I was extremely lucky when it came to hiring a photographer for my wedding. My wife’s cousin is a trained photographer so we paid her a nominal amount to take pictures for us. Not all of us are lucky enough to have a photographer in the family. If you are looking to secure the services of a wedding photographer we have some questions you should ask to help you pick the best one for your needs!
“What is your preferred style of photography?”
Your wedding should not be a matter of “Point-Click-Repeat.” There are a couple of different styles you should discuss with potential photographers to see how experienced they are in each.
- Portraiture – A more traditional method of taking wedding photos. The photographer will pose the couple, their wedding party, and important friends and family in front of landmarks like the church/wedding venue, the alter, and as a big group. There is a little room for creativity, but this mostly about staging photos in a strictly traditional manner
- Documentary – Less structured than portraiture, a documentary-style photographer will take pictures of real No one will be posed or looking directly at the camera. The photographer will walk around and capture people talking, laughing, eating, dancing, and enjoying the day. This way you have a portfolio of photos that illustrate the candid moments of your wedding and tell a story
- Artistic – Photographers versed in this style tend to use film when shooting your wedding, not digital cameras. Wedding photos shot in this style may come out with a grainy, dreamy quality to them, with images in the foreground in sharp focus while everything in the background is blurry and hazy
“How many weddings have you photographed?”
When you are applying for a job every company wants to know how much experience you have in a particular industry. You should ask the same of your wedding photographer. Years are not a full measure of a wedding photographer: just because they have had a camera in their hands for 30+ years does not mean they’ve shot a lot of weddings. Be sure to get a full gauge of their wedding experience before you agree to hire them.
“May I see a portfolio of your work?”
You can get an idea of how a photographer works from speaking to them about their favorite style and their previous experience. The best way to get a true idea, though, is to actually see the work they’ve done over the course of their careers. Not only will you be able to gauge the quality of their work but you can also see potential examples of what you would like to see for your wedding album. Being able to point to concrete examples takes a lot of the guesswork out of the day for both you and the photographer.
“How many events is your studio working that weekend?”
If a potential studio has multiple bookings for a weekend you may not receive the attention you want for your wedding. Make sure that any photographer you plan to hire will be able to focus on your wedding, will show up on time, and will stay until their allotted time is up.
“If my event goes long will you stay? Will that be an extra charge?”
This question is a great follow up to the last one. Wedding days are fickle beasts. A slight hitch and your whole schedule can be ruined. Make sure that the photographer can stay overtime if necessary and if that will cause you to incur additional costs.
“Will an assistant photographer be coming along as well?”
The bigger the wedding the more moments there are to capture. A single photographer, no matter how talented, cannot be in multiple places at once. Be sure to inquire with each studio you speak to how many photographers they will be able to send along if you are having a large amount of guests attend your wedding.
“Do you have insurance?”
This is a really important question to ask for a number of reasons. Firstly, proof of insurance is important for any business to have to show they are professional. Secondly, it will protect the photographer in the event something happens to their equipment. Lastly, it also provides protection just in case someone at your wedding is injured by the photography equipment. This may seem like a long shot, but you wouldn’t want to take the chance and end up being liable for accidental injuries that happen when someone doesn’t see the huge camera in their face.
These questions should help you narrow down your list of potential photographers. You may have others that are more personal for your particular needs, so feel free to add them to this list. Good luck in your wedding photographer search!