Written By: Anna Pope, APSU Junior, Public Relations
Documenting your big day is a big piece of your wedding, so why would you hire anyone that is subpar for the job? The hope of this blog post is to assist you in asking photographers important questions when considering them for your big day.
I am currently planning my wedding and, in my opinion, the photographer is the third most important part of a wedding right behind the actual act of getting married and the venue.
To get the best photography service, you have to ask 9 questions going into your vendor meetings.
- What style of photography do you use most often?
There are many different types of photographers. Some love traditional photos while others are all about capturing those genuine, candid moments. Some have a more natural approach to photos with natural lighting and some like to stage every photo with lighting and backdrops. Figuring out your style will play a large role in who you end up booking.
- Do you “photoshop” or correct your photos?
Some photographers focus on taking great photos and do not like to touch up their photos. One photographer that I was looking at and ended up booking for my big day rarely “photoshops” her photos because she likes the more natural feel but is willing to touch up acne and flyaways. Meanwhile, other photographers are all about making your photos as flawless as possible with an airbrushed face, no acne, no flyaways, perfect smiles, big eyes, and overwhelming color adjustments. Both types of photographers are good, but it really depends on your preference.
- Is there a second photographer or a team of photographers?
Most photographers offer the option of having two shooters, although it is usually not included in packages. Some studios only have one photographer so you have to consider your needs. It is not necessary to have two wedding photographers to capture all that you want. It is helpful to have two while people are getting ready. One can take photos of the women and one can take photos of the men. Also during the reception it is nice to have two focal points, one to capture the bride and groom and one to capture everyone else. Having two photographers is not needed, but it is very nice to have.
- How do you work with videographers?
Some photographers are constantly moving around to get the best photographs. This can be an issue if you also hire a videographer. Some photographers make an effort to work with your videographer to ensure that your photos and wedding video turn out perfect, but some cannot do this as well. If you don’t hire a videographer then this is not an important question to ask.
- Can we make a shot list for you to take?
Most photographers take shot lists. Shot lists are a list of photos and poses that the bridal party wants. Make sure that photographers are okay with taking the shots that you want before you book them. There may be a few that they are uncomfortable taking or have never taken before so always make sure.
- Do we have access to see all of the photos?
Photography is expensive. It is very important to make sure you are getting what you expect. Some photographers do not give their clients access to all of the photos they take. These photographers allow clients to choose the photos they want to keep, and if clients want more, they have to pay more. Most photographers create a wedding website or download all the photos to a flash drive for the client to keep. Make sure this is what you are getting because it is what you are paying for unless you really want a specific photographer that does not do this.
- Do we get print rights to all of the photos?
Getting the print rights to photos is completely different than getting the access to photos. Some photographers require you to order prints through them, but others allow you to have print rights to all photos so you can print the photos from any service you want. Initially it may not seem important but it could turn into a really expensive pain that puts you way over your budget in the end if you don’t get the print rights.
- What photography packages do you offer?
Packages are very important to consider when booking your photographer. Most packages are tiered off based on time shooting and additional services and add-ons. More hours shooting always costs more money, but you should only pay for what you want. If a photographer has a package that has a bunch of add-ons that you don’t want, don’t choose it. See if they will work with you to create a custom package to fit your needs.
- Are you familiar with the venue of the wedding?
Sometimes photographers have shot at a venue before and are familiar with it. Other times, photographers do not know the venue and will have to arrive earlier to figure out where everything is. This may be an additional cost in the long run of time spent shooting. It is always a benefit to book a photographer that knows the venue and its layout.
P.S. Do not book a photographer that is difficult to work with initially. They will continue this trend and frustrate you further. Your wedding day should be as stress free as possible. Difficulty getting pricing and difficulty with communication are signs that this photographer will not be easy to work with.