Hooray! You’re engaged! Let the wedding planning process begin but where should you begin? Chances are this is all NEW to you (unless you are a wedding planner by trade). First things first, your photographer and venue should be the very first emails you send to find out availability. Having flexibility with a time frame vs. a specific date will always get you the best results of being able to have both photographer and venue available. Most weddings typically book out over 1 year in advance of their wedding date but don’t let that stop you from reaching out to your dream photographer to check and see if they have your date available. When you do reach out there are some questions to ask a wedding photographer.
Because I’m type A, super detail oriented and have been doing wedding photography for years, I’ve compiled a list of 6 questions you SHOULD be asking your wedding photographer BEFORE you book them. Why? Because I care. Even if you decide to go with another photographer, you need to be asking these questions. The answers matter. Trust me. Here are 6 questions to ask a wedding photographer BEFORE you hire them:
DO YOU HAVE A BACK UP CAMERA?
Why is this important? Cameras break. In the event that their camera breaks during the wedding, do they have another camera to pick up and keep shooting? Is the backup a full frame camera (professional)? And going one step further, does the camera have dual slots for memory cards? Will they be using both memory cards to make duplicate copies of the images in the event of a memory card failing.
HAVE YOU EVER PHOTOGRAPHED A WEDDING BEFORE?
This may sound like a silly question but it’s pretty important. Weddings have a certain ebb and flow. While not all weddings are the same, having knowledge and experience is key. Timeline preparations and timeline approvals are super important to helping the day flow smoothly and ensure that all the details are photographed. Knowing how to shoot in VARYING lighting situations is super important. Dark room? Full sun? It can be tricky to someone who is used to shooting only during a certain time of the day. Weddings are WAY different than regular sessions and you want someone who is able to alleviate stress in the event that kinks arise. Even the smoothest wedding days have kinks, it’s all in how you handle it.
CAN I SEE A FULL WEDDING GALLERY?
If you are looking on a photographer’s blog or facebook page, you are seeing the highlights. Rightly so, there are only so many pictures that we can post at a time. But what you really NEED to see before you invest in someone is what a full wedding gallery looks like. Ask them to send you a link to a previous wedding so that you can get a feel for what an entire wedding gallery looks like. You want to make sure that the images are consistent, beautiful and make you FEEL something.
HOW DO YOU PERFORM UNDER PRESSURE?
Weddings can be stressful. Critical thinking is a MUST. The ability to be the advocate for your Bride is a must. The flexibility to pivot when the timeline doesn’t go according to plan is important. There are curveballs thrown unintentionally, you want your photographer to be able to handle any issues with grace and knock ‘em out of the park. What happens if someone tells them to stop photographing during the ceremony? What happens if the groomsmen are not cooperating? What happens if it’s raining? You want to feel confident that the photographer you hire will be able to do the job you entrusted to them in whatever circumstances arise.
WHAT VENDORS DO YOU SPECIFICALLY RECOMMEND?
This one might seem odd to ask but it’s still an important question. Because wedding photographers are used to working with other vendors over the course of the wedding day, they have first hand knowledge of who is exceptional, who provides the best experiences for their couples and who is easy to work with. If they can provide you with a list of preferred vendors, this is a huge asset to help during the rest of your wedding planning process. Keep in mind this list is typically sent after the booking process is completed but just knowing you have a thorough list coming your way will be a great feeling.
WILL YOU HAVE A SECOND SHOOTER?
Second shooters are golden and a necessity. They provide different angles and perspectives throughout the wedding day. They are a second set of eyes and hands to ensure details are not overlooked. They can be a runner for the scissors, a people organizer during the family portrait time, a veil swisher for those beautiful floating veil shots. A second shooters job is to help enhance the wedding day experience. I personally will not shoot a wedding without a second shooter, I’m not kidding. AND my second shooters are people that I’ve either personally trained or have worked with, have vetted their work and feel 100% confident in their ability. They are that important.
These 6 questions (with the answers) will help set your mind at ease when deciding on which photographer is the right fit for you. If you think I might be your girl for your wedding, let’s chat! Ask me these questions and anything else that is on your mind!