Interviewing your photographer – too many questions? Help!

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
  • poll: Should I walk into our meeting with a sheet of questions?
    No! Just have a conversation like normal adults : (7 votes)
    23 %
    Only ask the really important questions : (9 votes)
    30 %
    Yes! You're hiring them, it's an interview! : (14 votes)
    47 %
    I don't know.. Maybe you're just a crazy control freak! Is that so bad? : (0 votes)
  • Post # 3
    Member
    6013 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I think it’s better to go in with too many questions and risk looking a little obsessive than to sign a contract and find out you got screwed later on. Go in there will your huge list with your head held high!! They will understand.

    Post # 4
    Member
    205 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @Charliejeorge:  Just ask to see a copy of their contract.  Their written contingency plans are actually much more relevent to you than their verbal answers, which are worth nothing legally.  I made my decision based entirely on portfolio and good reviews from previous brides, personally.

    Post # 5
    Member
    3570 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    Do not go in with a list of questions.  You will look like a bridezilla.  You don’t want to come off as a high maintenance bride.  Just listen when they explain everything to you and read the contract carefully. 

     

    Post # 6
    Member
    3813 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a list of questions, especially things that are important to you.  I should think most photographers have to go through the “interview” process, if not with all, with many clients so it won’t seem out of the ordinary to them.  If there’s anything you don’t get to, I’m sure a follow up email would be just a good to ask your questions as well.

    Post # 7
    Member
    4890 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    There’s nothing wrong with asking questions, but I’ll but I’ll be honest, as a photograhper if you showed up to a meeting with me and pulled out a laundry list of questions…I’d flag you as a potential problem bride. 

    Before I get flammed for that, I say that because (for my business…I know not all photographers do this) I send all my prospective couples a PDF packet during our inital emails that has a whole FAQ section. It covers all the main questions (what happens if you’re sick, how long will it take to get our photos, etc). When someone comes to the meeting and they ask me all those questions it shows me that they didn’t read through ANY of my info. I totally understand if they’re legitimate questions, but most of the time those crazy internet lists are so nuts that I worry it’s a client who has the potential of being a micro-manager and not letting me do my job.

    Post # 8
    Member
    3874 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I would ask any questions on the list that haven’t been answered during the conversation towards the end of the meeting. A lot of the questions may be discussed in the natural course of the meeting and it might seem a little neurotic if you dive right in with questions – give them a chance to talk. After all, it’s probably a good sign if they discuss these things without prompting!

     

    Post # 9
    Member
    2562 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    Hun, I had a seven-page document for EACH reception venue that we visited. Three pages of questions, one page to draw a floor plan, another to draw a vicinity plan, and two to write notes after the meeting.

    It was the single most useful thing I brought with me, and if I was lucky the rep. would answer some of the questions for me before I even asked.

    I’d suggest just bringing your questions, leave space to write in answers, and don’t be afraid to write while they’re talking if they happen to answer one. You’ll never remember this stuff if you don’t write it down!

    I’m also going to reccomend the notes sheets – we made “pros” and “cons” for each place and it really helped a lot! List your pros first, then your cons – it helps to ground you a bit. We sat in the car and took turns listing our individual pros and cons after each visit, before we even left the parking lot.

    [ETA] Oh, I wanted to mention that I also did my research if I was able to, and filled in as many questions as I could before meeting. I’d still ask them during the meeting – I was sometimes surprised that the answers changed!

    Post # 10
    Member
    631 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    I’m a professional wedding photographer and would welcome your questions. I’m not sure what list you’re using – feel free to post it here and I can take a look and advise on additional questions you might want to ask (like are they insured?)

    Post # 14
    Member
    631 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    @Charliejeorge:  This is a good list. A few points:

    #6 can be awkward for photographers to answer. It’s a fine line to talk about what sets you apart without disparaging colleagues. This doesn’t mean don’t ask it, just don’t be surprised if someone sort of stumbles through it.

    #10 I disagree with. Not all photographers are going to have a list of brides who are willing to field reference requests for every prospective client. Imagine if your photographer was giving your contact info to prospective clients for a reference for months and years after your wedding. It would get tiring to answer each one and it’s also a privacy thing for some people too – they don’t want their contact information going out to strangers. I would instead look for reviews of the photographer, which is much more standard than asking for references.

    #16 – I don’t always check out venues in advance so don’t consider this a negative if they say no. I could check out the property surrounding a venue on a beautiful sunny day and pick out all the perfect spots for photos based on where the light is and then end up with a cloudy or rainy day for the wedding and all of that becomes irrelevant. I prefer to just show up a little early the day of the wedding and scope things out. This is totally normal.

    I think aside from those notes everything looks great and pretty comprehensive!

    Post # 15
    Member
    2368 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    @Charliejeorge:  +lots!  We had a modified version of that list, and I’m so happy we did!  I didn’t go down the list one by one like an interview, instead we had a great conversation and we had all of our questions answered.  As a FYI, we were at the restaurant for over 2 hours over drinks and appetizers, just talking and looking at albums.  So this is NOT a 15 minute process!  But the nice thing was that we were able to get a sense of each other, she was comfortable working with us and we’re comfortable working with her! 

    Post # 16
    Member
    631 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    #1 tip – request to see a full wedding. It’s your best indicator of how the photographer shoots, not just the keepers they post on their site/blog.

    Also I would see if one of the mods can move this over to the Wedding Related > Photo board. You’ll probably get more answers/help other bees who are perusing that section for photo related help.

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