What 12 Questions To Ask Before Booking Your Wedding Photographer ?
1. Can we see FULL wedding gallery?
Lot of times when you come to photographer's websites, you will see lots of flashy set up portraits or many couple images. This is great if thats what you are after, but I would recommend to ask to see FULL wedding gallery, to see how other parts of the day are captured as well. To see what photographer can create once he/she has no control over situation. Creating posed photos and capturing natural ones is completely different skill. Posed wow portraits create only about 5% of whole wedding coverage, so check remaining 95% of photos to make sure that you are happy with their style/look.
2. Do you direct people on wedding day, when and how?
Well this can be many things - lets say that you might be asked to pretend putting your make up on again just for photos, might be asked to repeat something again, to “stretch your chin” or move into “better light” and dress there. Its important to find out how and if wedding photographer influence you day and book or not to book with that in mind. If all that you want is to enjoy your day without being asked to do things then make sure you are hiring guy who works that way.
3. What insurance do you have?
If answer is none, run for your life:) Every photographer must have public liability and professional indemnity insurance.
4.Do you use flash?
Days when flash was necessary are gone and cameras nowadays are extremely sensitive to light so there is no need to use flash at all. Each time photo is taken flash goes off too keeping you aware that you are being photographed. Some photographers like using flash only during evening to capture dance floor action what is not disturbing as it sort of blends in with Dj lights and alcohol levels of guests, but being aware of flash lets say during quite morning while getting ready can spoil the atmosphere.
5.Are you full time wedding photographer?
Cameras are much more accessible nowadays and everybody can be photographer as soon as tomorrow. Full time photographers understand that weddings are not a picnic. There is lot of hard work required to deliver results that our clients are expecting. Battling this with 9 to 5 job elsewhere can be difficult and may lead to cutting corners on post production and other aspects of photography.
6. Do you have / use cameras with quite shutter?
One thing that can make big difference for bride/groom/wedding guest on the wedding day is a silent shutter. What is it? Well, each time photo is taken, camera makes noise and especially older cameras used to be quite noisy. Nowadays more modern cameras are very quite and discreet, some completely silent so that instead of hearing loud klak klak klak you can barely notice the sound of camera and presence of photographer. On average photographers take 2-5 thousand images per day - that could be quite a lot of unnecessary noise, especially during ceremony or quite morning preparations!
7.How and when do we receive our images?
There are many ways to deliver images, CD, DVD, USB, digital download. Most important thing is that you get digital copies of your images in high resolution and that you can print and share them for your personal use anywhere you like. Also having same copies of images optimised for social media is helpful, as images for printing are much bigger in size due to extra resolution. Photographers often put watermarks on images showed on their websites, but those delivered to you should be logo free. Some photographers only let you share images on social media that have their watermark on, what I think is not right thing to do. Delivery time depends on photographer - it can be anywhere between 2 - 8 weeks.
8.Are all images fully retouched?
Every photographer has its own style of post processing and all images that you will receive should be retouched to the the same style as you see on photographers website. Sometimes there might be few images in the package that have more artistic retouching - (usually couple portraits, to create extra wow factor).
9.We would like some portraits - how long would it take?
I bet you have seen plenty of nice flashy images on photographers websites but often it can take time to set them up properly and create desired results. If you like this type of photos but would like to spend as much time as possible celebrating with your guests, do ask photographer how long portraits would take to avoid spending too much time away from the main party.
10.Do we need to sign wedding contract?
Answer should be yes. Purpose of contract is to set out terms and conditions and to protect all parties involved. Nowadays its very easy to sign contracts online using smartphones, tablets etc which is very fast and convenient.
11.Can we meet or make skype video call?
Photographer will be with you form morning, through I dos until after your first dance. Meeting or skype call will help you to find out a bit more about the personality of photographer and to see if you "click" together. Meeting or skype session should always be free.
12.How many wedding do you photograph per year and how many have you done?
Instead of asking "how long have you been doing photography?", what can be misleading, its better to ask how many weddings photographer does per year, and total number of weddings photographed in his/her career to get idea of experience and workload.