It's finally time to plan the wedding you've been dreaming of, but it doesn't take long before the planning and selecting of your vendors becomes overwhelming. As a photographer with more than 5 years of experience in the wedding industry, the I take most seriously about my job is reducing the stress for my couples as much as possible. Hopefully, with this little checklist of important questions to ask your potential wedding photographer before you hire them, it can make the process easier for you.
The questions you to know before booking a photographer
It can sometimes be easy to gauge your potential photographer's style by looking at their website, and social media pages, but it can still be important to ask them how they would personally describe their shooting and editing style. Try to think of what qualities in the photographers' style are important to you as well before you start searching for one. Do you like light, and bright images with a candid feel? Do you prefer earthy warm tones and dramatic posing? Every photographer has a unique style and shooting method so be sure to ask them!
It's important to ask your potential photographer how many weddings they have shot, or how long they have been shooting weddings. Each wedding is unique and will require different levels of skill to achieve certain shots. Are you having a sparkler exit or having your reception in a dark venue? Is your ceremony at noon when the sun is high? These are things to think about and take into consideration when looking at vendors and finding one that knows how to properly light your images for the look you want to achieve.
It's always a good idea to ask all of your potential vendors if they carry liability insurance and if that insurance also covers their assistants and second shooters. If something worse case ever happens on your big day or to your images or the vendor's equipment afterward it's good to have peace of mind knowing that these worst-case scenarios will be covered by their insurance policies and that you'll not be responsible or left high and dry.
Enjoying your images for the rest of your life is the biggest reason why you've chosen to hire a professional photographer. Asking them about what products they offer aside from your digital gallery is always a good idea. Do they offer albums? Wall art? Prints? Don't forget to also ask if they will assist you in choosing the images and designing the album as well.
There are several important questions that will fall into this category, each of them just as important as the last. How much of a deposit or retainer fee do they require? Industry-standard is between 25-50% but every vendor runs their business differently.
Do you accept payment plans? This answer will vary wildly so it's important to ask and also ask how their payment plan is structured.
Will you be posting our images online or in magazines or publications? Many photographers have a model release inside their contract so this is important to ask if this is something that you do not want for personal or privacy reasons.
Every photographer prices themselves differently based on the costs of running their business, skill level and experience, and what is included in the packages themselves. Think about what is most important to you when considering your budget for a photographer. Ask them what is included in their packages, if packages can be customized if their packages don't have exactly what you're looking for or more than you need. Is an engagement session included? Ask how much additional hours will cost, and how much their travel fee is. Most photographers charge an additional travel fee outside of a 1-hour radius of their location.