With so many photographers nowadays, choosing the right one may seem like an impossible task. Do you go for the one who has the most reviews, the one your friends tell you to use or do you just use the one that your venue has on a list? As a wedding photographer who is a year away from getting married, I sat down and wrote out a list of the most important questions to ask my wedding photographer.
2. Will I get the full resolution downloads?
So there you have it, the 5 questions I asked when hiring my wedding photographer. I hope that helps you narrow down your search and gives you an idea of what to ask and why!
1.Do you use natural light or flash?
While this is a personal preference on style, here is how I feel about flash vs natural light. Natural light can be a beautiful thing, but if you are only using natural light then you are limited to where you can shoot. You are typically confined to working in the shade, exposing for the shadows and there for over exposing the skies. Here is an example of a test shot I took with just natural light, and then one where I took the time to individually light each person. You decide which one you would prefer your wedding photos to look like.
Now, this is a big one. This would be a make or break situation for me personally. With access to the full resolution downloads, you are able to make your own prints. If your photographer does not offer this, that means that they will more than likely be charging you a marked up price for your prints.
I have a friend who got married (before I did wedding photography) and their photographer failed to mention how expensive it was to have prints done and that it would be another couple grand if they wanted to have the full resolution downloads.
Now don't get me wrong, if you are interviewing a photographer and this is their pricing structure, there is nothing wrong with it. Just be aware of the added costs you will encounter when trying to have prints made. For my business personally, I feel like I am already charging you for the photos so I don't charge any extra if you want to have your own prints made.
3. Do you charge by the hour and if so how much is over time?
Weddings are notorious for running behind the scheduled time line. Make sure you know what that is going to cost you when your photographer's time is up and you have to decide if you want to spend the extra money to have them take photos of you cutting your cake. Personally, when I shoot a wedding I am with you from start to finish. I am not booking anything else that day and I want my couples to enjoy their wedding and not have to worry about what happens when the timeline goes behind schedule.
4. Will you be my actual photographer, or will it be one of your associates?
A lot of big wedding photography studios will lure you in with their advertising and then book you with their sales team. You see all these beautiful photos on their website but did the photographer your assigned even take any of those? Even worse, only a fraction of the money you are paying for wedding photography is actually going to the photographer. The majority of that money will be going to the studio owner, the advertising team, the sales team, the editing team, and who knows what other teams they have.
5. Do you offer a second photographer?
Having a second photographer helps ensure that no moments are missed. A second photographer will typically take photos of the guys getting ready while the main photographer is with the bride and her bridesmaids getting ready. The second photographer shoots the photos of the groom baling his eyes out while the bride is walking down the aisle, and a lot of the time they are the one who gets all the detail shots of the reception area while the primary photographer is doing all the family photos. Also, some of my favorite first kiss shots come from my second photographer because I like to have them go behind the couple, for a slightly riskier shot because you never know where the officiant is going to stand.