There are 10 questions that you need to discuss when interviewing a wedding photographer to ensure that after your wedding you are satisfied with your wedding photos. These may not be the easiest things to ask in a meeting, but they will go a long way in helping you make the right decision when choosing a wedding photographer.
Keep in mind that technology has made it so that anyone seem like a good photographer, but there’s a lot more to getting the wedding photos you want than just a good digital camera.
Wedding photos are the only tangible thing that remains after your wedding day is over, and it will be your wedding albums and pictures that you turn to, to remember and cherish those once-in-a-lifetime moments. This is why choosing your wedding photographer is said to be the most important decision for your wedding.
We want you to be prepared, so we've listed listed ten critical things to discuss with the wedding photographers you meet with to help you make your final decision.
1. Equipment: Do you use professional-quality cameras capable of capturing great images in all lighting conditions, or do you use consumer-level cameras? Do you have backup equipment if something happens to your camera or lights? Can I have black-and-white photographs or can you add special effects if I want to? Do you bring additional lighting equipment if it is needed?
2. Samples: Do you have samples of your work I can see? Is this sample from the actual photographer who will be at my wedding or someone else on your staff?
3. Assistants: Will I be working with you or someone else on your staff? Do you work with an assistant or a second shooter?
4. Deliverables and Review: What is the process for reviewing, selecting and editing the final images for the album, enlargements and print sets? In what format do you deliver the proofs? What is included in the price? What additional options or products are available and how much extra for those items?
5. Time: What is the maximum amount of time I will wait to see proofs? Once I’ve selected my pictures, how long will it take for final delivery of all printed products?
6 Quality: Do you print the photos yourself or do you use a professional lab or a consumer hobbyist photo-finisher like one of the big box stores? Are the images guaranteed against fading for my lifetime?
7. Image Preservation: What steps do you take to protect my wedding photographs and how long do you archive them?
8. Style: What is your artistic style? Do you shoot traditional poses, or have a more photojournalistic approach, or is it mixed? Do you like to shoot at different locations, as well as on the wedding day?
9. Experience: How long have you been photographing weddings? Can you provide references? Can I view some of your albums? How do you manage distracted or uncooperative subjects or guests?
10. Assurance: What are your backup plans in the event you’re called away by an emergency? What happens if there’s an equipment failure, or some other unforeseen issue? Do you carry liability insurance in case someone trips over your equipment? Can I get all of the points we’ve covered in a written contractual agreement? A written contract signed by all parties protects you and the photographer.
We recommend interviewing multiple photographers—and don’t forget, chemistry is important as well. Choose someone who you're comfortable with to share in your wedding day. We hope these questions will help you in choosing a wedding photographer, so you’ll enjoy your images years from now.
Author: Candice Betty, founder and lead photographer at Ambition Photography in Huntington Beach, CA.
Reference: Professiona Photographers of America, www.ppa.com
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