As a recent bride, I know that planning a wedding is a lot of work and finding the right photographer can be a stressful, time-consuming task. When Jay and I were looking for a wedding photographer we spent hours upon hours looking at websites and portfolios and felt it would be the most difficult decision regarding our wedding. To make things even trickier, we had a destination wedding so we weren’t able to meet with our photographer in person before booking him. We relied heavily on the body of work that each photographer displayed on their website. Luckily, when we found Daniele, we knew immediately that he was the one. He was amazing in every way and we couldn’t be happier with him and the service he and his videographer provided. By getting to know him through social media, following his blog, reading client testimonials, and asking a lot of questions by email, Jay and I knew exactly what to expect on our wedding day and there were no surprises when we met him or even when we received our images and short film a few months later. In order to help brides and grooms have an experience as wonderful as ours, below are some of the questions that I believe every bride and groom should know the answer to before booking a wedding photographer. If you are happy with the responses your potential photographer gives you then you just may be one step closer to booking and checking one more thing off the list!
- Who will photograph our wedding day? This question is so, so important. Each photographer out there has his or her own style and you need to be sure that you like it. If the photographer you hire contracts your wedding out to someone else, how do you know you’ll like his/her work? Make sure you meet the photographer(s) who will cover your wedding day. Look at their portfolio, their blog, and their photos on social media and make sure you are drawn to their images.
- How long will you stay? Find out how long your photographers will provide coverage on your wedding day and if they will cover all the parts of the day that you want photographed, including getting ready up until the reception.
- Is there an assistant or second shooter? How many hours will he/she stay? Sometimes photographers bring along an assistant and other times they bring along a second shooter. These two are very different. Assistants do just that: assist the photographer. They generally don’t take pictures and don’t provide coverage at a location different from that of the photographer. A second shooter is there to take pictures from a different perspective or angle, and sometimes even at an entirely different location than the primary photographer. If the groom is getting ready at another location you want to make sure that the second photographer will be able to photograph him while the primary photographs the bride. And you want to make sure that while one photographer is getting all the must-have posed shots, another photographer is getting the candid shots of moments that are happening all around.
- Can we see a complete wedding? All photographers put their best work and favorite images in a portfolio. Once you know you like the photographer’s style, ask to see a complete wedding to get a true sense of their coverage. Make sure that all parts of the day are represented in their coverage of a wedding including getting ready, ceremony, portraits, family portraits, reception, and cake-cutting, but also make sure they are getting unplanned moments such as grandma shedding a tear during your ceremony or crazy Uncle Bob’s dance moves on the dancefloor.
- How many images will we get? Find out an approximate number of images provided by your photographer. Will they tell the story of your day in 500 images or in 1,000+ images? While the quality is what’s most important, you still want to make sure that your photographer is going to provide enough images to cover the day.
- How will my images be delivered? This question is one of the most important ones. Make sure you understand how your images will be delivered. Online gallery? USB?
- Will all images delivered be edited? Some photographers edit each image they deliver to you and others only edit the images that go into the album. Once grandma decides which image she’d like to frame you want to make sure it has been edited, right?
- Do you provide a print release? Many printers are now asking for print releases in order to print copyrighted images. While we strongly recommend using our professional lab for printing, we understand wanting to be able to choose your own printer, especially down the road when you may lose touch with your photographer. Make sure your photographer provides a print release.
- Do you have insurance? Be sure that your photographer is insured in case of equipment theft or injury. Many venues require that a Certificate of Insurance be issued to them before the wedding date. Your photographer must be able to provide one.
- Do you offer albums? Make sure your photographer offers quality albums. After your wedding, your photos and video are all you’ll have left. It’s so important to create an heirloom to pass onto your future children so it’s a good idea to make sure your photographer offers albums, and that they are quality products.
Bonus tip: We believe it’s important to get to know your photographer personally. You are going to be spending one of the most important days of your life with your photographer so find out if you actually like him or her! Get to know potential photographers as much as possible through their online presence. Read their blog, like their page on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram. Once you think they might be a good fit, schedule a consult with them to meet them in person.
I hope this post helps you find the perfect wedding photographer to capture your day. My last bit of advice is to ask these questions in person during your consultation, not via email. If you’re having a destination wedding, ask your photographer to Skype. Besides getting your questions answered you’ll get to know the photographer so you can decide if he/she is “the one”. For more information, visit our F.A.Q. page.
Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer by NJ Wedding Photographers Idalia Photography
For more Tips for Brides click here. Happy Wedding Planning!!