Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer:
5 Questions Every Wedding Photographer Must Answer
First, congratulations! In the midst of all of the fittings, tastings, matching colors, choosing flowers, decorations, venue, guest list, invitations, seating, cakes, and food, do not forget that you have found the love of your life and this is a wonderful time. Let’s try to make one of the many items on your to do list a little bit easier… the photographer. I have broken down 5 must ask things a bride-to-be should ask a photographer, from a wedding photographer's point of view.
May I see a sample wedding book?
The wedding book should so the complete work from before the wedding, until the end of the reception. While you have the book in your hand, take a moment to check the quality of the book. Is the paper high quality? How does the fit and finish look? Is the day laid out in an easy to follow and well organized flow? Also take a moment to see the style of the photographer. Does the style fit what you are looking for in your wedding pictures?
May I see your contract?
Even if something is covered verbally, unless it is in the contract, it will not happen. If you wanted bridals, but bridals are not offered in the contract, you are not entitled to get bridal pictures. Take this time to check how formal pictures are handled, the wedding party, bridals, engagements, and any other poses or pictures you may want. Documentation beats conversation. If you want something done out of the ordinary business of a wedding, it needs to be documented.
What is your turnaround time?
Let’s be honest, we live in a “right now” world. Cell phone pictures of the wedding will be up the same night. If you are waiting a month before your pictures are available, that is something that you need to consider. Two weeks is a fantastic time for all the pictures to edited and shown to you to choose from. Do not be surprised if the photographer says 3-4 weeks. Ask if your photographer will offer “sneak peeks”. This is a great way to show off the wedding while the full edits are taking place.
When are you free to walk the venue together?
At this point, after you have seen the work, understand the contract, and have accepted the turn around time, you should know whether you want to book the photographer or not. Now it’s time to plan for the wedding day. Walk the venue with the photographer. Let them understand the lighting, where they can stand, are they able to use flash, where are you getting dressed, and where you will be entering. The more you can plan and walk through the wedding day, the less stress it will be for everyone involved.
Do you have any questions for me?
This simple question is time for feedback and clarification. Do not ask this while walking out the door, or on the way out of the meeting. Sit down and listen to questions the photographer may have. Something as simple as “will these lights be on” means a lot when it comes to lighting and flash. Questions help to clarify the plan for the day. Again, the more you can plan and walk through the wedding day, the less stress it will be for everyone involved.
Communication is the key to a successful wedding day. Keep an open and happy line of communication and your day will be as beautiful as you imagine. Enjoy a lifetime of happiness together. Cheers.
About the Author
Joedy Barnes is a photographer based out of Shreveport, Louisiana. He has been practicing photography for 7 years and specializes in portraits and weddings. You may contact him through his website, www.barnesenterprise.com, through Facebook at Barnes Enterprise Photography, and you may follow him on Instagram @barnesenterprisephotography. He may also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.