When it comes to hiring a photographer for your wedding, there are a lot of variables that will influence the images you'll receive, so sitting down with a photographer is super important before booking. You might book a band after watching a few videos or a florist based on their gallery, but the nuances of photography require more than just talent and the right price point to provide the services you want.
As you start thinking about what you do and don't want in your photos, it's a good time to start asking around for recommendations. If any of your friends or relatives had a wedding in the past few years, they probably have some words of wisdom and, hopefully, a photographer they can't wait to recommend! Because you'll be spending more time with your photographer than your spouse on wedding day, you want to make sure you'll enjoy being around them, so a photographer with a glowing review from a friend gets bonus points.
We always recommend reaching out to multiple vendors, because everyone has different preferences and talents. This is definitely true of photographers because you'll know when you find the right one.
The Big Picture
First things first, you'll want to think about the kind of photos you want. Is there a particular editing style you prefer? Will you prioritize formals or candids? Do you want an experienced photographer to create art that will live on your walls or a newer photographer with a lower price point who will capture your day?
Before you start researching photographers, you'll want to choose your photography style preferences; the main styles are traditional/classic, photojournalism, and illustrative. For editing preferences, you might prefer light and airy, dark and moody, vibrant, or natural/true to life. When you check out their website, you'll be able to get a good feel for their photography and editing style.
When you find a photographer who's work fits your vision, you'll want to check is if they're available for your date. The photographer might be a solopreneur and have limited availability, or they might have a team of associate photographers with a similar shooting and editing style available. You'll want to know who will be shooting your wedding photos so you can meet the person who would be there on your day.
Before you go into the meeting, think about how you'd like the photographer to be involved on the day of. Their working style can really set to tone for the day! Will they blend into the background or stand at a distance to get the best candids? Are they in the middle of the dance floor getting action shots? Do they focus on the details or the formals?
Are you available for my date?
Will you be shooting any other weddings that weekend?
What is your photographic style?
Do you ever work with film?
What is your working style?
What is your editing process?
Do you retouch photos?
For the couple who wants every moment and emotion captured, a photographer with a lot of experience is the best route. If photography isn't high on your list of priorities, we still recommend hiring someone to capture those special moments, and opting for a newer photographer will help them get some experience and help out your bottom line.
You'll be able to get a feel for their experience, not just by how many weddings or years they've photographed, but in the photos they show, the stories they share, and the way they instill a feeling of trust.
How many weddings have you shot?
How long have you been a photographer?
Do you have a portfolio/examples I can review?
Can I see a full wedding gallery?
What's the craziest experience you've had at a wedding?
What's the funniest thing you've caught on camera?
Do you have any reviews from other couples that you can show me?
Do you have backup equipment if something stops working that day?
Do you have another photographer on standby if you can’t make it for some reason?
Once you get a feel for a photographer and can imagine them being a part of your wedding day, it's time to learn about their packages and prices. Every photographer charges differently, ranging from structured packages to a la cart pricing. You may end up with the best deal if you tell your photographer what you want and ask them what your best options are!
What kind of packages do you have?
What is involved in your most popular package?
How much do you charge for the number of hours I want? Per hour after?
Is there an additional charge for a second shooter?
How much does it cost to add on an engagement shoot?
Will there be any travel costs? What if my ceremony and reception are at different locations?
Is there a deposit? What is the payment schedule?
What information will you need from us before the wedding day?
What is your refund/cancellation policy?
Finally, before you sign on the dotted line, you'll want to know what to expect after your wedding and how you'll get your gorgeous photos!
How long will it be before I receive my photos?
How many photos should I expect to receive?
Will I have to choose which photos you edit?
How will I receive my photos? Will I have a digital copy of each?
Do you have any restrictions on how I use my photos?
Will I get a print release?
Do I need to order my prints and album through you/your service?
What album options do you offer?
We hope you find an amazing photographer!
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