Looking for a wedding photographer? Read this first!

Researching wedding photographers can be time consuming and frustrating. Here are a few questions to ask to help narrow your search and match you up with the perfect photographer for your wedding day. 

What does the photographer charge: 
This is a broad question, and you will probably need to give more information before they
can give you a more exact answer, but initially, find out what their price
range is. If your budget is only $1000 for a photographer, it would be a waste
of time to talk to photographers whose smallest package is $2000

Where is the photographer located: 
This is important to know, because if it’s someone who is out of town, there will
probably be some type of travel expenses charged. You want to know this
upfront, not be blindsided with it the day before the wedding.

Does the photographer have a website/online portfolio that you can view

Look at samples of his or her work. Do you like the pictures? Do the pictures look like something you would want in your wedding album. Again, not everyone fits with every photographer. We all
have different styles and ways of doing things. Ask about an actual website, not just a Facebook  or Instagram page.

What are the payment arrangements/is there a deposit required: 

Again, this will vary by photographer but you need to know up front so you know when
things have to be paid. Unless you have unlimited funds, you probably do not
want to have to pay for everything at the last minute or even all at once.

Does the photographer have a 2nd shooter &/or backup equipment: 

This is getting a bit more technical, and any photographer worth their salt has one or the other, if not both. But, ask just in case. You don’t want your photographer to show up, only to have their 1 camera break in the getting ready stage and then you have no pictures of your wedding except those that Aunt Mildred took with her 2-pixel camera from the back row.

What’s the turn around time on your pictures

Ask how long it usually takes the photographer to get the pictures ready for you to see. Will it be 2 weeks, 2 months or a year? This will probably be an estimated time, as things do come up, but they should be able to give you a pretty good idea of how long you will be waiting.

Why do they do wedding photography: 

If the 1st thing out of their mouth is about money, run away. You want someone who does it because they love weddings. The portraits will be better if the photographer is excited about your wedding.

Do they have reviews you can read: 

Look at what other people are saying, and make sure that they are truly past clients and not only family or friends. Look for key words like on time, easy to work with, fun, creative, flexible, and calm.

Do they have insurance: 

Insurance is a must for all professionals. It covers not only the
photographer and their equipment, but you and your guests. Professional,
registered businesses should have insurance.

How long have they been doing photography: 

Some people are naturals and do well from the beginning. Most people need to practice. You don’t want them practicing during your wedding. Ask if they have ever worked as a 2nd shooter.
Also, how many other weddings have they done?

What is their photography style: 

Make sure that their photography style matches what you want. Have them show you samples of their work, as well as some of their favorite images. If you like light, airy photos, you may not want
a photographer that shoots with a lot of shadows and dark colors.

Do they belong to any photography organizations

There are a lot of photography organizations out there that are wonderful for education and keeping up with the trends. Does the person you’re considering belong to any of them? If not, why not?

Are they professional photographers or is this a hobby: 

Some hobbyist’s take really nice photos. Many do not. Verify with samples of work.

Do they have a contract: 

You need to sign a contract. This will protect you and the photographer.
It will explain what happens if they have an emergency and can’t make your
wedding, important info about their policies and also keep everyone honest
about what was promised and expected. Make sure you get a copy for your records.
It shouldn’t be super long, but does need to lay out all of the details and
expectations on both sides.

How did they learn photography: 

What is their education? Do they hold any certifications related to photography? Are they self-taught or did they go to school?

What is their photography specialty

On their website, is it wedding specific or are there also pictures of dogs, trees, food and a boat? You might want someone who is focused on portraits and weddings, as those go hand in hand. 

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