I've been asked a lot of questions over the years, and having been interviewed many times as a prospective photographer, there are things I always make it a point to discuss with potential clients to put their mind at ease. Rather than going through a huge list of specific questions for your photographer, here are my recommended topics for making the best decision for your wedding day.
ASK THE PHOTOGRAPHER
- about their experience How many years have they been photographing weddings, and what mix of work do they do in addition to weddings? What do they enjoy most about photographing weddings? This question gives you a sense of what they've seen and bring to the table for your wedding day.
- to describe their approach Don't ask about their style -- ask about their wedding philosophy, how they like to think through the day with their couples, and how they handle challenges. This will give you a much better sense of what they're aiming to capture in your images.
- for complete wedding galleries All weddings are completely different, and you'll want to see how the photographer handled the wide variety of possible scenarios--time of day, indoor/outdoor, large and small weddings...
- to show some finished products It's important to have something to walk away with from your wedding day! Looking at real samples can help you decide what your taste is in heirlooms and if you like the selection the photographer has on offer.
- for the details of their production timelines Things can get really busy for wedding photographers in the summer and fall months of the year, when the season is at its height. Have them walk you through the process of album design, give you a timeframe for when your images will be ready, and explain how they will be presented to you.
- about emergencies This is always uncomfortable to talk about, but it must be addressed. Being incapacitated on your wedding day is a photographer's worst nightmare (and probably yours too). Talk about what the process is for the teeny tiny chance that it may happen. And be sure to ask about backup equipment in case something breaks.
- for their contract terms & preferred methods of payment A sample contract is always an easy ask, and lets you see all the policies that might affect you. Having those set up in a clear and easy-to-understand way helps everyone manage expectations and also get things done on time!
Just as important as the questions you ask the photographer are the questions you need to ask yourself after the interview.
- Do you feel a connection to their work and personality? You're going to be with them all day. They're going to be involved in your planning. They're going to talk to your family members. Know your comfort level!
- Are you comfortable with their professionalism and communication style? If they've communicated everything succinctly and in a way that respects the weight of the job, then those are good signs!
- Have all your concerns been addressed to your satisfaction? When they answer your tough questions and probing with confidence and honesty, it can breed the trust that leads to a smooth partnership and great images.
May your wedding day be full of awesome no matter what you choose!