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  By Mike Valeriani

How to Choose Photography Styles About Photography Tips 4 Pros DIY Weddings

Wedding Photographer Questions
You Should Ask...

...and Others You Shouldn't

Bride and groom walking up the isle in a church in ItalyAre there secret wedding photographer questions? It depends what you mean by “secret”.

They are secret when nobody knows what they are, but here I’ll tell you all about them, so I suppose they are no longer a secret. In selecting a wedding photographer you naturally want to ask some wedding photographer questions in order to get to know him or her and to know if what you require will be provided.

In my experience people come up with the strangest questions. Please keep in mind that you are dealing with a professional to say the least and by all mean you should not ask questions that will put this person in a low position or even offend him/her.

An old man in Italy holding his pans upI simply cannot forget that bride that once asked me if I completed my mandatory education... when asking questions of that sort, you cannot expect someone to treat you with respect.

Always treat people the way you would like to be treated. Wedding photographer questions don't have to be humiliating.

When in doubt, think if it would be rude or inappropriate to ask the same question to a lawyer or a doctor before hiring him/her. If the answer is “yes” then it is likely to be rude or inappropriate to ask the same question as part of your wedding photographer questions.

By the time you meet a photographer you should be aware of the type of work he or she produces. Wedding photographer questions like “what kind of photography do you do” make photographers think they are wasting time.

Nowadays we have internet and whoever does business is in it, so you are expected to at least have a good look at the website before asking for an appointment. Some photographers do not meet brides before they have made a booking. This is because of two main reasons:

A bride and a groom holding hand at the altar1. The photographer is very busy and cannot physically spare time to meet prospect clients that many times just want to have information or get ideas.

2. Because of the increasing number of people that make appointments with several photographers and then don’t even bother to show up.

Unfortunately this seems to be a new fashion and wedding photographers often do not have a lot of time to spare. It has happened to me countless times that a bride makes an appointment because apparently “so interested” in my work and “must” have me as her wedding photographer.

Then when I arrive at the appointment she tells me that she is not even sure she will marry him yet... “just looking for ideas really”. Wedding photographer questions not needed.

A bride and groom holding hand in a garden in EnglandWorking professionals do not have the time or the patience to please spoiled teenager’s dreams. Therefore many photographers now require a proper booking with a deposit before seeing anyone. This must not be seen as an hostile behavior. You will find that you can have a fulfilling conversation on the telephone with a number of photographers, see their work on internet and make a good decision based on these elements.

So back to us, what are those wedding photographer questions? There is no set number, so don’t look for the “top 10” here. Instead read and think if you would like to ask something of your own. Whatever you do, make sure to write your wedding photographer questions down, because you will forget in the rush or the emotions of the last minute. Here they are:


Wedding Photographer Questions:
What to Ask

1. Are you the one that will photograph my wedding?
Some wedding photography companies have several photographers, both staff and/or freelance. In these cases a sales person or the owner of the company is likely to meet you. This is not bad, as far as you are aware that you are not speaking to the actual photographer.

2. How many years experience do you have with weddings?
Experience does come into play with weddings, because the photographer must be aware of what happens and when it happens. Obviously you will never know if someone is not telling the truth; look for information on that particular photographer before you meet, so that you will already know more or less who you are dealing with. The internet is a great tool to find information about people. If you can’t find anything at all... that should make you think. A professional photographer that works in photography will come up one way or another when you search for his or her name.

3. How many other events will you photograph on that day?
I consider highly unprofessional to get booked for more than a wedding in a day. Even if they were far apart time wise (which is somewhat unlikely) the photographer cannot possibly concentrate well, knowing that he or she will have to run to another wedding at a certain point. This is another reason why you should NEVER book a photographer for 2 or 3 hours. It’s one day in a lifetime, just get the whole day covered. If you find a photographer so desperate that will actually cover your 2 or 3 hours wedding, you can be sure that he or she will have another event on that day, it’s business after all.

4. Can we have a number of set photographs with our families?
Some photographers that only shoot using the reportage style, will not do family shots. If you require them, make sure you mention it.

5. Can we have your mobile telephone number to use on the wedding day?
On the weekend offices are closed. If something goes wrong on the day and you suddenly need to change plans, you must be able to communicate with the photographer.

6. Where have you studied photography
If a photographer has studied photography, he or she will be proud to tell you where it was. If a photographer is vague and tries to change topic, then you know that he or she did not study photography. This is not necessarily a bad point, as many people discover photography later in life and excel in it. Beware of weekend photographers that know little or nothing about weddings though.

7. How long are you going to spend with us?
You don’t want any surprises and you do want to know precisely at what time the photographer will meet you and at what time you will say ”goodbye”. Poor information leads to misunderstandings and eventually to problems and disappointment.

8. How many pictures will you take and how many will we get?
Most photographers will shoot thousands of photographs, but that doesn’t mean you will get them all. Make sure you are clear on how many pictures are included in your package. Do not expect to get 3000 photos just because so many were shot during the day. You will get your agreed number of photographs, while the rest may be sold separately. In this case make sure you are aware of the costs.

9. Do you shoot in color or black & white?
Nowadays with digital photography, most wedding photographers will shoot all in color. Later the color can be taken away from some images to produce stunning black & white images. It’s just good to know what you are going to get.

10. Do you have a contract? Can we see it?
Make sure you know things ahead. I’ve heard of photographers asking the bride to sign a contract on the wedding day and this contract included outrageous conditions. When the bride refused to sign it, the photographer refused to take any pictures. If a photographer doesn’t have a contract for you to sign, draw one of your own and get someone from the company to agree with it. Remember that only what is written counts. By the way... no contract to sign? Get alarmed!

11. Are the images of your portfolio best of the best?
Or are they all from the same wedding? You want to see how a photographer performs at a single wedding. Most of us are able to produce ten stunning images in a lifetime. How many “stunning images” can a photographer produce at a single wedding? That is why you want to see images from a single wedding and NOT a selection of the best of the best of a photographer’s career.

12. How long will it take for me to have the photographs?
No fixed rule here, every photographer works at his/her own pace. Just make sure you know roughly how long it will take. I have heard of people waiting for six months for their photographs.

Now click on "Next" below to read about some questions you should NOT ask.




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