August 23, 2020 /
Top 6 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer
So. You’re officially wedding photographer “shopping.” And by shopping we mean you’re scrolling through their Instagram feed and checking out their website. And hopefully having a phone call or Zoom meeting with your top picks. You likely haven’t made it to the meeting unless you’ve seen and are a fan of their work. So now that you’re face to face, what do you say? And when they ask if you have any questions…..
What questions do you even ask?
Never fear, friends. We know that it can be so incredibly overwhelming when you’re meeting with a professional whose field you’re not super familiar with. And today, we’re sharing with you the Top 6 Questions to ask your wedding photographer as you go through the interview process. These aren’t just rando questions that might matter.
Nope, that’s not how we roll.
Instead, these will bring value and education to your conversation with your wedding photographer to hopefully help make your decision easier.
Top 6 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer
How do you handle low light?
This is a bigge. Like, a BIG biggie. Especially if you’re getting married later in fall or winter. Or if you’ve dreamt of a candlelit, barn wedding ceremony your whole life. You want to be sure that your photographer can handle themselves in super low light. And by handling themselves, we don’t just mean that they’re going to put their cameras in “auto” and wing it. Nope, not at all. Do they bring their own lighting and know how to use it? Do they know how to use their gear to get the very best quality images for you even in the very worst light? Let’s face it – not every wedding day has the very best lighting all day long. And you want to make sure they’re not only able to handle it, but that they can still deliver your unmissable moments in a dark scenario.
What’s your back-up plan?
This is especially important, even more now than ever before. And we’re not just talking about back-up photo locations if it rains (although that’s a good one to ask too). Or, their back-up plan if their battery runs out of charge, their camera stops working, or their SD card stops writing. Professional photographers should have back-up plans for all of those scenarios anyay. But this question is especially important right now with Coronavirus a major factor and threat to keep in mind for all of us working in the wedding and events industry right now. What are they going to do if they get sick before your wedding day? Or if their second shooter gets sick before your wedding day? Do they have a back-up plan? Are you SOL (sh*t out of luck)? Is there someone that can step in to take their place that they can guarantee you will give you the same quality and aesthetic of images that they can?
Have you photographed a venue/location similar to ours before?
Notice that extra word we threw in there? “Similar.” That’s the key word here. A LOT of resources will tell you that if a photographer hasn’t photographed your specific venue before that you don’t want to hire them because they won’t know what to do. We’re here to tell you that’s 100% false, friends. Why? Well because maybe a photographer HAS shot in your venue before, but that was last summer, and you’re having a dead-of-winter wedding. Which means the lighting and landscaping will be 100% different from the last wedding they shot there. It also means that your question is completely moot.
All that matters is that they’ve shot in a venu similar to yours before, whether it’s a massive Catholic church or super-modern loft downtown. Can they handle the same kind of environment and aesthetic? That’s what you’re really asking here, friends.
Are you running my timeline?
Again, this is a biggie. Who will be running your wedding day timeline? Hopefully your wedding planner will be around to keep everyone on track all day long. But if they’re a one-person team? Or you didn’t hire a wedding planner? A lot of the time that responsibility falls back to the photographer to tell everyone when everything is happening and where. But here’s the thing. By putting your wedding photographer in charge of keeping everyone on time all day long? You’re taking them away from the actual job that you hired them for – to take photos at your wedding day. Don’t get us wrong, some photographers LOVE being in charge of the timeline on wedding days and would be highly offended if you put someone else in charge. All that we’re saying is to have the conversation with them to make sure that you have somebody else (even if it’s Aunt Sue) to help out so your photographer can take care of the main reason they’re there: to photograph your day.
How do family photos work?
This is another BIGGIE. And it honestly amazes us the number of weddings that we’ve photographed where our couple had a really, really bad experience with their siblings’ photographer that led to family photos being a NIGHTMARE. Most experienced professional photographers will have a good handle on family photos. In fact, most of them should work with you leading up to wedding day to make sure they’ve got a list of all of your VIPs and the groups of them that you want to be sure to have photographed. And if they don’t? Well, friends. Family photos are the one time that it’s perfectly acceptable to give your photographer a “shot list” to work with on wedding day.
What expectations do you have for us?
Ohhhh….. Good one, right?! Why is this on the list? Isn’t a photographer’s only expectation of their client to pay their invoice on time? TBH, that’s only a small portion of our expectations for our clients. We also expect them to put enough trust and faith in us to go with our crazy, even for a little bit. And even if it makes them a little uncomfortable. We also expect to meet both partners for our meetings. There’s nothing quite as awkward booking a couple and only meeting half of them before wedding day arrives. Every photographer is different when it comes to their client experience. All that we’re saying is that it might be helpful if you and your photographer are on the same page about expectations for each other.
Kansas City Engagement Picture Location | Loose Park
Chloe and John-Michael – thank you, thank you, THANK YOU BOTH so much for letting us create your engagement pictures! You two were absolute TROOPERS with all of the rescheduling that we had to do because of stay-at-home orders, protests, and the heat of a KC summer. We’re SO GLAD we finally got to get your session done and are SO EXCITED for wedding day!
Feel like you’re missing something? Check out Chloe and John-Micahel’s sneak peek here.