given. What happens if your photographer gets really sick the day before the wedding? Worth checking that they have something in place. We're all human after all. Also, your images, the really important bit, should be safely backed-up & secure.
Finally, here are a few more general questions that don't need explanation, but are definitely worth asking...
1. What's the booking process? (deposits / balance / contracting etc)
2. What info do you need pre-wedding?
3. Do you do albums / can I see them? (always try and see them before ordering)
By no means treat this as an exhaustive list of things that should you know about your wedding photographer. You need to feel happy that whoever you choose is going to do a good job.
Hopefully this gives you an idea though, that having a good relationship with your photographer is going to make the whole day more enjoyable and give you a great selection of photographs to remember your wedding day.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][image_frame url="2206"][/vc_column][/vc_row]