When you start planning a wedding, suddenly you have to be an expert on everything, from flowers to interior design, and from church etiquette to booking your wedding photographer. There are certain things you should know to ask a photographer, perhaps before you even decide on whether or not to book them. This blog post should help those struggling to figure out which wedding photographer is right for you.
1. Are you the photographer that will be photographing my wedding?
Some wedding photography companies and even some photographers outsource work to other photographers, so it is worth asking if you are going through one of these companies. The initial meet and greet with a photographer ideally should be with the person attending your wedding.
2. How long will you shoot for?
This is definitely something you want agreed with your photographer before you book them and pay a deposit. To do this, ideally you should have a rough idea of the timings of your wedding day and have decided when you want the photographer to be there. For instance, the pre-wedding time is often when a photographer will get some of the most beautiful shots of the bride and bridal party, so have a think about this before you meet your (potential) photographer.
3. Have you been to my venue? If not, will you go before my wedding?
This, I believe, is very important for a photographer. It gives them an idea of the best locations to take certain shots during your wedding day, for instance, the romantic couple shots or the giant group photograph of everyone attending. If this is left until the day of your wedding, it could result in the photographer being unsure of the exact details of these vital photographs you require.
4. Do you have insurance?
Public liability insurance is a necessity for photographers, especially wedding photographers, just in case in the unlikely event, someone gets hurt at an event. If you're unsure about any of these then here is some more information.
5. What is your style of shooting? How do you tend to work?
I recommend asking this as most people don't want their photographer to interfere with their day, I have learnt this from speaking to a lot of clients. However, some photographers do have a tendency to overpower a wedding and almost take control. Whether or not this is how you would like your photographer to be, I would recommend asking them - you will usually get an idea of their personality by meeting them.
6. Can we give you a list of shots that we would like?
Some couples know exactly what they want from their wedding photographer, and I think it's great to communicate certain styles or imagery you are expecting to receive. These can be anything from certain poses of the bride and groom, photos in certain locations at your venue, or photographs of certain member of your bridal party. If you're stuck for inspiration and have no clue what you want from your wedding photographer, there are hundreds of wedding blogs that you can peruse through. A few favourites of mine are Rock My Wedding, Style Me Pretty and 100 Layer Cake.
7. How will I receive my images? Album? Prints? USB?
Usually, wedding photographers give details of their different packages on their websites, but if you are unsure of exactly what is being offered, then definitely ask, and make sure you have agreed on what you want before you sign for your photographer.
8. Will I be able to print my own images? Will they be watermarked?
In relation to the previous question, it is worth asking about. If you are supplied images by your wedding photographer, the last thing you want is their logo printed all over them so they won't look as good if you print them yourselves. I have met clients who have come across wedding photographers who have refused to supply images without their logo on, which has then resulted in many hours of Photoshop work to attempt to remove them.
9. Do you have a contract drawn up? What is your payment process?
A contract for both parties to sign is a must, just so you're all covered should anything happen. This could be anything from illness or a cancellation all the way to a dispute about the services provided. Generally it is always worth putting a contract in place and making sure you understand what you are signing.
It is also worth asking what the wedding photographer's policies are on deposits and payments and the timings of these. Most wedding photographers require a full payment before your wedding day but some only want paying after the event itself, so make sure you know which is the case.
10. Back up equipment? Backup photographer?
It is also always worth finding out if your photographer has a back up option if their camera breaks, or a back up photographer if they are ill on your wedding day. This, I imagine is a rare occurrence, but again it is worth just mentioning to the photographer you are thinking of booking.
If you are looking to book a wedding photographer in Leeds or, in fact, the rest of Yorkshire, I would be happy to answer all of these questions. If you're interested, take a look at my recent work here and if you would like to hear more just get in touch.