Choosing someone to photograph and document your wedding day is one of the most important decisions you will have to make during your planning journey. I can't stress enough just how important the photography really is, and I always advise my couples to book the best photographer they can afford. They never regret it.
You will of course always have memories of your day, but it is the work of the photographer that you will visually look back on for the rest of your lives. It is so important to invest time in meeting with at least 2 or 3 potential photographers before making a decision on who you wish to book. I don't usually attend those meetings with my clients, as I feel it's a personal decision, and important for couples to feel comfortable around the photographer without my presence and input. It always makes for the best photographs, as my couples know they can relax and it also avoids the stiff, awkward poses on a wedding day!
As such, I'm often asked by my clients which questions they should ask a potential photographer when meeting with them. Often they feel nervous about meeting with a photographer, as it's something new, and not everyone feels comfortable with having their photos taken, so can feel a little awkward discussing exactly that! It's completely normal to feel this way, and it's often a good feeling to have, as it means it gives the opportunity for you to notice if you relax once in the company of the photographer!
Of course you'll have your own questions to ask, but to get you started, here are my top 10 questions to ask potential photographers:
1. What do you love about photographing weddings?
Hopefully all photographers love their work! But see how they answer this, and if you can feel the passion in how they describe a wedding day and their work. Are they enthusiastic about their career and weddings?
2. Can I see a recent wedding, from Bridal preparations through to the first dance?
They should be able to show you a full set of images from a recent wedding. That way you're able to get an overall idea of their style, and not just select "best" images they have selected to show you.
3. Can I see an album?
An album isn't always included within a photographers package, but if you would like to have one, it's useful to look at the finished product to assess the quality and design. See that the album tells the full story of a wedding day from beginning to end, by displaying a selection of both people and detail images.
4. Have you worked at my venue before?
If they have previously worked at the same wedding venue before, ask if you're able to see a selection of images from that wedding. This will be hugely beneficial, as they'll have already scoped out the best locations for group pictures, cute little couple spots, and how the light works best within various rooms.
5. How long will it be before I receive my wedding photographs?
Find out when you will be able to see your wedding photographs. The usual timeframe tends to be between 4 and 10 weeks, depending on the time of year and how busy the season has been for that photographer!
6. Do you work alone or with a second shooter?
Some photographers offer the option of having two photographers for your wedding day. This is a brilliant idea if it's offered to you, as firstly it means photographs can be taken simultaneously. For example, if you are getting ready in a completely different venue to your Groom, the second shooter can be with the boys in the morning, and also shooting the details of your venue and decor setup whilst the first shooter is with you and your Bridesmaids. Secondly, each photographer will shoot different perspectives throughout the day, offering a much more varied (and often natural) collection of images.
7. What happens if it rains?
Unfortunately the British weather is unpredictable, so it's important to plan for the event that it might occur on your wedding day. A photographer should have a back up plan for group photos and Bride & Groom couple shots should the need arise.
8. What happens if your camera breaks?
All photographers will usually carry a second camera and lense with them, for this exact reason. But never assume, ask!
9. Do you have insurance?
Just like any business offering a service, a photographer should have liability insurance should anything go wrong. This will cover you if they fall ill, or in the unlikely event that they lose your images.
10. What are your payment terms?
A good photographer will offer a contract and ask for a deposit to secure your wedding date. A contract is an absolute essential, and I wouldn't book a photographer without one!
I hope this enables you to feel a little more confident in choosing the right photographer for you, but please get in touch if you'd like any further advice on selecting the best suppliers!