Let’s say you have whittled your list down to a handful of prospective photographers. You love their images, their prices are similar…so how do you make that final decision?
Here’s my Top 3 Things to ask before you book them!
1. Ask to see at least ONE entire wedding
Photographers are selective about what they show! Don’t tell everyone but we tend to showcase our best work. However, you need to know if the standard you see on their website portfolio is just their ‘best bits’ or if it’s a true representation of their skills. Are they consistently good? They might be able to shoot fabulous images of shoes and flowers but can they shoot moving people in a dark church?
Many photographers have styled shoots on their websites. These are controlled photoshoots designed and created for marketing and editorial purposes. They require a lot of skill but they also use a very different skill-set to that of shooting a wedding, so do make sure that the weddings you are looking at are ‘real’ ones.
2. Schedule a Skype call or meet in person
The second most important thing about choosing a photographer (loving their work is No 1) is making sure that they will fit in with your day.
Your photographer will be with you all day. They will be there when you are in your dressing gown having your hair done all the way up to when you release those amazing dance moves on the dance floor. Personality matters!
Do you want someone who is quiet and invisible to your guests or someone who is able to take control at certain times? Is having someone with a great sense of humour going to make you feel more relaxed? We all work differently, so make sure they fit in with your personality and what you want from your day!
3. Important Questions Couples never ask!
There are standard questions that every couple knows to ask. They usually include the number of hours they work, deposit requirements and the format you will get your images in.
However, these are questions you should ask!
Is this your full time job?
Let me be very clear: There are lots of fabulously talented part-time photographers out there. There are also lots of very cheap, inexperienced ‘weekend photographers.’ My advice is this, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Photographers charge according to experience, ability and professionalism….so please don’t be tempted by really cheap deals!
Do you have Public Liability Insurance?
Large country houses often require that photographers have this….a few will ask you to provide the certification. It means that if your photographer damages the venue, they are insured. It also protects your guests.
What plan do you have if you fall ill on my wedding day?
It’s very unlikely that your photographer would be ill but this question reveals a lot about the professionalism of the person you are dealing with. Many will have some kind of contingency plan. It would be exceptionally rare that they can guarantee a replacement photographer but good ones will at least have a network of possibilities…..and more importantly, someone to put this plan into action should the photographer be incapacitated entirely.
What happens if it rains?
If you are dealing with a UK based Photographer, it’s likely they will smile and tell you it wont matter! And honestly, it wont! A good photographer will have a ‘wet day’ plan for photos such as the formals and portrait shots. They might also carry umbrellas and ask you to bring wellington boots just in case.
What back-up equipment do you use?
You could ask for a list of all their equipment but you really only need to make sure of two things: That they have at least 2 camera bodies and they have a selection of lenses.
Things can malfunction and things do go wrong. I was once submerged entirely underwater by a rogue wave at the magazine shoot below! We were able to continue shooting with another camera – although I now always carry several changes of clothes as well!
I hope this helps you to choose the perfect photographer for you…..and if you would like a list of questions to ask your photographer, you can download your FREE pdf: