When it comes to picking a photographer, you need to do your homework ahead of time to ensure that you have wonderful, flattering pictures to take home, rather than missed opportunities and poor lighting. You need to have a useful set of questions on hand to ask each wedding photographer that you interview.
These questions need to be able to show you exactly how good a choice of a photographer is likely to be. If you don’t have questions of your own, try the following.
1. Do you have a portfolio?Professional photographers always publish their work on their websites. If you’re going with a photographer who doesn’t have a website, you can still ask to see a selection of photos sent to you over email.
Once you see something you like, you need to ask to visit the photographer in person to see their prints. You want to do more to simply check out how technically sound the photos are.
Truly professional photographers have a way with people, getting them to relax and open up. If a photographer seems to have many uncomfortable-looking brides in his portfolio, he may not be any good.
2. Do you have much experience?The people skills and the technical skills needed for great wedding photography are built up over years. Picking a veteran will nearly always bring better results.
An up-and-coming photographer is usually no match. However, be ready to pay more – professional photographers demand much higher fees.
3. What is your photography style?Just as with artistic photography, wedding photography tends to be created to specific techniques and styles. Some photographers like to bring in touches of fashion photography.
Others like to follow the style of documentary photographers. You need to understand the style favored by every photographer you interview.
4. What specific kinds of wedding do you specialize in?A photographer who has primary experience in church weddings may not be so good with outdoor weddings. One who mainly shoots evening weddings may not have enough experience with daytime weddings. It can be a good idea to get a photographer who has done many weddings similar to yours.
5. Do you have many other weddings lined up?If a photographer has other events lined up in the same week as your wedding, he could be tired and in poor form. An overworked photographer can be less focused than one who doesn’t work to a tight schedule.
Many couples skip this important question when interviewing their wedding photographers and then wonder why they have such unprofessional photos. Remember, even the most professional photographer can fail when he is tired.
6. How long do you take to deliver the final product?Many photographers take months to deliver finished wedding photo albums. If you aren’t comfortable with long waits, you need to ask every photographer you interview about their turnaround time. But avoid photographers who take a few days to deliver your wedding photos, the fast result is not always the best one.
7. Do you have the equipment needed?Wedding photographers need professional equipment – SLR cameras, 24 mm-70 mm lenses, 70 mm-200 mm lenses, on-camera and off-camera lighting etc. They need all this equipment to be able to cover every situation possible. They also need spares in case something breaks.
8. What range of photo products do you have?Wedding photographers do more than simply produce beautiful albums. They also offer photo printed coffee mugs, mounted portraits, T-shirts, banners, thank-you cards and many other fun things. If you need photo products such as these, you want to be sure that the photographer carries them.
9. Do your clients get a contract?A wedding photographer provides a very important service that you cannot have go wrong in any way. If your photographer falls ill and cannot make it, you need to know what kind of alternative arrangements you have a right to.
Exactly what do you get for your money? Do you get a CD? How much postproduction do you get? What happens if the photos are bad? What happens if the event runs much longer than originally planned? You need to put everything down in writing.
10. Do you have insurance?Wedding photographers get sued all the time. Not only can clients look for compensation for poor quality work, they can mount lawsuits for injuries caused and other problems, as well. If a wedding photographer doesn’t have insurance, the lawsuit wouldn’t amount to much.
It isn’t rude to ask questions when interviewing your wedding photographer. You don’t need to be pushy about your questions, either.
You simply need to make sure that you don’t take quality work as a given. You only get married once so pick your photographer carefully.