- Do you have my date available? When you see a photographers portfolio and like what you have seen, this question is a top question you should ask right up front before you dig too deep.
- How long have you been in business?
- How far in advance is it necessary to book you for our wedding?
- How many weddings have you shot? This is an important question because it will let you know if they know the routine, schedule, flow of a wedding and whether they have been successful in creating shot lists etc. (note: this is why asking your BFF, cousin or Uncle Bill to photograph it can run you into nightmares no matter how much you want to save money)
- How would you describe your style? - Style is important because you want to see if the photographer has the ability to deliver what you are looking for in the images.
- What does a typical wedding day look like when you photograph it? This helps you understand how they work, who is in the background, how many people they bring, what equipment is there. Ultimately it lets you know if they are invisible or a distraction to the wedding day. While you want a great photographer, having a photographer that is in the middle of everything can take away from you just soaking up the entire day.
- What do you think differentiates your work from that of other photographers? - while this is a good question, I think you can easily recognize quality and differences in poses, scenery, creativity etc when browsing photographers portfolios. The difference really may come in how they sell their packages. That is essential to know and understand. For example, InkStudios is all-inclusive packages. Many photographers have packages that are targeted to up sell by adding on many other items. Our goal is to provide the couple with everything they need in their package.
- What type of equipment do you use? - While this might be greek to you, its an important question. Knowing whether they are shooting a pro camera that can handle lower light/tough lighting situations is vital in a wedding. Weddings are not typically Beautiful Big Bright rooms. Its also whether or not their images will be sharp as a tack or not, whether they will be able to capture image sizes that will be able to print the art work and beautiful wedding albums you are wanting.
- Can I give you a list of specific shots we would like?
- Can you put together a slideshow of the engagement session (along with other photos the couple provides) and show it during the cocktail hour? What about an "instant" slideshow of the ceremony? Not every photographer will offer this. In fact MOST will not. At InkStudios LLC we do offer this.
- What information do you need from me before the wedding day?
- Have you ever worked with my florist? DJ? Coordinator, etc.? Great working relationships between vendors can make things go more smoothly. It's especially helpful if your videographer and photographer work well together or if it is the same company. When the vendors have worked with each other, they know how each other works and essentially can make things work like clockwork.
- Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding? If so, will you have any assistants with you on that day? If not, who will be taking the pictures and can I meet them before my wedding? Important question here because sometimes they may be eluding to the fact that they will be shooting your wedding by talking about their incredible work, but in fact, they have someone else working for them, lesser skill, who might be shooting your wedding day.
- Do you have backup equipment? Pretty vital to that day. What happens if a battery dies, or a flash quits, or they drop one camera? If they are a professional, they will have other equipment to make sure the day happens.
- What about a backup plan if you (or my scheduled photographer) are unable to shoot my wedding for some reason?
- If my wedding site is out of your area, do you charge a travel fee and what does that cover? This normally is stated in their contract. Oh, if no contract, you probably should move along and speak with someone else.
- Are you photographing other events on the same day as mine?
- How will you (and your assistants) be dressed? Some photographers like to dress in all black, some in suits, some look like waiters. Others dress pretty current and look like guests.
- Is it okay if other people take photos while you're taking photos? Any true professional will have rules around this. So ask this question up front.
- Do you have Venue suggestions?
- Have you ever worked at my wedding site before? If not, do you plan to check it out in advance? A true professional Photographer will 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.
- What time will you arrive at the site and for how long will you shoot? This won't happen up front. Probably a question that comes later when more details and the days agenda are arranged. Its also depends on the collection you have selected.
These are all questions to ask up front about what happens after the wedding day
- What packages do you offer?
- Can I customize a package based on my needs?
- Do you include engagement photos in your packages?
- What type of album designs do you offer? Do you provide any assistance in creating an album?
- Do digital negatives come with the collection?
- Is there an additional fee for digital negatives?
- Do you provide retouching, color adjustment or other corrective services?
- How long after the wedding will I get the proofs? Will they be viewable online? On a thumb drive? (CDs are so outdated, ask for a thumb drive)
- What is the ordering process?
- How long after I order my photos/album will I get them?
Here is a link to a pdf version for you to download and carry with you as you begin your quest to find a photographer