Deciding on the right wedding photographer can be a daunting task. I have compiled a list of questions you can ask them when trying to decide if they are right for you.
Do you have my date available? NOTE: Obviously, if the answer is NO and you’re not willing or able to change your date, don’t bother asking the rest of these questions.
How would you describe your photography style (e.g. traditional, photojournalistic, creative)? NOTE: It’s helpful to know the differences between wedding photography styles so that you can discuss your preferences with.
How would you describe your working style? NOTE: The answer should help you determine whether this is a photographer who blends into the background and shoots what unfolds naturally, or creates a more visible presence by taking charge and choreographing shots.
What do you think distinguishes your work from that of other photographers?
Do you have a portfolio I can review? Are all of the images yours, and is the work recent?
What type of equipment do you use?
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?
What information do you need from me before the wedding day?
Have you ever worked with my florist? DJ? Coordinator, etc.? NOTE: Great working relationships between vendors can make things go more smoothly. It’s especially helpful if your videographer and photographer work well together.
May I have a list of references? NOTE: The photographer should not hesitate to provide this.
Do you have backup equipment? 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?
Are you photographing other events on the same day as mine?
How will you (and your assistants) be dressed? NOTE: The photographer and his/her staff should look professional and fit in with the style of your event.
Is it okay if other people take photos while you’re taking photos?
Have you ever worked at my wedding site before? If not, do you plan to check it out in advance? NOTE: Photographers who 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?
If my event lasts longer than expected, will you stay? Is there an additional charge?
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 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 CD, USB.
What is the ordering process?
How long after I order my photos/album will I get them?
Will you give me the negatives or the digital images, and is there a fee for that?
How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due? Do you offer a payment plan?
Do you have liability insurance?