When you begin planning your wedding, you will be interviewing and hiring dozens of vendors and contractors. You’ll need to audition and book caterers and musicians, florists and drivers. For most couples, this can be I little daunting. After all, how many of us regularly audition and hire any type of professional?
But it is part and parcel of the wedding planning experience, and it is important to get it right. Otherwise, your wedding can turn into a disappointment. One of the more important vendors you will need to hire is the wedding photographer. However, before you sign any contracts, you need to ask the prospective photog the following ten questions.
1. What Services are Included?
The first question to ask a prospective photographer is “What services are included in the contract?”. Your wedding photographer should be prepared to provide all necessary lighting and backdrops, as well as a full range of photo styles. They should also be able to supply the finished product in both digital and hard copies.
2. How Much Do They Charge?
Costs are always an important issue, and you need to know up front what your photographer will be charging. Typically, you will have the option to choose a price specific package. In other words, the more you pay, the more extensive the services. You need to review the available packages, and decide which best suits your budget and your needs.
3. What Photographic Styles Will Be Provided?
This may seem like an obvious question, but not all photographers are created equal. It takes more skill to handle candid wedding shots than it does to simply take pose photos. Before signing any contract, be sure that your photographer can provide a full range of styles, including candid and traditional portraiture. You should also ask if the photographer shoots digital, or on film.
4. How Many Photographs Will Be Taken?
It is important to know that your photographer is prepared to overshoot your wedding. Ask how many photos they intend to take, over and above what will be used to compile your wedding album. The more photos they take, the more you have to choose from when it comes to creating your wedding album and choosing your wedding portraits.
5. How Long Will The Photographer Be Available?
Remember, weddings are lengthy affairs, and the photographer you hire should be prepared to cover the entire event. You don’t want your photographer working on a time table. If they can’t cover your wedding and reception from start to finish, look for another photographer.
6. Will The Photographer Retouch Your Photos?
Some wedding photographers simply provide raw photos, letting their clients handle any cropping or retouching that may be needed. This can save you some money, but in the long run may cause a few headaches. Make sure your photographer is prepared to handle any necessary cropping or retouching to produce a finished product.
7. Will They Film Your Wedding?
Some photography studios offer package deals that include both still photography and film or video. Choosing both will likely cost a little more, but a professional wedding video is nice touch and makes for a very special memento. You need to know from the outset, however, if the service is available.
8. Will They Provide Pre-Wedding Shots?
Your wedding photos should tell a story, so your photographer should be prepared to take photos before, during, and after the ceremony. Pre and post wedding shots are not always included in a standard wedding photo package, so it is best to ask about this up front.
9. Will The Photographer Deliver a Finished Wedding Album?
Most, but not all, photo studios will compile a finished wedding album for their clients. If this is a feature you want, you need to make sure it is included in the contract before you sign. Also, you should make certain that any unused photos are delivered on negatives, or on a digital file. These can always be reviewed, and printed out at a later date.
10. How Long Til Delivery?
Finally, you should find out what the photographer’s turn around time is. This is the time it takes them to select, crop, retouch, and compile your wedding photos. This can take some time. Typically, a professional photographer should be able to deliver a finished product within a month. But you need to get this in writing to protect yourself and your investment.
Hiring a wedding photographer needn’t be difficult. But you need to know what questions to ask before you sign a contract. If you are planning a wedding, and are in the market for a professional photographer, keep these ten questions is mind before you sign any contracts.