Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Questions to ask your wedding photographer

Do you have insurance? This is a no-brainer. Your wedding photographer needs to have liability insurance to cover anything that can go wrong on your wedding day. The most common example is because someone can trip on their tripod leg and get hurt. This might not happen, but being prepared for it is important!

Do you have back up equipment? This is an important question! If your photographer doesn't have more than one camera, more than one lens, more than one flash, you could be setting yourself up for a lot of disappointment. I have personally had a camera break during a wedding. I have dropped a lens during a portrait session. Knowing that equipment can malfunction and being prepared for it is a sign of a responsible photographer. If your photographer's only camera breaks while you're walking down the aisle, what will you have to remember your wedding day?

What happens in case of illness? Back up photographer? This is important, too. If you have an agreement with the cheapest student photographer on Craigslist, and they get pneumonia two days before your wedding, what happens to your wedding coverage? Sure, they might be willing to refund your $300, but will you be able to find another photographer on that short of notice? And, if you do, how much will they charge you? We have two photographers, and a back up photographer. Most reputable photographers will have contingency plans to cover your day, even in the event of illness.

Do you have any recommendations for other vendors? Your wedding vendors are a great resource to you. This isn't limited to the photographers, though, this is valid for all of your vendors. The venue that you choose to have your reception at can probably give you great referrals for DJ's and caterers. The wedding planner can give you great referrals for dresses and tux rentals, decorations and bakeries. Your photographer can give you great information regarding venues and time lines. The key here is to make your wedding vendors work together as a team. We have all photographed (or catered, or DJ'ed, or planned) more weddings than your friends, your mom, or your Aunt Sue. We might have insight on some of these things that will help you plan your day so it runs smoothly!

What is a typical time line? How much time do you require for pictures? What happens if we run late? Talking to your wedding photographer will help you get a reasonable schedule for your wedding day. A reasonable schedule is the best way to stay on time. If you want two hours worth of pictures, but only leave your photographer 30 minutes to take them, you will wind up late or without the pictures that are important to you. A good wedding photographer should be able to help you set realistic goals and time lines for your wedding day, so that you get to your ceremony and reception on time!

Can I see your portfolio? Client reviews? If your wedding photographer doesn't have a portfolio, or can't show you feedback from previous clients, these should send big red flags! Photography is an art, and as such, differs greatly from person to person. Hiring someone to photograph your wedding so that they get experience is a bad reason to hire them. Letting your cousin photograph your wedding because she has a great camera and is good at taking pictures can lead to disaster!

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