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Friday, January 24, 2014

Questions to ask a Wedding Photographer | Wilmington NC Wedding Photography

There’s a few basic questions that should come to mind as soon as you begin searching a potential wedding photographer. First and foremost you need to be sure they have your wedding date available, not just part of the day, but the entire day.  If they are available, ask them how far in advance you need to book them.  If they are a well-known photographer you may need to book them months in advance.  How long have you been doing this?  Is this just a hobby or did you go to art school and get a degree in photography?  Do you specialize in weddings and portraits?  You want to be sure he or she captures the best sides of your guests, not to mention the bridal party.

While you’re working are you going to be outspoken?  Will you be out front getting people together and positioning them or will you be hanging back by the wall?  Keep in mind that if a photographer is too shy they might have a hard time not only integrating themselves into a group of people they’ve never met before, but also positioning them and making them feel comfortable.  If the photographer is uncomfortable, chances are the people being photographed will feel uncomfortable as well. 

A question you can’t forget to ask is if you can see their portfolio.  Any photographer worth your while will have a compilation of their work available for you to see either online or as a slideshow.  Could you get your photos in both color and black & white?  Make sure he or she is comfortable working with the other vendors at your wedding such as the DJ, florist, and wedding coordinator.  Weddings can become chaotic behind the scenes and you want to be sure that everybody has experience dealing with this somewhat stressful situation.  Do you work alone or with assistants? Do you have references for me (the client) to contact?  This should never be an issue, remember you’re interviewing them for, not only a job, but your WEDDING DAY! Everything should be perfect.

Once you cover the basics, if you’re still pleased with the photographer at hand, dig a little deeper.  Do you have backup equipment such as batteries, flashes, a variety of lenses, etc? How far will you be willing to travel to a wedding, is there a fee for travel expenses?  Do you have a dress code you follow? Make sure they’re comfortable with other guests taking photos at the same time as them.  They may be the professional, however most people come to events with a camera in hand; ready to photograph some pictures of their own. If the wedding lasts longer than anticipated will you stay? What is the additional fee for this service?

Don’t forget to ask about their collections, prints and albums.  Ask about the different collections they offer and how the prices vary. Ask if they offer engagement and bridal photos.  Do you offer customizable collections?   Do you retouch and edit the photos after the event?  How long does it usually take for you to finish processing the proofs?  How will I be able to view the photos?  

One of the most important things you need to figure out is if you like your photographer. Do your personalities fit well together? If you are more laid back and your photographer is very energetic  you could get annoyed with them on your wedding day. If you are annoyed or upset it will show in your photos. You don't want photos of you being upset on your wedding day for the rest of your life. 

If you feel a connection with the photographer you need to then ask about contracts and policies.  Do you have a written contract for the client to sign?  How much of a deposit do you need and when do they need it by?  Do they have payment plans?  Do you have a cancellation policy?  If so, what type of refund would I receive?  Do you have liability insurance? 

This is one of the most important days of your life.  You have to be sure that the moments are captured just the way you want them to be.  Find a photographer who will not only be able to capture the beauty of the bride but the beauty of the guests and the enjoyment on their faces.  Be comfortable with the photographer you chose.  You shouldn’t spend any time second-guessing your decision.  Make sure that your wedding is as important to your photographer as it is to you. 

By: Brian Mulleavey

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