guest post :: our friends at shutterfly

 

Our friends at Shutterfly have taken over my blog today and are sharing their list of questions to ask your wedding photographer. Hope you enjoy.

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A Useful List of Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

 

You’ll want to remember you wedding forever, and it’s important to find a wedding photographer that will help capture the day in the way you want to recall it. Picking the right photographer, though, can be a difficult task, since you have to consider factors ranging from their experience to your budget to logistical issues. Before you commit, it’s a good idea to sit down with them and discuss your main needs and concerns. Here’s a good list of questions to use as a starting point.

 Image by Aron Goss

Image by Aron Goss

 

Availability

First of all, find out if they are available on the day that you want to get married. If not, there’s no point in asking any of the other questions on this list, unless you want to change your marriage date to accommodate them. Also ask them:

How far in advance do I need to book?

Are you shooting any other weddings on this weekend? How many?

Are you willing to travel to the venue? Is there a travel fee?

Will you have any assistants with you?

If the wedding runs longer than expected, can you stay and will you charge overtime?

 Image by Aron Goss

Image by Aron Goss

 

Working Style

It’s important to find out what your photographer’s working style is. They’ll be spending a lot of time with you on the big day, and so it’s important to be sure that their personality and professionalism are compatible with your wedding. Find out:

What will you be wearing?

Do you prefer to choreograph shots, or capture events as they unfold?

Have you ever worked with my wedding planner? Florist? Videographer? Other vendors?

Have you ever worked at my venue? If not, are you going to visit it in advance?

Will you bring your own lighting?

Will you have backup cameras, lenses, or other equipment? Can you send a backup photographer if something happens to you?

Are you insured?

What type of equipment will you use?

How would you describe your work style?

What information do you need from me?

 Image by Aron Goss

Image by Aron Goss

 

Artistic Style

Equally important, however, is the photographer’s artistic vision. You want to make sure that their idea of what your pictures should look like is compatible with your own. This will help you make sure that you are happy with the finished product.

How would you describe your artistic vision?

Are you familiar with the style of wedding photography I’m interested in?

What makes your work unique?

Do you shoot digitally or on film?

Do you shoot in black and white? Color? Both? If you use both, how many shots of each do you usually take?

Can I give you a list of must-have shots, or do you prefer to capture events as they happen?

 

 Image by Aron Goss

Image by Aron Goss

Experience

One good way to get to know your photographer is to ask for pictures that they’ve taken of other weddings. This will help you get a feel for their style as well as let you know what the quality of their work is. Try looking at an album of a full wedding, start to finish, as well as any shots taken in the style you’re looking for. Ask:

How long have you been photographing weddings?

How many weddings have you photographed?

Have you ever photographed any wedding which was similar to mine in style and size?

Do you have a portfolio of your favorite/best shots?

Have you had any new training or continuing education recently?

Can I have a list of references?

Any good photographer should be able to provide you with references. Contact couples who have used the photographer before and ask them whether they are happy with the services they received, as well as whether they had any complaints.

 

 Image by Aron Goss

Image by Aron Goss

The Final Product

This is something that you must be very, very clear on before the wedding starts. Make sure that you know exactly what you’ll be getting in the end, before you even begin.

What packages do you offer? Can I customize a package?

What type of paper will the photos be printed on?

Do you provide retouching, color correction, and other adjustments?

When will the photos be available after the wedding? How long will they be available?

Will you retain the copyright to the photos, or can I use them how I see fit?

Will you be posting the photos of our wedding on your website or social media accounts?

Will I receive a CD or thumbdrive with digital copies of my photos? Will they be available online?

Will the digital copies be high-resolution?

Do you offer an album? What kinds of designs are available?

If they do not offer digital copies, then you may wish to scan your pictures so that you can keep them permanently. If they do not offer an album, you might be able to create your own using an online service.

 

 Image by Aron Goss

Image by Aron Goss

The Contract

Finally, be sure to ask the photographer about their contract. It’s critical that you know what you’re signing up for before you actually sign. Make sure it stipulates what each party will receive, what the responsibilities are, and what the payment schedule will look like. Finding the right photographer can be difficult, but if you ask the right questions the choice becomes much easier.

 

 Image by Aron Goss

Image by Aron Goss


Bryan Passanisi has been a wedding blogger for the last 3 years. He has managed many websites and blogs. He currently writes and works for Shutterfly as the head of the Shutterfly.com blog. When he is not working, Bryan prefers to read and write in his spare time.