Your wedding photos how you preserve the special day for eternity. You cannot afford to risk losing the one chance to take epic photos when you, your new spouse, and your loved ones look their best. So wedding photos simply have to be perfect!
Photos are only as good as the skills of the photographer that took them. So a fantastic photo gallery for your wedding starts with a fantastic photographer. But here’s the catch: almost everyone labels themselves as the best photographer!
The good news is that strategic interviewing is a clever way to find the best of the best. You will find all you need to confirm a potential photographer’s legitimacy by asking the right questions. You will also narrow down to one who understands what you want and can help you achieve it to perfection.
The purpose of asking these questions is also to see how best you can facilitate their creative process. For example what they will need if they come with assistants and so forth.
Therefore, the best questions to ask a wedding photographer before booking them are.
How long have they been a professional wedding photographer?
The first thing to ask them about is their experience.
How many years have they been in photography? Do they have any specific experience in wedding photography?
The longer they have been in the business, the better they will be at their craft. It would also mean they have a few good tricks up their sleeve from working for so long.
This does not mean you should write off all newcomers. On the contrary, new talent brings fresh air to any industry. Use different means to see if they are the photographer you need. For beginners, ask them to show you their previous work. Or ask any of the other questions in this guide.
If they can show you their wedding gallery
The next best way to gauge a photographer’s expertise is to look at their work. Ask them to show you a gallery or even their entire portfolio. It will save time to look at their wedding shoots, but it will give you a better idea by pursuing their whole body of work. Or at least most of it.
Most photographers will be proud to show you their work. Look for how diverse it is or if they can capture the aesthetic you are looking for. For example, in their wedding photos, see whether or not they look like something you would want for yourself.
If they have any reviews from previous customers
Who have they ever worked for before? Do not restrict yourself to photographers that work with celebrities.
As we have already mentioned, other independent or upcoming photographers are often uncut gems. But look to see if they have any real clients.
What did those clients have to say about the service? You have established they are a legitimate professional, but did their clients enjoy the work? Look for reviews about the photographer and whether or not they are usually recommended.
Was the photographer easy to work with? Ask the people who worked with the photographer how they were, if possible. For example, what was their temperament and manner like, and ask about some memorable moments they enjoyed with the photographer.
Whether they have a social media presence
Another smart way to get the feel of a photographer is to see their social media pages, especially their Instagram. Instagram is the platform for creatives, especially visual artists. Look at their photos’ quality and the general aesthetic of their page.
Often, a photographer will post the best of the best on their page. So what their Instagram or other social media page looks like will show you the best you can expect them to deliver.
Their level of engagement is also a good measure, but do not be too swift to judge a photographer based solely on that.
However, how they relate to people will give you an idea of how easy they are to work with. Plus, a bad photographer will have a hard time getting positive engagement.
How would they describe their wedding photography style
After seeing their work for yourself, the next step is to hear it from them. This question helps you see how self-aware they are. A self-aware artist will know their capabilities and how best to translate your wishes into your photos.
Even if a wedding photographer has the best skills and products in the industry, they might not be the best choice for you and your spouse if their aesthetic and style don’t meet your wedding’s aspirations. Ask them to describe their photographic style to you, in addition to looking at their website and social media pages to make sure it’s a good fit.
Most importantly, you want to make sure that your personalities mesh well since you will be spending the entire day with them! You will not always get the complete picture simply from seeing their photos.
How would they describe their photo editing style?
Closely related to a photographer’s general style is their editing style. It may seem redundant to ask this after asking the previous question, but editing is usually a different process.
Your wedding images’ final appearance will depend on the wedding photographer’s editing technique. Note whether their look is vibrant, classic, or moody.This step is an excellent time to ask about any further photo editing services you might be interested in, such as color correction or retouching.
Whether they have any specialties
Ask your photographer what their special skills are.
Knowing your photographer’s strengths will help you see how best to work with them. For example, if they are highly talented in night photography, they will be an excellent choice for your wedding’s evening outdoor party. If they are great with edits and you are a fan of that, then they may be the best choice.
At this juncture, it would also help to ask them what they don’t do or do not recommend. Knowing this will allow you to understand the limits and what to expect.
What is it like to work with them on the day of the wedding
Your wedding photographer is one of your VIP wedding providers. They’ll be there by your side every step of the journey, documenting the magic. As a result, you must feel at ease with your wedding photographer, which is more important than you may think.
Do your personalities complement each other well? The finest wedding photographer is ultimately someone you can communicate easily with. If they can take in the beautiful feelings of the day and have as much fun as you are, all the better.
You may get a better sense of the wedding photographer’s attitude, their shooting style, and how it will be to work with them by asking them to guide you through the itinerary of the wedding day. While some may focus on posing ideas, others might want to take more unstaged, natural photographs. There is no right or wrong answer. What matters is that the photographer’s aesthetic suits your vision and that you both feel at ease.
If they have a backup plan in place
Every professional takes every measure possible to ensure a task they were supposed to do, gets done. Your photographer should have one too.
Weddings are unpredictable. It’s comforting to know that the wedding photographer has a fallback plan in place if something should happen and they are unable to capture your wedding. The logistics and backup gear for photography are the same. Your wedding coordinator is invaluable in communicating with the photographer to make sure they are on the same page for Plan B!
How much their wedding packages cost
If you have gotten this far with your photographer, they are probably the one for you. The only thing you need to settle on is the price.
Wedding photographers’ pricing ranges broadly depending on whether you want an engagement session, how many hours of coverage you desire, whether you get an album from them, etc. Expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $18,000.
What their wedding packages include
Allow them to say what exactly their packages entail. It is advisable to have the fine details of this so that you do not end up with unsatisfactory images or a bill you did not expect.
Many photographers are open to bargaining or even have special offers for their wedding packages. The most important thing about this step is to have an honest conversation with them.
Secondly, ask them if they have any special services, such as photo booths.
When you will receive your wedding photos
Finally, ask them when you should expect your wedding photos.
Before sending you the final product, your wedding photographer will probably take their time editing the pictures. However, knowing when that period will be crucial, so you don’t have to check your inbox, building anxiety constantly.
You can also inquire about the photographs’ delivery specifications, such as whether they will be high-resolution, unwatermarked, etc., and whether they will provide teasers or sneak peeks soon after the major event.
Knowing these details is essential, so you are not disappointed in the process and can manage expectations!
Here are some other things to ask your potential photographer that may get overlooked:
Will they give you a press release with the contract?
According to federal legislation, wedding photographers have the exclusive right to the photographs they capture at your wedding; thus, they are permitted to use them for promotional purposes.
However, in addition to the contract, photographers will also provide the couple with a print release. If you purchase this print release, you may utilize the wedding photos for private purposes.
Do they have videographer partners or recommendations?
Most photographers have preferences on videographers they work with, so it’s great to ask.
Will transport to the venue be added to the overall price?
Confirm with the photographer what exactly their price entails. For example, some may request traveling allowances to far-off places or even have it as a standard price within their packages.
Remember that most photographers require a meal in their contract, and it’s important to include them in your vendor meal count.