Things to Ask {Finding the Perfect Wedding Photographer}

 

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Another weekend come and gone. They never last as long as we hope, especially not when you spend it in Indianapolis. Over this past weekend, I had several meetings with prospective brides(who were mostly from Indy), and as we enjoyed coffee and chatted together over wedding details(my fav!), eventually the same question rolled around with each couple that I spoke to.

Me(while cuddling my warm Americano): “So what can I help you with? Are there any questions that I can answer for you?”

Bride(shuffling through her very stuffed wedding planner): “Hmm…Well. I’m not really sure. What questions do you usually get asked?”

And there it is. What do clients usually ask me when they are in search of the perfect wedding photog. I get this question ALL the time. So often so, that I thought it might be beneficial to write up a few of the most popular questions that I have been asked, as well as important questions that I think should be asked. These can help you get to know me a little bit better though cyber space and also help answer those pending questions on your mental checklist.

Here’s a list of the top 10 things to ask when hiring a wedding photographer(and my 10 answers).

1. How long have you been in business and how many weddings have you shot?

I’ve been a professional photographer for almost 6 years now. I’ve stopped counting, but I’ve shot at least 100 weddings as the lead photographer over the last 6 year period.

2. Do you have a portfolio that I can view of weddings you’ve shot, from the start to the finish?

Yes! You can view a sample of weddings I’ve been a part of here. If you don’t see a wedding style that you’re looking for, feel free to ask for other examples.

3. Do you have any references?

Yes, I have several. I always ask brides and grooms before I use them as references and I do not give out their number more than a couple times so as not to wear them down with phone calls. If you need references, I’ll be happy to provide them, but I won’t list them here.

4. How involved are you with the flow of our wedding day? Can you provide posing assistance if needed?

Of course. I’m very involved but at the same time I’m not. Prior to your wedding, about 2 weeks out from the big day, I meet up with you to go over your itinerary. This will give us an idea of what to expect for the flow of the day, go over any last minute details, and verify final shot lists(if you decide you’d like to make one).

During your wedding, I watch and listen A LOT. I understand that traditional shots are often a must and that sometime I may need to remind you that you haven’t taken a certain posed photo on your shot list with Aunt X, Y, and Z. But for the most part, I usually stay in the shadows without drawing attention to myself during key events. I will also assist in posing you for certain shots if needed. But most of the time, posing between a bride and groom comes naturally if you can relax and whisper into one anothers ear. But if you need assistance and feel like it’s just not working, I’ll be happy to provide some tips.

5. Do you have a 2nd photographer or an assistant?

Yup! My 2nd photographer is actually my husband and he tags along to weddings if a 2nd photographer has been requested. He’s pretty awesome.

6. What happens if you become ill or have an emergency, and can’t make it to our wedding?

This is the scariest question and it needs to be asked of every wedding photographer. If you ever interview a photographer and they hesitate to answer this question, run. Run far far far away. In case I can’t make it to your wedding day, I will first see if my 2nd photographer is available. If he isn’t, I’ll pull the list of photographers that I network with and I’ll see if any of them are available. If my 2nd can’t make it, you are refunded your deposit and any other monies that you have paid to me up until that point, so that you can forward the money to the photographer of your choice. If possible, I will assist as best I can in obtaining a replacement wedding photographer if none of the photographers that I network with can shoot your wedding day. If an emergency happens, I will do my best to contact as many photographers as I can so that you aren’t left hanging on your wedding day. I have never ever ever EVER missed a wedding. But emergencies do happen and that’s why this question is here.

7. Will we receive the digital files? What exactly is included in a wedding package?

You can view a list of wedding packages that I have available here. I can tell you that each package includes a USB of the high resolution images, a print release, the option to order professional grade prints, and an online gallery. You can also download the high res images straight to your computer from your online gallery. I do not offer album building services at this time, though I can refer you to a high quality company that will design one for you. And you are able to print your photos from home or wherever you like. I have professional printers that I can recommend if you’re looking for suggestions.

8. Do you edit the photos? Do you offer retouching?

All the photos I provide are edited. I use Lightroom and occasionally Photoshop, to preen through photos, and to make them look their best with lighting and color corrections. 100% of the photos on my website are edited this way. I’m not huge on “air-brushing” photos and tend to keep things natural.

9. What do we need to do in order to book our date?

In order to book your wedding date, a contract will need to be agreed upon and a non refundable retainer will be due. I’m happy to provide copies of the contract so that you can look everything over. Once a contract is signed, a non-refundable retainer is due and it is 25% of your total. I will not hold dates without both the retainer and contract completed. The contract needs to be signed with the non refundable retainer paid within 48 hours of booking. 

10. What information do you need from me before the wedding day?

After sending in your contract and retainer, anything you’d like to share is helpful. Scheduling to meet up again about two weeks before your wedding day is usually best. By that point your wedding plans will be mostly complete, and we can discuss your wedding itinerary so that we are on the same page. Keeping one set of your invitations, save the dates, and programs are great “little somethings” that are nice to have photos of. Shot list are extremely helpful, especially for any photos that are outside the norm. If you have a large bridal party/family, it’s also very helpful to provide a list of names with how they are related to the bride and groom, so that I can easily assemble groups of photos by simply calling out names.

And there you have it! The top 10 questions that I get asked during meetings when being interviewed by a bride and groom.

**Updated January 2017