I just Joined to give some professional photography tech support for wedding bee folks! Ask me any question you’ve got!
I put together this great question list to give your photographer, it includes explinations on why you ask these questions.
Hope this helps!
Important Questions to ask your photographer (for you to copy and paste)
Will you be the one taking the photos?
Are you a member of any associations or groups in your industry?
What photography styles do you specialize in?
What is the brand and model of the camera that you will be using?
What is the brand and model of the lenses you will be using?
What lighting equipment will you be using?
Will you be using an assistant, if so will it be extra?
Will there be backup equipment in case something goes wrong?
What will happen if you become ill or cannot come to the wedding?
Can other people take photos while you work?
If my event lasts longer than scheduled, will you stay? Will it be extra?
How many photos will you take? How many photos will you give us?
When will you deliver the finished photos to us?
What kind of photos will you be taking? Or what can you do? (B/W, color correction, ect)
Will you accept a list of photos that I would like you to take?
How will you help me put together my wedding album?
What is the attire of you and your assistant?
Do you have a professional contract for us to sign?
Do you have liability insurance? With who, and how much?
Will we get the negatives?
Tell us about your experience as a photographer. How many weddings have you done?
Why you ask these questions
The first step is seeing if the photographer is willing to fill out this long form. If not, they may not be as dedicated to you as they say..
-Will you be the one taking the photos?Some photographers have amazing portfolios, and they will charge a price appropriate for their skill. But come wedding day, they may contract your wedding to another, less skilled photographer, and profit from the price difference.
-Are you a member of any associations or groups in your industry?If not, they may not be as skilled as they say. It is also a sign of continuing education. Isolated photographers will have outdated photo techniques and equipment.
-What photography styles do you specialize in?Check to see if they are more than picture takers. A photographer is defined by their style. Check their portfolio and match their claim with their work.
-What is the brand and model of the camera that you will be using?It’s easy to google their equipment. If the camera costs less than $1,500, they will have issues taking pictures in low light, or capturing the fast paced action. Make sure the photographer has invested in their equipment.
-What is the brand and model of the lenses you will be using?The lenses are more important than the camera. A great camera with poor lenses is a disaster. Google their lenses and a professional will use lenses costing $800-$2,400. Make sure they have a wide angle lens (their description should say 15-35mm) and a telephoto lens (150-200mm)
-What is the make and model of the lighting equipment will you be using? Will you be using a hot shoe flash? Will you be using strobes?Out of all the questions this separates the pros from the amateurs. It takes skill and knowledge to properly light a scene with equipment. At a minimum, they need a hot shoe flash. If you need nice portraits of large groups, they need a strobe. Have them send an example if in doubt.
-Will you be using an assistant, if so will it be extra?Your wedding is no place for cowboys. A photographer needs help, no matter how good they are.
-Will there be backup equipment in case something goes wrong?Something will always go wrong. It’s part of photography. Check to see that they are prepared.
-What will happen if you become ill or cannot come to the wedding?Food poisoning happens… make sure they have a back up plan.
-Can other people take photos while you work?They should say yes for the ceremony and reception, but no for group photos. If there is more than one camera at a group photo session, not everyone will be looking into the camera you paid for!
-If my event lasts longer than scheduled, will you stay? Will it be extra?Events usually will go over. See if this is an area they might use a “gotcha”
-How many photos will you take? How many photos will you give us?Good photographers will take thousands of pictures, and narrow them down to a few hundred.
-When will you deliver the finished photos to us?More horror stories… Photographers have taken up to a year to get the photos back to brides.
-What kind of photos will you be taking? Or what can you do? (B/W, color correction, ect)This is a check on their photoshop skills.
-Will you accept a list of photos that I would like you to take?An outright “No” to this question is a red flag.
-How will you help me put together my wedding album?Don’t let them abandon you after their initial work is done. See if they will help, and how much they will charge.
-What is the attire of you and your assistant?Another sign of professionalism.
-Do you have a professional contract for us to sign?Never hire a wedding photographer without some contract. Horror stories are everywhere. Photographers without contract liability have abandoned clients. If this happened to you, it would force you to scramble for a last minute photographer who will likely be more expensive. Contracts also keep photographers true to their promises.
-Do you have liability insurance? With who, and how much?Another sign of a professional.
-Will we get the negatives?JPG’s are good, but DNG, or RAW files are better. Just like film, digital pictures have a negative, make sure they are available in case you want to make your photos black and white, ect.
-Tell us about your experience as a photographer.Always check claims with their website. Look for passion and customer service.
[Links Removed – Please don’t spam our boards with sig lines!]