One of the most important aspects of wedding planning is choosing a photographer to document the wedding day. Photography is not only a significant expense in a couple’s wedding budget, but also the permanent record of the joy, nervousness, tears and laughter of the couple’s first day as husband and wife. Many couples struggle with choosing a photographer, but a few simple questions can help clarify the decision.
Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Wedding Photographer
- How long have you been photographing weddings?
- What is your training? Do you belong to any professional associations?
- How would you describe your style?
- Do you shoot in color, black and white, or a mixture of both?
- Do you have different wedding packages available? What is included?
- How many hours will you be there on the wedding day? How much are extra hours?
- How many photographers will be shooting? Will you be one of them?
- Is an engagement session included?
- Is retouching included? On how many photos?
- Have you shot at our venue before? How did that go?
- How will you (and your assistants, if applicable) be dressed on the wedding day?
- Do you shoot digital or on film?
- Will I receive the negatives/digital full resolution files? If not, what is the charge for this?
- Can I speak to other brides whose weddings you have photographed?
- Can I see a proof book? (This means all the photos a photographer took during a wedding, not just a finished album.)
- Do you have backup equipment of the same type and quality as your regular equipment?
- What happens if you are ill on the wedding day?
- Can others take photos while you are taking photos?
- How many photos will you take over the course of the day? How many rolls?
- How long after the wedding can I expect to have the finished photos? How many are included?
Other questions to consider may be travel expenses (if the photographer is coming in from out of town, or if the wedding is a destination wedding), finished products the photographer offers (such as different styles of bound albums and photo thank you cards), how soon proofs will be available (many photographers now offer proofs in a secure album on their website), and how much involvement the bride and groom have in choosing the prints for their album.
Of course, finding a wedding photographer with all the “right” answers doesn’t necessarily guarantee that s/he will be a perfect match for the couple. The photographer’s personality must be a good fit as well, because a couple who is uncomfortable with their photographer will likely look uncomfortable in their photos. It may take a few interviews to find the right photographer, but the resulting wedding album will be well worth the bride and groom’s extra effort.