QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN HIRING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Today the wedding industry is teeming with wedding photographers. It seems that all the time, someone I know has decided to try their hand at it. This is an amazing thing! I love watching others pursue their dreams. However, as a bride, it can be overwhelming when it comes time to choose the right photographer for you and your wedding! Believe me, I know the industry as a wedding photographer, but I've also experienced it from a bride's perspective when I planned my own wedding. So... how do you pick one? I've put together a list of questions to ask when hiring a wedding photographer. Ask them...
WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCE DO THEY HAVE?
Now don't get me wrong, I don't think experience alone should be a deal breaker. However, I do believe it is an important question to ask when hiring a wedding photographer. Ask your photographer how long they have been shooting, specifically how long they have been shooting weddings. Someone whose specialty is taking senior portraits may not be able to give you the best service that a wedding photographer can. Has your photographer had a lot of experience shooting your type of wedding (outdoor, indoor, cultural ceremony, etc.)? A photographer with more experience knows what to expect in different situations and how to be ready for anything (weather, lighting, unexpected events, etc.).
WHAT DOES THEIR FEE INCLUDE?
Something I want to seriously drive home here is that all photographers are NOT created equal. In fact, there is nothing more disheartening to a photographer than hearing a potential client say, "Well this photographer said they could give us the same package for less. Why can't you give me the same price?". As photographers, we consider ourselves artists, and comparing photographers and their packages is like comparing apples to oranges, since their work is so different. What I mean by asking what their fee includes is to make sure you know everything that is included in the price so that there are no surprises later. Does the number you were quoted include the digital files? Sales tax? Prints? Ask all of your questions up front so that you know exactly what to expect later.
WHAT IS THEIR DELIVERY TIMELINE?
Most photographers will quote you delivery of your files between 6 to 8 weeks from your wedding day. I know that I always aim to over-quote and deliver them much sooner. Nothing is better than surprising a bride with early delivery of her photos. So don't necessarily get bummed out when you see that you may not get your photos for a month and a half. That quote is usually what it is to protect the photographer in case of an emergency.
DOES THEIR STYLE MATCH MINE?
This is HUGE! I hate to see brides settle. Of course I am a bit biased, but I feel that your photographer should be one of the top priorities for your wedding budget. Don't wait until the last minute to hire your photographer or you will be working with the leftover portion of your budget! Unfortunately when this happens, brides usually can't afford the photographer that they want and are forced to settle for a photographer with a different style. If you don't love the photographer's style now, you probably won't love their style in 10 years. Photos will be the lasting memories of your special day, treat them with priority!
ARE WE A GOOD MATCH?
This is the most important tip I can give every bride. Make sure you and your photographer are a good match. You will be spending many hours together on your wedding day in close proximity. Your photographer should make you feel special, beautiful, honored, and be someone you can trust. When your photographer's services are tailored to fit you and your needs, you will feel confident on your big day knowing that you are in good hands. Likewise, I always want to make sure that brides have the best match for them. If I feel that someone can serve them better, I will always be honest with them.
Hopefully this list of questions can help you navigate this important decision. If you have any questions at all, I am always happy to help; and if you are on the hunt for your perfect wedding photographer, I would love to chat and see if we are a good match!