Photographers! You’ll spend your entire wedding day with these persons and if you’re at ease, you’ll not only enjoy yourself more, but they’ll also get better shots. Win-win! Aside from your gut instinct, ask these questions before choosing your photographer team:
How many of the photos will be retouched and color balanced? Is that done before I see the proofs?
Why you shall know: Some photographers will polish all your photos, while others will show you untouched proofs and work their magic only on the images you order.
How many weddings have you shot? How about this year? How about my wedding day?
Why you shall know: You only have one chance to get amazing wedding photos, so you’ll want to hire someone who knows how to get those shots under pressure (means photography shall not just be their hobby). And ask if they have two weddings on the same day. If yes, you need to plan it in advance to make sure they can arrive and get ready for your wedding on time.
Do you shoot both digital and film?
Why you shall know: If you’re obsessed with the dreamy quality of film, go with a pro in this medium. In addition to asking how many weddings they’ve shot in total (see above), let them know how many you want taken with film.
What percentage of photos do you shoot black and white?
Why you shall know: Many photographers do a mix of both color and black and white. You’ll get a sense of their style and how your album might look by asking what balance they usually go with.
What exactly is included in your packages?
Why you shall know: When comparing fees, check the number of photographers you will have, whether prints, film processing, albums and proofs, as well as extra coverage such as engagement shoots, travel expenses are covered.
How many hours of coverage do we get? What is the charge for overtime?
Why you shall know: If overtime is going to cost you a ton, you’ll be able to plan their hours accordingly. For instance, if you have six hours of coverage but your photographer charges a huge hourly rate for overtime, you might have them leave after you cut the cake instead of after the last dance.
What is the payment plan?
Why you shall know: check if they require a deposit (which is usually 50%). And it is good to ask if you can have a discount when you pay the total before a certain date.
Will you be my actual photographer, or will it be one of your associates?
Why you shall know: It is better to meet the master photographer on your day in order to make an informed decision. And make sure they have a back-up plan if the master photographer is ill on your day.
Will there be a second shooter or any assistants? Is there an additional fee for each (if applicable)?
Why you shall know: We recommend you have a second shooter, so that he/she can cover more ground and can give you two perspectives on major moments (for instance, one can shoot the groom’s face when he first sees his bride and the other can photograph the bride as she walks down the aisle). But this may cost you extra.
How long after the wedding do we get to see the photos?
Why you shall know: You’ll want to see photos ASAP, and it usually takes around 30-60 days.
Do you need to coordinate with my videographer and stylist?
Why you shall know: This pair will need to coordinate and stay out of each other’s way – easier to do if they have a good rapport.
Have you ever shot at my venue(s) before?
Why you shall know: Your shooter should be aware of any lighting needs or issues specific to the space. If they haven’t ever worked in your venue, they should be willing to check it out beforehand.
Will you follow a shot list?
Why you shall know: Most photographers will welcome a (short) shot list to make sure you get the specific pics you want. The list usually includes around 10-20 people!
Can you show me some samples of the prints and album?
Why you shall know: get a sense of what style of the prints and albums you will have.
Do you own the copyright to the photos?
Why you shall know: If you’re a social network addict, not being allowed to share some of your wedding photos online may be torture – better to know about this ahead of time. Most of them will allow you to post online and keep the advertising use of these photos for themselves.
How about your equipment?
Why you shall know:Not only will you want to determine if you’ll need to supply additional lighting (either hiring a lighting designer or having the venue supply it), but you’ll want to be sure the equipment they bring won’t be too bulky or obtrusive.
What will you wear?
Why you shall know: Discussing their wedding day wardrobe will allow your photographer to plan to match the style of your wedding. Most will be happy to blend into the scenery. Just let them know.