10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Wedding Photographer
1. Does the photographer have a gallery of wedding images you can review? (See our Wedding Gallery, the Slide Show on our Wedding Home Page and Sample Albums Page)
Reviewing sample work allows you to see the photographer’s strengths and weaknesses – don’t fool yourself, every photographer has them. You’ll also be able to get an idea of their style. Are they formal with an eye for the perfect picture or do they love to capture the hidden moments when no one is looking? Look for images that you can see yourself in. Think of three words that describe you and share those with your photographer. Every photographer has a style and reviewing their gallery can help you determine if theirs is right for you.
2. What is the photographer’s working style? (See our Photo Style Page)
Some photographers are orderly and operate like wedding planners. Others prefer to sit back and let the events of the wedding unfold. It’s important that you find someone who can understand and meet your expectations. Discuss this ahead of time and ask away, so that you understand how well the photographer’s working style matches your own.
3. Is the photographer available for an engagement session?
An engagement session does more than provide you with priceless images together before you get married. It’s also your first opportunity to work with your photographer and develop a relationship that will allow you to be completely at ease on your big day. Use this session to confirm if the photographer is indeed the right person to capture your wedding. We require an engagement session with all our local couples, and those who will at least be local once before the wedding. It is as important for us as for you. If you are having a destination wedding or it is just cannot impossible to do a session before the wedding, we have online chats to try to get to know you before your wedding day.
4. Will the photographer create a detailed shot list? (See Wedding Day Photo Timeline Page)
Lots of photographer create a list to ensure no important photo is missed during the commotion and excitement of the big day. We have you complete a planning form that includes the names of all the important people who will be at your wedding so that we can make sure we include them in appropriate kinds of photos rather than try to fit everyone into a certain styled photo. Instead we discuss with you the plans for the day and fit these images into the best times for them. You can add to the form all the way up to the day. Take an honest look at what people really matter and fill your photographer in on situations/relationships he or she might need to be aware of to prevent awkward moments, and to ensure that he or she can get the shots that matter most. And of course we're always available for spontaneous requests throughout your day.
5. What kind of lighting will be used?
Whether you have an indoor or outdoor wedding, you’ll want to make sure your photographer has professional grade lighting equipment to deliver the images your wedding deserves. We have multiple kinds of lighting equipment that we bring to every wedding because the lighting needs can vary so much from day to day and place to place.
6. Will there be one photographer or two? (See Meet Your Photographers Page)
A second shooter increases the probability that no shot will be missed, especially if you are having a large wedding. If there will be two photographers, ask to meet them both to get a feel for their personalities and how well they might blend in on your big day. We at least try to have you meet both photographers at an engagement photo session, often more than that.
7. Does the photographer have backup equipment?
You’ve prepared contingency plans for every other aspect of your wedding; your photographer should as well. A true professional photographer won’t miss your perfect shot because of a technology issue. We will always bring a backup camera, lenses, flashes, additional lighting equipment, extra memory cards, and batteries.
8. Does the photographer have liability insurance?
Accidents happen at weddings and if one of your guests trips over your photographer’s light stand, it’s good to know you both are protected. Your reception venue may even ask us as photographers to submit a certificate of liability ahead of time. Yes, we carry business liability insurance.
9. What will happen to the images after your wedding?
Will your images be backed up to a hard drive or the cloud once processed? How long will your photographer keep the images afterward? Will they be kept for a couple of years or dumped immediately? If you have any concerns about losing your photos, knowing what the photographer plans to do with your images after your wedding is important. We double back up your images immediately. We keep your files basically forever. Should we decide not to, we would provide you them to you. We had a client come back to us 12 years after their wedding requesting a replacement album due to losing everything in a flood, and we were able to reproduce it almost exactly.
10. When will you get your photos?
No, you won’t get your pictures the day after; no photographer can deliver that quickly. It’s a good idea, though, to get a general idea of the timeline ahead of time. You might even be able to agree on getting a couple of images ready for social media use very quickly. But obtaining your photos will likely take several weeks. To help with the wait, some photographers will send you a sneak peak with a few images. Just ask ahead of time! From us you can expect to see a sneak peak within 3-4 days. If you had a photo/video booth see the timeline. Your album layout will be completed within 3 weeks of your wedding, and at that time we will meet with you, show you all your images, and the album we have designed for you. If you love the album just as is, we can order it immediately and you will have it within a month. After this in studio preview, we post it all online and your family and friends can order images directly from there. If you need time to soak it in, ask for changes, and then okay the new designs, we give you 2-3 weeks. At the end of that time, we get your album ordered and it will be in your hands hopefully no more than 3 months after your wedding day. You may order prints and enlargements directly through us anytime you are ready. We leave your galleries on our website for one year.
More questions, or ready to talk about your wedding needs? Contact us or text us at 616-881-2894.
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We are currently in the process of trying to hire a photographer for our family pictures. My husband thinks that we would be fine with just one. I liked how this article pointed out that having two ensures that no shots are missed. We will also be wanting some cute candid shots as well. We will take this into consideration when hiring!
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