It is not easy to choose a wedding photographer. Whenever you open the Internet, a handful of wedding photography companies will jump out at you. Do they qualify as professionals? And what are the basic qualities that such a professional should possess?
As a result of my research, I have come up with a list of 12 questions you should ask your wedding photographer before you make a choice.
How would you describe your style of photography?
You should ask this question as soon as possible. This is the feature that struck the most chord with you in the pictures of that photographer.
Many wedding photographers use documentary and portraiture techniques. Some also add a hint of glamour and fine-art to give the photos a magazine-like appearance. As this will impact the entire wedding day, it’s very important that the photographer explains the process beforehand.
How many weddings have you photographed? How many of them were similar to mine?
The answer to this question will reveal how experienced the photographer is. The most important thing is not how long he has been doing this, but how many weddings he has done. In fact, some photographers only work on three to four weddings per year.
Consequently, even if a person has five years’ experience, he or she might have only photographed a dozen weddings.
How many times have you worked directly as a wedding photographer?
The answer to this question will tell you whether the photographer is solely focused on wedding photography, or if he or she has just taken time off from his or her regular job. Focus on a photographer who specializes in wedding photography, preferably one who shoots with your style in mind.
Will we be signing a contract for wedding photography? Can I get a copy?
Many wedding photographers do not have their clients sign a contract. It would be a good idea to ask your photographer to draft such a contract for you. You should include important details like the price or cancellation terms.
Wedding contracts are created for your safety and the safety of the photographer. It is certainly a good idea to find a photographer who will create a similar contract for you and sign it together.
What if something unexpected happens? What if the photographer falls ill?
It is very unlikely, but anything can happen on your wedding day, so we cannot rule it out. You should still have a backup plan.
Take the time to listen to him and ask yourself if he has considered the situation thoroughly enough. Ideally, your photographer should work with other professional photographers who can assist in case of an unexpected event.
Photographers help and support one another in these situations. The photographer should vouch for the backup photographer. It is imperative that he knows how to take pictures, work with people, and be creative.
It doesn’t matter who takes the photos, you need to ensure they are of the highest quality.
Will you come to the wedding with an assistant, or a second photographer?
For weddings with more than 100 guests, you should consider having two photographers. It is impossible to be in two places at once during a wedding to capture important moments. The photographer should focus primarily on the newlyweds and their immediate families.
That’s why he might miss other smaller but nice moments at a bigger wedding. A good example is when the photographer wants to capture the bride and groom’s first kiss and also the emotion of the immediate family, it really takes two separate photographers to do that.
Can I decide how you edit my wedding photos?
One of the next important steps is postproduction of the photos. It involves editing the photos in Photoshop or some other professional program. In many cases, the photographer does not edit the resulting photos in any way and submits them as they were taken.
Over-editing is the other extreme. He overdoes it with colour or darkens each image excessively, for example.
Will you adjust the colour or brightness of my photos?
An essential part of any photographer’s workflow is to adjust the colour and brightness. Since such an adjustment requires so much time and energy from the photographer, many people skip it. Due to this, the resulting photos vary in light and color. For instance, it can also occur that your skin in the printed photos appears orange, yellow, or blue.
What photographic equipment (cameras, accessories) do you use? If photo equipment breaks down, do you have a replacement?
To paint a masterpiece, a painter needs good quality paints and a variety of brushes. In order to create unique photographs, a photographer also needs professional equipment.
Make sure he actually has it. Find out if your photographer has spare accessories in case anything breaks during the wedding. In the end, you don’t want him to spend your whole wedding day taking pictures with his cell phone just because his lens broke.
Will I get extra time if the schedule is pushed back? Will I pay for it?
When the photographer stays at the wedding longer than you initially agreed, he will ask for more money. Ask for the exact price of the extra time. The last thing you want is to be charged $1000 extra when you hand over your photos. The photographer should also not disappear from the wedding solely because the allocated time has lapsed.
How do you usually dress during weddings? How will your assistant be dressed?
Because he or she is always with the bride and groom, the wedding photographer is an integral part of the wedding day. Therefore, his or her attire will largely influence how guests perceive the wedding. He should blend in as much as possible and not stand out from the crowd. Ensure that he is appropriately dressed.
Let the wedding guests think that the photographer and assistant are also guests. This will make for natural snapshots because people are relaxed in the presence of the photographer – even those who don’t like to be photographed.
How long after the wedding do we wait for photos?
Each photographer has a different delivery time for wedding photos. You can tell if he or she takes care of his or her photos by this. Those who don’t edit the photos properly are able to deliver them within a week.
Generally, you will hold them in your hands between two weeks and three months after the wedding. With weddings that take place in the fall and winter, the delivery time for photos is usually shorter.