Your town has 1 million wedding photgraphers.Here’s 10 questions to ask them to find the right one for you.
- It’s my wedding day. All the sudden your camera stops working. What do you do? – These questions aren’t in any particular order, but I do feel as though this is one of the most important. What should they do? What would you want from them? Professional photographers should own back up gear in the event of any sort of catastrophic failure. I personally have a back up camera, a back up focal length for each lens I own, and several lights in case one goes down.
2. Are you comfortable shooting in our lighting situation?– Some venues are very dark and require knowledge of flash or creative lighting techniques. Some venues have no cover at all and require the ability to shoot with the harsh sun beating down on you with no shade in sight. Your photographer should be confident in photographing these situations and ready to adjust to whatever your wedding day may throw at them.
3. Can I see a few full galleries of your work? – I urge every single engaged couple to ask this of their photographer. This is so incredibly important. Anyone can show their highlight reel on the internet. The work on my own website is the best of the best. If you have a dimly lit venue, you’ll want to see how your photographer handles those situations. If you know your ceremony is at high noon, maybe you want to see examples of that. Again, no one has shot in every single situation, but this is a great way to see what you may perceive as your photographer’s strengths and weaknesses.
4. What are our options if our coverage is over but we want you to stay? – Personally, I won’t leave if things get a little behind and I tell my couples this when we book. However, if we’re looking at 1-3 hours of additional coverage, I’ll ask if you’d like me to stay and you’ll receive an invoice for the extra hours spent. I have a package that grants all day coverage for couples worried about this being their position!
5. How long will it take to receive my photos? – Industry standard is 6-8 weeks. Some people take longer, some people take less. For the last 4 years I’ve been able to turn around wedding photos in a maximum of 2 weeks. Make sure you know this and that you are okay with the MAXIMUM amount of time it could take. I also have 6-8 weeks listed in my contract because life happens.
6. What do you do if you suddenly can’t photograph our wedding? – This is another question regarding organization and preparation. Life happens! Most wedding photographers will tell you that we’ll fight through pretty much through anything to be there on your day. However, if something were to make me unable to attend, I have a list of capable and amazing photographers on hand at any given time.
6. Do you have a preferred vendors list? – Another not dealbreaker! However, the power of a good preferred vendor list is that you know that your photographer has worked with these people and works well with them. It also makes your hunt for additional vendors that much easier. I am in the process of building an overall preferred vendor list, but if you’re looking to only hire inclusive vendors for your day (as I am) here’s a list put together by myself and other vendors in Kansas City! https://hey-tay.com/lgbtq-friendly-wedding-vendors-kansas-city/
7. How much retouching do you do? This can play into turn-around times! Personally, I color correct all images so that they match the mood and color of the day and look cohesive. For close up portraits or places where things are noticeable, I will get rid of blemishes. If there is extensive retouching, I charge a general price per image to send it off to professional retouchers.
8. Do you suggest a second photographer? – I know when you’re getting married, it’s easy to want to save money where you can. Most photographers can handle a day on their own. Sometimes though, you may want something that requires a little extra help. Maybe a wedding with a lot of guests or if it is a priority for you and your partner to have getting ready photos but you’re in different places. As the details of your day unfold, that may be something you decide to do!
9. Should we make you a shot list? – This is always personal preference! In my wedding day questionnaire that I send out to all of my couples, I do ask if there is anything in particular they want photos of. I do keep that list on me so that those shots get there. Other than that specific list, wedding days are so similar! We’ll get the detail shots (unless you don’t want them) we’ll get photos of your parents and grandparents (unless you don’t want them) etc.
10. What’s your approach to photographing weddings? – Building upon my last question, some photographers are very structured. They tell you where to stand, how to smile, how to hold your hands, etc. I am not this photographer. I have a silent camera which helps make me a little more invisible. The day unfolds as it comes and try to insert my opinion minimally. I will definitely help more during formal portraits, but otherwise, I want to tell your story as it happened.
Looking for more advice planning your day?