Choosing the right wedding photographer is key – make sure to ask these 5 questions!
WHAT TO ASK YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER: TOP 5 QUESTIONS
#1. Are you a Professional Photographer?
Any Joe Schmo can call themselves a professional, but you must confirm their credentials. Are they a member of any professional organizations, such as the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) or Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI)? Have they taken any advanced wedding photography classes through a professional organization? These organizations require a level of expertise from their members and also provide you with valuable online resources to find a certified professional photographer in your area.
#2. How long have you been photographing weddings?
You don’t want to be somebody’s first…or second…or third! Ask your wedding photographer about their experience.
Make sure to look at galleries of past weddings to see if you share the same aesthetic. Do they have a lot of overly-photoshopped images or funky filters? If so, this may be a sign of a photographer with questionable taste. Wedding photography should be creative — but still hold up 20 years from now.
Don’t just take their word for it…do your due diligence! Make sure to see multiple positive testimonials. A good photographer will be happy to provide references from past clients.
#3. What do your wedding photography packages include?
It needs to be clear what you’re getting with your wedding photography package. Once an agreement is reached, make sure you sign a detailed contract with your wedding photographer.
Ask about copyright to the images. Copyright is important, as it gives you the right to keep and print the digital files at your discretion.
Make sure you’ll have enough “coverage”, meaning how many hours the photographer will be present at your event. Most photographers have a time-minimum for weddings and many only offer packages 8 hours or longer. Every wedding day schedule is different, so make sure you’re on the same page with your wedding photographer about your needs!
#4. Will you, personally, be our photographer? And what happens if you get sick or can’t make it to the wedding?
Companies that offer services in addition to photography (DJ, lighting, videography, etc.) often employ numerous photographers. Make sure you know who will be your primary wedding photographer. You might find yourself in a situation where the most experienced photographer is already booked, so you end up with a less-seasoned shooter. If you are paying for a professional — make sure there’s no way you’ll end up with an amateur!
You’ll also want to make sure your photographer is insured and for what amount. This way, in the event they can’t make your wedding, you will be reimbursed either partially or for the full amount paid.
#5. Wedding Albums: Do I really need one?
This is a question that stumps most brides.
Should I pay to have the photographer make an album or should I just make one myself? I would advise against the latter as most photographers are skilled in creating a fluid album that tells the story of your day. Professionals have access to print companies not available to the general public, which produce books much higher in quality than any DIY album.
There are many details for you to customize with high end wedding books: the cover, spine, pages, and encasing box, etc. There are tons of materials and color options. Customizing your book is an exciting process! Professional books are well-made and built to last, so you’ll have a one-of-a-kind memento to keep in your family forever. Pictures on the computer are great, but it’s really special have a tactile book to hold in your hands. A skilled wedding photographer will help guide you through this process.
With these five questions for your wedding photographer, you’ll be sure to make the right choice!