20 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer…
1. What’s your primary style? Posed and formal, relaxed, photojournalistic, creative, artistic, candid, traditional? I consider myself a photojournalistic wedding photographer, although I normally include the standard posed shots associated with most weddings today. photojournalistic wedding photography to me means shooting as many candid, unrehearsed moments as I can which capture the emotion of the day.
2. Do you shoot in color or black and white? Or both? Do you shoot in a digital format that can create both color and b/w versions of the same picture? I shoot all digital, color photos, which means I can take a lot more photos quickly. In post processing/editing I can choose to convert images to black & white or sepia as well.
3. What type of camera do you use? I shoot with two cameras (with one additional backup): Canon EOS 40D, 50D and 5DMii, professional cameras that are well regarded in the industry.
4. What kind of input can we have on the direction of the shots? Can we give you a shot list to work from? I would like to get as much input as possible from you. I draft a Wedding Photo Schedule that is customized specifically for your wedding. The schedule allows you to see how many hours are needed for shooting your wedding and exactly who will be photographed when & where. You will have the opportunity to edit the schedule as much as you like.
5. Are you the wedding photographer who will actually take our pictures? If not, can we meet the person who will be? I will be your photographer the day of your wedding. If a 2nd shooter and/or an assistant is needed, I’ll let you know.
6. Is there a limit to how many photos you can take? No, there is no limit (within reason) to how many photos I can take. My cameras are digitally formatted and use digital media cards to store each photo as it is snapped. I could potentially take 2,000 – 3,000 photos in a single outing. This is very unusual, however. I normally capture 500 – 1,500 images each outing.
7. How many times have you worked specifically as a wedding photographer? How many were similar to the size and formality of our wedding? I’ve been photographing people and places since 2002. I photographed my first wedding professionally in February 2007. In 2008 I have either photographed or have been retained to photograph approximately 25 weddings in and around Austin, TX. If you would like to see some of my work, please feel free to visit my website at austinamericanastudio.com or ask for a slideshow presentation of some of my past wedding shoots.
8. How many other events will you also photograph that weekend? I only photograph one event per day, which eliminates rushing your event or the possibility for errors in scheduling.
9. What kind of equipment will you bring with you? How intrusive will lighting, tripods, other equipment or assistants be? Most of my equipment is very mobile and small. I don’t use lighting equipment (except on-camera flash, of course) unless necessary for exceptionally large group photos indoor. I usually don’t require the help of an assistant.
10. Do you develop your own film? I shoot all digital; there will be no film used. The edited image files are developed by quality labs here in Austin, TX or by a trusted professional (such as Pictage.com and Zookbooks.com – both well known and renowned in the photo print world). I do not mail images off to be printed.
11. Will you give me the negatives or what is the charge? My shooting fee includes providing you a DVD containing all of professionally edited images from your event, which allows you to conveniently print images at a discounted rate (No more waiting for the photographer to release rights or paying inflated print prices).
12. What attire will you and your assistants wear?
Professionalism is very important to me and I dress accordingly – normally in slacks and button-down long-sleeve shirts with a necktie. If the event calls for stepping up the attire, i.e., a tuxedo or suit, please let me know and I’ll be glad to oblige.
13. How long after the event will the proofs be ready?
Average turnaround time from wedding day to delivery is usually less than 2 weeks – Sometimes less, sometimes more. Your DVD will be mailed to your doorstep once editing is complete.
14. What type and how much assistance will you provide in planning my album?
I have partnered with Pictage (pictage.com) and Zookbinders Photo albums (zookbinders.com) to provide relatively seamless album services. Using these professional providers, you select which images you want and the kind of album you want and I do the rest of the work. However, if you choose another service, I will do what I can to help.
15. Will there be backup equipment available? And what happens if the photographer is ill? I have invested in backup equipment for each camera and apparatus that I use. During your event, I will be shooting with at least 2 cameras. If for some reason I am no longer able to honor our agreement to be your photographer (hospitalization, for example), I would contact a reputable friend who is also a photographer to act in my stead.
16. Can other people take photos while you are taking photos?
Yes, but I usually ask attendees to shoot before or after I shoot, to prevent confusion, blinking, flashing, etc.
17. Have you worked at my event location before? How did it work out?
I’ve worked at numerous locations in and around Austin, both indoor and outdoor. I normally visit the ceremony/reception location 1-2 weeks beforehand to aid in planning the shoot.
18. Should the event last longer than scheduled, will you stay? Extra charge?
Normally planning prevents the need for additional time, but if needed, I will stay longer. I charge $200/hour for additional shooting time. Once your wedding schedule has been drafted we will be able to determine how much time will be required for your big day.
19. Can I get a discount? I don’t want everything you have to offer in a package price… Sure, I offer discounts. If you would like customize a package to fit your needs I will work with you. I also offer discounts at different times of the year to encourage new clientele and to offer more competitive pricing.
20. After you’ve asked these questions of your potential wedding photographer, there are several questions you’ll want to ask yourself:
A. Do I like this person? B. Do I get along with them or get a good feeling from them?
C. Do I like their work as a wedding photographer?
D. Is it well lit, focused, well framed?
E. Looking at their books, do I feel like I have a good feeling for the wedding?
Source: About.com, 2007 and www.weddingphotousa.com