Your engaged... YAY! You've got a date and you're ready to pick out the best vendor squad ever. Yeah, your bridesmaids are your "Bride Tribe" but let's be honest, your vendors are your tribe. Within that tribe is your unofficial bridesmaid, the one who is with you from start to finish, your train fluffer, veil holder: YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER. No pressure for us photographers, but we are the ones you talk to before, during, and after your big day. So obviously you want someone you're going to like, right? This inspired me to blog this. A few questions that I think are the most important and can give you an overall idea about how things are going to be done and captured. But really ladies... and gents... don't forget to ask these 5 questions:
1. Do you shoot digital and/OR film? This is a no joke question. If the photographer tells you film, make sure they have experience and a portfolio to show you specifically of their film shots. I love film, don’t get me wrong, it’s a complex thing to some but it’s also the trend so you have to be careful and make sure they aren’t saying film because they got their film camera yesterday. Also, if you’re the bride looking for a film photographer, I want to tell you now that: one, you’re going to need a pro who is experienced in changing out film efficiently and two, a good quality film photographer does not come cheap. It’s a special type of quality so it’s takes a special investment that’s ALWAYS worth it.
2. What kind of gear do you have and do you have backups? Again, not another question that’s a joke. Actually, none of these are. Having a photographer with backup gear is extra assurance for yourself. You don’t want someone who doesn’t have a backup because what if mid-day their camera breaks and then what? It’s scary for us as photographers to think about a lens dropping or a camera’s shutter to stop working, but because we know about that, we buy the gear to prepare in case some wild accident like that happens. Along with accidents, you want a photographer who understands off camera flash (it's what's creating the blast of light in the back ground of this shot! There's also a special flash attached to many camera in this images too!) and has the gear to execute being able to light up your reception no matter how dark it is. Basically, just ask what’s in their camera bag! I’ll be sharing about what’s in mine soon!
3. What will happen in the event you can’t be there for my wedding day? Most contracts explain what legally will happen but get a play by play from the photographer you’re meeting. Ask about backup photographers, if they would be doing the editing, and will the turn-around time still be the same... things like that. Don’t be afraid to ask, it’s a serious question that should be taken seriously.
4. How many photos should we expect back and will they be edited? This may seem like an odd question to get asked, but I’ve heard too many horror stories and those stories make this question SO relevant. Something I usually tell couples is they can expect to get 90-100 images PER HOUR of coverage and YES they are edited on professional editing software (Lightroom). Make sure the photographer you want has the editing style you want and that you will get that style on ALL of the delivered images. Side note about your images (this is like a question and a half to ask): Ask them how you will receive these images whether it’s an online gallery, a flash drive, OR BOTH!
5. SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST – What is your primary style? This is huge and should be the first question you ask. Really. A photographer’s style is a reflection of their personality and their aesthetic. If you find a photographer who not only matches your wedding style, but personal life style, then you’ll probably be getting someone you will easily become friends with and can count on for all those milestones in the future. When asking this question, don’t be afraid to ask how they pose. By asking this you will see if they are the spontaneous type or the traditional type. If you can, find you someone who can do both
So there ya have it. What I would think to be the top 5 questions to ask. While questions about costs and what’s included in packages and such are important, this is typically information that has already been given to you through email or seen on our websites. ALWAYS COUPLES, make sure you look at all things when looking at photographers. Look at their websites, Facebook, and Instagram. This will show you style consistency, experience, and you’ll get to see a little more about who they are. Be smart with your investment and see it as that, an investment… and also the chance to make a kick-butt friend <3