Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Wedding Photographer

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Your wedding will be one of the biggest, if not the greatest day of your life.  Some moments in life are just too precious to be immortalized by a cell phone or willing family member with a camera.  We can all agree that it is important to find the right person, a professional photographer, for the job.  With so many photographers for hire, how do you choose the right one?

Let’s assume that you have already taken the time to look at reviews, read testimonials, or you have received a recommendation from previous clients of potential wedding photographers.  After you created your short list, ask the remaining prospects these questions to help you decide which one is the best photographer for you.

1. Do you have a wedding portfolio?

Looking at wedding photos from previous shoots will let you have a much better glimpse at the photographer’s style, specifically at a ceremony or reception.  You should let the photographer know in a few words what types of pictures you envision for your own wedding to get a better selection of samples.  Each professional has a different eye when it comes to taking a shot.  Some photographers will experiment with creative angles, props, and lighting.  Some will take more formal pictures while others are more focused on capturing the essence of the moment.

2. Will you make a detailed shot by shot plan?

Not only will this give you a more full perspective on how your set of wedding photos will look like, it will give you the opportunity to edit the list of shots to guaranty that none of the vital photos you want will be missed at your wedding.  You should review the plan with the photographer so that there are no misunderstandings on the day of your wedding.  Let him or her know which shots are your top priority in case unforeseen circumstances cut into your time in front of the camera.  You want to make sure that you are both on the same page so that your pictures turn out just the way you envision them.   

3. Do you have backup cameras and other photography equipment?

As the great wedding planner you are, you've prepared for the worst case scenario for every other aspect of your wedding.  Why should you expect anything less from your wedding photographer?  The best professional photographers will always bring multiple cameras, lenses, lighting instruments, flashes, memory cards, and batteries in case of any unfortunate malfunctions.

4. After my wedding is over, how do you process the images?

The purpose of this question is to know how the pro plans to store your priceless memories.  Will your images be backed up to a hard drive or available on a cloud?  How long will your set of wedding photos be kept by the photographer?  We recommend that you back up all photos soon after delivery.  Still, it’s easier to sleep at night knowing that the photographer has backups in case of the off chance anything tragic happens to your copies. 

5. Do you have liability insurance?

It isn’t uncommon for a reception venue to request proof of liability insurance from a photographer in advance of the wedding.  Plus unexpected mishaps occur.  In case one of your guests slips and stumbles head first into the photographer’s tripod, you’ll want to know that you are both covered.  

6. How long will it take to receive the pictures from my wedding?

Taking amazing pictures is one thing but if you can’t see them soon it can get frustrating.  Printed photographs generally take two to four weeks to edit and develop.  Fortunately some photographers may offer to process a portion of the set digitally much earlier so you can quickly share your big day with family and friends online.  Let your photographer know if you’d like some key pictures a little sooner to share on social media.

7. Is there a local videographer that you would recommend?

You may want to ask this question once you choose a photographer if you plan on also hiring a videographer for your wedding.  Now that you favor a specific photographer, it doesn’t hurt to ask his or her opinion on a local wedding videographer.  The photographer likely has worked with videographers that compliment his or her photos.  You can browse our local wedding videographer directory to review portfolios of professionals in your area.

While you will be happily immersed at your wedding, it will be virtually impossible for you to take in everything that happens around you.  No worries though, because you will hire a great wedding photographer that will capture all of the cherished moments you may have missed.  Begin your search to find the best wedding photographer near you in our wedding photographer directory.


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