(Closed) Need questions to ask when interviewing photographer

posted 7 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
260 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

A few biggies for us were:

-who will own the pictures? (we wanted to be the owner)

-who will be the actual photographer/s? (we hired a married couple wo runs their own business and are the actual photographers who will take the photos – not hired help)

Post # 4
622 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I researched this beforehand, and here were the big questions I thought to ask.  I actually kept the document, so here you go!!

Questions to Ask a Photographer:

*How many weddings have you shot?
*How many weddings do you shoot on average per year?
*How long have you been in business?
*May I see your portfolio?
*What would you charge to shoot our wedding?  What are some options that we can discuss that will lower the overall cost?
*What kind of camera do you use?    
*Would you shoot digital or film?
*Do you have a backup camera or access to one?  What is your back-up plan for illness, etc.?
*Do you have an assistant?   Who?  Would there be a charge for him/her?  How are the responsibilities divided?
*If you are going to print us a stack of proofs, can we keep them? 
*Can we get a disk with all our images on it, or buy the negatives?
*Do you have access to an online photo-viewing service, so we can view our proofs online?
*How many hours will you shoot? 
*Do you have a certain number of shots or is it unlimited?
*Do you know the area well enough to provide great scenery, or do I need to research and compile a list?
*May I see unedited work?
*May we see a wedding portfolio from the beginning of the day until the end?
*What is the turnaround time for proofs and final albums?
*How much do prints cost?
*What sort of touch-ups do you do?
*What is the payment policy?
*What is the cancellation policy?

Post # 5
173 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Another really good question to ask is how they back up your photos during your wedding.  Some photographers have cameras with 2 memory cards in them so if something goes wrong with one the second card is your back-up.  Also a lot of photographers will bring there laptop with an external drive to periodically back up your photos during the day.

Post # 7
622 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

@heather5743:  You’re welcome.  Thats what we’re here for.  I hope your meeting with the photog goes well!

Post # 9
3041 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Its great to ask questions, photographers want you to know exactly what to expect & answer all quesitions for you. Just don’t grill them. If I got asked 20?s in a row I might be concerned. I would ask to see their contract so you can read over it before meeting with them & likely, quite a few of the questions listed will be answered in it.

I’d also add this to the questions on the list:

*Can we get a disk with all our images on it, or buy the negatives? If they say you get or can purchase a DVD, ask if its a high res DVD & if you get printing release (you want yes to both)!

*May we see a wedding portfolio from the beginning of the day until the end? Please do this! Ask to see 1 or 2 full weddings! Maybe even 3 if you’re not sure.

*What is the turnaround time for proofs and final albums? Its good to get this IN the contract

I also suggest reading LBPhoto’s thread (at the top of all photgraphy threads) & that should help you a lot. Have fun & let us know how it goes :).

Post # 10
739 posts
Busy bee

@Miichelle there is a HUGE difference in owning the images and getting printing rights to the images. I charge almost twice what I charge for a wedding package to give up the copyright or ownership to the images I produce. But we give the printing rights with the purchase of the proof disk.  Photogs who give away their copyright actually have to then pay you in order to use them for their portfolio, website, blog or marketing materials and are usually new to the business and don’t really know what they are doing, as far and running a business.

Definitely check out LB’s post at the top of the photo board. Lot’s of great advice when meeting with photogs.

Post # 11
3526 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Everyone has already gave you some great advice. I’ll just add a couple points:

along with printing rights -like another poster already said- make sure they are high res. I’ve heard horror stories from brides on here that they got the digital files with printing rights, but in thumbnail size!!!

make sure they are not watermarked!

ask for emails for referrals from past couples so you can ask them questions about the photographers the day of. Interaction with guests, promptness, etc

Another thing I might clarify if I were you is how do they work. You mention that one photographer is more the ceremony, while the other is more details?Are you meaning one is a primary and the other is an assistant?

If that’s the case what are the different start to end times of both of them?ie Our primary started the day at 11:30am while the secondary met us at the venue about 300pm for the first look and then formal portraits and bridal party etc. We only had the secondary stay till about 8pm, just enough to help with the main picture taking portion (cake cutting, first dance, etc) and have his meal. We did this to help offset the cost of having our primary for 12hrs.

Besides that I think you’re heading in the right direction in meeting with them first. I know many can’t and don’t meet with their photographers before hiring. But if possible I think it’s so important that you click with them. They will be in your face all day! It’s important to be comfortable with them. And meeting them will give you a better gauge of their character and whether you can trust them with this all important task of photographing your wedding!

Post # 14
1000 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

@Whimsical.Sprite: Just FYI, I disagree with this one:

*May I see unedited work?

The only time you should ask to see unedited work is if you will be receiving unedited work. If the photographer only provides edited photos, what they look like before editing is irrelevant, and there are plenty of these photographers who won’t show this to you in that case anyway.

Also with this one:

*What would you charge to shoot our wedding?  What are some options that we can discuss that will lower the overall cost?

You immediately jump to negotiating price, when this may A.) Insult the photog, or B.) Not even be necessary if you can afford the photographer you are looking at. Don’t assume we’re all charging more than what we actually expect or need to make just cause some photographers are desperate enough to negotiate.

Also, if you have to ask, you’ll want to be careful how you put this. “Options for lowering the overall cost,” sounds like you are asking the photographer to drop their price flat out, which almost none of the respectable ones will do. You may substitute this question with, “Are your packages customizable to help fit my budget?”

Overall, not a bad list though. Some of the questions are redundant, but there is some good stuff in there.

@heather5743: Definitely check out my post at the top of the photo board section! Hopefully this helps 🙂

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