Essential Questions for Every Bride-to-Be: Photographer Edition

2015 Mar 5 - by Naureen
Among all our wedding decisions, the one we weighed most heavily on was selecting a photographer. After all is said and done, pictures are the lasting memories of a wedding. We wanted someone we could trust to capture those precious moments and little details in a way that was true to us as a couple. But, how exactly did we find our wedding photographer? One word: RESEARCH.

It wasn’t easy, but we at the Big Fat Indian Wedding have compiled a list of questions to help you find “the one.” Remember, a good photographer may take and edit pretty pictures, but a great photographer conveys a couple’s story through their work. With this Essential Questions for Every Bride-Photographer Edition in hand, you’ll find a photographer who will ensure every moment on your wedding day is picture perfect!

Availability and Booking:

{Photo Courtesy Carolina & Sanket's Sparkle Pink and Mint Green Fusion Wedding via Camera Famosa}

1. Are you available on [insert date(s)] at [insert time(s)]? How soon do I have to reserve this date? *If the wedding photographer is not available on your wedding date, then forego the rest of your questions.

2. Will you personally be shooting my wedding or will you send others within your company? Do you (or the other photographer) normally shoot alone or with assistants?

3. Do you have any other commitments to cover that weekend?

4. How far in advance do we need to book you for both the engagement shoot and wedding?

5. What is required to book you for my wedding date? Do you require just the security deposit or the full amount to reserve this date?

6. Can you please send me a contract/written agreement as confirmation of what is included in our package?

Background and Experience:

1. What is your background in photography? How long have you been in the business? Have you shot many South Asian weddings?

2. How many weddings have you photographed? Of those, how many were similar to my event in terms of style and size?

3. Are you familiar with my event’s venues? If not, do you typically check out the venue beforehand to see the area and conceptualize shots?

4. May we see some of the print albums of recent weddings you've shot? If you can, please e-mail a link to see images of a full wedding (start to finish) online as well.

5. May I have a list of references and/or see some of your customer testimonials?

6. Do you have a website or blog I can check out?

7. Has your work been published in any wedding blogs or magazines?

*** If the photographer is fairly new and lacks experience, you may be able to negotiate a lower price. Discuss the opportunity your wedding presents, in the context of your event’s scope, for the photographer to showcase their work and advertise their business to new clients.

Vision Questions (to get a sense of their personalities and interests):

{Photo Courtesy Mana & Vinay's Wedding via Rob Lyons Photography}

1. How do you categorize your photography style (traditional, photojournalistic, editorial, documentary)?

2. What kind of equipment do you work with? Do you shoot digitally or with film?

3. What distinguishes your work from that of other photographers?

4. How do you envision our wedding day in terms of the pictures you’d like to take?

5. How do others describe your presence at their weddings? *Do you like to blend in and take shots ninja-style or do you like to coordinate shots throughout the event?

6. Are your photographs taken in color and black and white?

7. Would you be interested to see our Pinterest board or pictures of the types of poses we’d like for our wedding day?

8. How do you manage/coordinate large group photos?

Package Questions:

{Original and Retouched Photo Courtesy of This Modern Love Photography}

1. What is your base rate for a wedding and what is included? Are there a maximum number of pictures per event or do you cover based on time? How many images are there typically in the final gallery?

2. Do you offer multi-day packages or wedding product packages? Are you able to customize a package based on our needs?

3. Do you include engagement photos in these packages?

4. Would you be able to put together photos of the engagement session or previous wedding events to show during our cocktail hour? What about an "instant" slideshow of the ceremony to show at the reception?

5. Are albums included in your package? What types of albums do you offer in terms of sizes and number of pictures?

6. Are all of your images retouched and/or corrected if needed?

7. What is your turnaround time for the wedding pictures? Will there be high-resolution copies viewable online and/or on a thumb drive?

8. Do you provide the digital files for all of the photos?

9. Do we have to go through an ordering process for the prints and albums? What is the turnaround for the album?

10. When will we receive a written contract?

Logistics:

{Photo Courtesy This Modern Love Photography}

1. What is your backup plan for equipment failure or if you get unwell are unable to shoot the wedding? Do you have a backup photographer for emergencies?

2. In terms of timing, if an event lasts longer than expected, then do you stay? Would we incur any additional charge if we go a little over time?

3. What is your policy if other wedding guests are taking pictures alongside of you?

4. What time will you arrive and for how long will you shoot?

5. How would you and your assistants dress for our wedding?

6. How much time is required for bridal portraits and how much is needed for wedding party portraits?

7. Do you back up your photos in camera and off site?

8. When would you like to be allotted time to eat?

9. Is there any information you need from me before the wedding day?

Payment:

{Photo Courtesy Spiritual Multicultural Hindu Sikh Wedding via Daniel Hon Photography}

1. What is the “door” quote for everything we have discussed for our wedding package? What exactly is included in this charge?

2. If my wedding site is out of your area, do you charge a travel fee and what does that cover?

3. How much of a deposit do you need for reserving the date?

4. Do you offer a payment plan for your services? When is the final balance due?

5. What is your preferred form of payment? Are there any discounts available if we pay in cash?

6. Is our security deposit nonrefundable? What is your cancellation policy with regards to deposits and refunds?

7. Do you have liability insurance? Can we see a copy of your contract?

Meet your photographers in person and review Essential Questions for Every Bride-Photographer Edition with them. Make sure you and your spouse-to-be feel comfortable with the photographer- you both will be spending a lot of time with them on your special day! Read those contracts before signing on the dotted line and then rest easy. As Edward Steichen once said, “A portrait is not made in the camera, but on the other side of it.” Smile pretty, lovelies!

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Need more helping picking vendors? Check out our guides on venues, decorators, and makeup artists!

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