We just hired our photographer after a long search and meeting with 2 in person (so sorry if this post is too long)! The dealmaker/breaker for us was personality of the photographer so #1 if there is any way to meet with the exact person shooting the wedding, do it.
– "Is this your full time job?" One photog teaches college & would have taken 2+ months to get our (unedited, mind you) photos back to us post-wedding. It also took FOREVER for them to get back to us about setting up a meeting & then managed to get us confused with a couple who wanted an e-session that week. If that is an indicator of their business management… no thanks.
– "Are the hours we are hiring you for consecutive?" Our photographer needs <30 min before the ceremony to check out the scene & set up for the ceremony (after our getting ready pictures of course). This will take a bit of time out of our "8 hr" day. We are having an after party a few hours after the main reception, but we would need to pay her full price for those hours even if she isn’t shooting, (which means even for just shooting a hour of the after party we’d be paying for 3 extra hours).
– "Is there a limit to your Unlimited hours?" One firm we met with states "UNLIMITED HOURS" on their packages which interested us. However during our meeting we discovered they consider unlimited hours as "getting ready to 1-2 hours before the reception is over". Somehow that doesn’t seem like unlimited…. what if you want a parting bride/groom shot? Point is, go over the packages in advance & then nitpick them apart!
– "What happens if the photographer can’t make it that day (especially if they are a one-person show)?" Our contract states that if our photographer can’t make it (which has never happened) & she can’t find a replacement in time, she is limited to giving us all our money back. It’s ok with us, but some people might not be comfortable with that solution.
– "How many photos will you take/edit?" Our’s will edit around 500 photos (making them all look FABULOUS). Another photog we interviewed ultimately revealed they dont actually "edit" any besides turning them black & white in photoshop and deleting the ones "with people’s eyes closed."
– "Do you post our pictures online?" Some photographers will post on pictage or another site for you/others to buy (or just sneak a peek!), others may not.
-"Will you get offended if I give you ideas of what styles/shots we like (or are you of the "IM the artist, DARN IT!!!" mindset)?" Apparently some DO get offended at this while others wish to please you and your quirky ideas.
I also recommend letting the photographer give their speil first when you meet before asking anything. Just like any other interview, the way they present themselves and their work to you will give you a great indication of their personality, priorities, professionalism, and interest. And your photographer should be excited about your ideas! Good luck!!