After you have now identified your taste and what kind of photography style you would like to have for your wedding (in Part 1 of this article) you have started your list of local photographers that meet your preferences. On the first glance that is at least. So now in Part 2 of this mini-guide on how to find your perfect wedding photographer, it is time to meet them in person and to ask them lots of questions 🙂 So let’s get cracking.
Meeting your potential future wedding photographer
First up before you go and arrange meeting with every single one, it might be best to first contact your favourites and check their availability for your wedding date. If he or she is still available for the day, go ahead and arrange a personal meeting. As already mentioned, it is very important that you will meet your potential future photographer in person, or at least via telephone/Skype video call. Merely just because you will need to feel comfortable with this person as you are going to spend potentially up to 12 hours with him/her on your special day. The photographer will be your shadow all the time and you need to feel at ease with his or her presence. Also, you don’t want him or her to annoy any guests, so to me this is an important aspect to keep in mind. Again trust your instincts. These are usually right and tell you immediately whether you like or feel comfortable with someone. I like to call this “finding your perfect match”. Not every photographer and every bride-to-be are a good match, let alone a perfect one for each other, so feeling a connection between the two of you will definitely help and reduce the chances of disappointment.
To avoid disappointment in general your should ask the photographer lots and lots of questions. Anything that pops into mind really. This is the best opportunity to do so and to manage expectations. You don’t want to feel disappointed as you for example didn’t know that the photographer won’t bring a second shooter along, or that he/she does not offer the album option you had in mind. So asking all of these questions is very important at this step before you make your final choice.
Here are a few questions, that you could ask the photographer in front of you. These are just a guide that could help you trigger some more questions. Ask him/her anything really. So fire away.
QUESTIONS and Notes for the PHOTOGRAPHER
- Note down the name, address and phone number of the photographer
- How many years of experience do you have as a photographer?
- What percentage of your business is dedicated to weddings?
- Are you the person who will photograph my wedding?
- Will you bring an assistant with you to my wedding?
- How do you typically dress for weddings?
- What type of equipment do you use?
- Do you visit the ceremony and reception sites prior to the wedding?
- Do you have liability insurance?
- Can you take me through your price packages and explain them in detail?
- What is included and what is the price for each?
- What is your payment policy?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- Do you offer a money-back guarantee?
- If the timeline overruns on the day, what is the cost per additional hour of shooting at the wedding
- What are your album options that you offer?
- Do you use proofs for an album purchase?
- When will I get my proofs?
- When will I get my album?
- Do you do engagement shoots? What is the price?
- Do you do “Rock the Frock” Post-wedding shoots? What is the price?
And so on. Have a think about these questions. I’m sure you can come up with even more. But like I said before, don’t be shy. Just fire away. This is the chance to gather all necessary info on each photographer. That way you can make an informed decision 🙂
Look at their work
By the time you are meeting your potential photographer you will already have had a chance to look at his portfolio work online. Normally while meeting with you, photographers will gladly show you even more images. This is all brilliant, however, these are usually the best of the best images (which is great to grab your attention at first). However, you should also have a look at sample wedding albums to see his/her wedding work in its entirety. It is very important to see those “in-between” shots of the wedding as that will form the entire day and you can see the storytelling aspect of how the photographer has captured the day of that particular bride. This will give you a better indication of how your own wedding pictures could look like. Additionally, it gives you ideas on whether you might like to purchase a wedding album yourself too. (Definitely something to think about – but this is also covered in the next step :)).
A lot to think about and ask the photographer, I know. But all of this will help you to make your choice in the end. Trust your instincts!
The final part of this mini-guide, part 3, will cover the budget aspects and price packages as well as how to make your final decision.
Yours with love,