Ten (more) Questions
For installment number two of this, I thought I would add something one of my brides said to me recently. She said that the best piece of advice she had gotten while planning her day was "Make sure you like your photographer. Not just professionally, but also personally, because you have to spend the ENTIRE day with them".
So, some questions you may want to ask yourself while interviewing potential photographers are:
Do I feel a connection with this photographer as well as his/her photos? Are our personalities a good match?
Am I comfortable with this person's work and communication style? (COMMUNICATION SHOULD BE KEY with all your vendors, but ESPECIALLY your photographer)
Has this photographer listened well and addressed all my concerns?
Now, On to the things you should be asking your potential photographer.
1. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORKING STYLE?
This 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. I don’t think that there is a ‘wrong’ answer here, it is just what you are comfortable with. I personally tend to get right in the middle of things, but a lot of photographers shoot from the sidelines and produce stellar shots.
2. HAVE YOU EVER WORKED WITH MY COORDINATOR/VENUE/MAKEUP ARTIST, ETC?
A great working relationships between vendors can make your day go more smoothly. If you have booked photo + video apart from one another, it can be especially helpful if your videographer and photographer work well together.
3. MAY I HAVE A LIST OF REFERENCES?
My personal opinion is that if your photog can’t provide you with one, start looking elsewhere.
4. ARE YOU THE PHOTOGRAPHER THAT WILL BE SHOOTING MY WEDDING?
If so, will they have any assistants with you on that day? If not, who will be taking your photos, and can you meet them before your wedding? THIS IS CRUCIAL. You would be surprised by how many people are surprised by a new face on their day. This should also be clearly outlined in your contract.
5. CAN I CUSTOMIZE A PACKAGE BASED ON MY NEEDS?
Pricing should never be something your vendors should be afraid to discuss with you. Some photographers offer 2-3 packages, and what you get is what you get. Others have a la cart pricing, and others offer custom pricing.
6. HOW WILL YOU (AND ANY ASSISTANTS) BE DRESSED?
I have seen it all with this one, folks. From jeans to shorts to the polished pro to actual evening wear. Your photographer should be dressed professionally and to match the style of your event. Letting you photog in on the vibe of the event is super helpful. It allows us to gauge what we should wear to best blend in. If it is a black tie wedding then a more formal approach is necessary, if not then we can relax a little (But sheesh, not too much!).
7. DO YOU CHARGE A TRAVEL FEE?
For what distance? What does that cover?
8. ARE YOU PHOTOGRAPHING ANY ADDITIONAL EVENTS ON THE SAME DAY AS MINE?
I personally commit myself to my wedding clients on the day of their wedding, but I have seen many others take on family sessions or additional clients. This also may be outlined in the contract.
9. WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHING WEDDINGS?
I love answering this! This is one of the most important questions to ask your wedding photographer to help get a sense of their personality, and to see if he or she seems genuinely excited to share your wedding day with you.
10. WHAT IS THE BACKUP PLAN IF, FOR ANY REASON, YOU ARE UNABLE TO SHOOT MY WEDDING?
Pro tip: Make sure you check the contract, which should specify that a photographer of equal quality and comparable style will be sourced by the photographer you hire in the event something unexpected happens.
I hope this is helpful to all the couples out there! What other questions do you think are key to be asking your photographer? Let me know in the comments!