November 29th, 2013
Choosing a wedding photographer is like choosing a doctor...only harder. They all have great looking, slick websites with beautiful photos and albums. They all have photos of weddings that you would want to have. So how do you choose which one will be yours? Here are 10 questions to ask a wedding photographer before, during and after the wedding.
- How much? It's the ugliest question, but it should honestly be the first one you ask. You have a budget and you need to know if your photographer is going to fall in your range. If you don't meet anywhere close, you're setting yourself up for heartbreak. Get the prices.
- Can I see your last two weddings? Here's the thing about photographer's websites: they're built to show off the best photos the photographer has ever taken, right on the front page. You shouldn't be judging a photographer on their best, you should judge them on what they consistently put out. Check out the last few weddings the photographer has shot and see how those photos look. Things go wrong with every wedding shoot and you should know ho the photographer handles it.
- What's the album look like? Some photographers...seriously...print at Costco. Which is fine if you're expecting a Costco product. But this is your wedding, you should expect more. Take a look at a finished album to see the quality of the printing, the stock the photos are printed on, and the overall design of the book. Major changes to the layouts can cost extra, so make sure you like the photographer's graphic design style too.
- Do you use flash? This is a technical question, but one that needs to be asked. if your photographer doesn't it up, you should. Your wedding can either be a relaxing, intimate time...or the most stressful day of your life. You need to know if you want flashbulbs going off in the middle of the ceremony or not. Most photographers are flexible, but it's definitely a consideration. Besides, some venues (especially churches) don't allow flash photography inside. Your photographer needs to know this too.
- What's the plan? You've got a lot of moving around to do on your wedding day. Ask your photographer for the shooting plan and make sure you both understand it. Know where you need to be and when, and where your photographer will be and when. You don't want your photographer to be in transit to the reception and miss out on the priceless photo of your grandmother hugging you in front of the church. Most photographers will plan your day down to the minute to get the most photographs out of the day.
- Is your photographer cool? Not Fonzie-cool, cool as in relaxed and able to calm you down. You will take your frustrations out on your photographer at some point during the day. You'll be tired, the room will be crowded and you won't know half of the people in it. The last thing you want is one more person in your face telling you to do something. Your photographer expects it. But your photographer shouldn't be the stagecoach driver, forcing you onward when you're exhausted. Get a feel for your photographer and make sure they're the kind of person you're ok with being around for 8 hours.
- What about editing? Everyone looks better in Photoshop. But this is a wedding, not a glamour shoot. There will be some editing involved, but you need to know how much. Some photographers like the photojournalism approach to a wedding: the only things they'll edit are technical things like contrast and color. Others will go in and correct a few things about you. Know what's available.
- How long is this going to take? Get a timeline on your finished photos. You'll be excited and itching to see your photos soon. it's like waiting for Christmas without knowing when Christmas actually is. So get a good ballpark estimate on how long it will take before your photos are ready to be viewed.
- How do my relatives get photos? Check out the ordering system. Most photographers have an online gallery for viewing your photos. Check it out and see how it works. Most likely, your family won't call the photographer for help on the website, they'll call you. Make sure it's an easy system and ask how long it takes to get prints.
- What do you love about shooting weddings? Ask this every single time. It'll tell you everything about your photographer. You want a passionate photographer who loves weddings. This is a non-technical question that gives you insight into how the photographer thinks. Anyone can click a shutter...you want a photographer that understands why they click it.
Ask us these questions! We want to help you out by being the wedding photographers you've always dreamed of. Contact us today!
by Opie Janzer