Ok- prepare yourself! This may be a longer post, but all of the information here is important questions you should ask your wedding photographer. By referring to this list, it can prepare you for your initial meeting/phone call. Here at Wonderland, we prepare ourselves with all of these answers for the initial meeting with the bride and/or groom.
- Is wedding photography your full time job?
- How far in advance do I need to book with you?
- How many weddings have you shot? Have you done many that were similar to mine in size and style?
- How would you describe your working style? NOTE: The answer should help you determine whether this is a photographer who blends into the background and shoots what unfolds naturally, or creates a more visible presence by taking charge and choreographing shots.
- Does the photographer shoot in mostly color, black and white, or both? How many edits and which styles?
- What do you think distinguishes your work from that of other photographers?
- What information do I need to provide you before the wedding day?
- Have you ever worked with my florist? DJ? Coordinator, etc.? NOTE: Some vendors have great working relationships that help things go smoothly. It’s especially helpful if your videographer and photographer work well together.
- May I have a list of references? NOTE: The photographer should not hesitate to provide this.
- Are they are a member of any associations or groups specific to the industry? If the photographer is a member of an association, he is networking with other professionals and is most likely up to date with current trends and styles of photography. Members also have access to continuing education and other resources that non-members do not have
- What type of equipment will he or she be using? Will the lighting be intrusive? One camera or two? Redundant memory?
- Do you have backup equipment? What about a backup plan if you (or my scheduled photographer) are unable to shoot my wedding for some reason?
- Do you shoot RAW?
- Will you have a 2nd shooter? How long have you shot with them?
- Am I meeting with the person who will be taking photos at my wedding? If not, can I meet with the photographer assigned to my wedding?
- Have you ever worked at my wedding site before? If not, do you plan to check it out in advance? NOTE: Photographers who familiarize themselves with a location ahead of time will be prepared for any lighting issues or restrictions, and will know how best to incorporate the site’s architectural elements into the photos.
- Will you help put my schedule together so that there is enough time allocated to photography and to ensure we have an unrushed, carefree day?
- What time will you arrive at the site and for how long will you shoot?
- How do you work the getting ready part of the day (guys/girls)?
- If my event lasts longer than expected, will you stay? Is there an additional charge?
Packages, Proofs and Prints
- What packages do you offer?
- Can I customize a package based on my needs?
- Do you include engagement photos in your packages? Are they complimentary for booking photo and video?
- What type of album designs do you offer? Do you provide any assistance in creating an album?
- Do you provide retouching, color adjustment or other corrective services?
- How long after the wedding will I get the proofs? Will they be available online?
- What is the ordering process?
- Will you give me the negatives or the digital images, and is there a fee for that? Photographers have the rights to their photographs and may not want to give up the negatives or digital full resolution files. It may be an added cost on the contract.
- How long do you archive the photos? How about for online galleries?
Contracts and Policies
- When will I receive a written contract? TIP: Don’t book a photographer—or any vendor—who won’t provide a written contract.
- How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due? Do you offer a payment plan?
- What is your refund/cancellation policy?
- Do you have liability insurance?
Questions to Ask Yourself:
- Do I feel a connection with this photographer as well as his/her photos? Are our personalities a good match?
- Am I comfortable with this person’s work and communication style?
- Has this photographer listened well and addressed all my concerns?
It’s vital to cover questions as listed above to make sure the expectations are set, especially since it’s an investment to have a great wedding photographer/cinematographer at your wedding.