Congratulations! You’re planning on tying the knot. Now, it’s time to start planning your big day. Of course, you have a lot of things to do and a lot of people to hire, include caterers, a wedding planner, a DJ, and perhaps most importantly, a photographer. Why is the wedding photographer so important? Because the photos are the things that will last a lifetime. The pictures are what you and your loved ones will continue to look back at for yours to come as you relive the memories of your special day.
With that in mind, it’s incredibly important that you make certain you hire the right wedding photographer. That’s why you should ask these questions before you make your decision:
- What style of wedding photos do you take? When it comes to wedding photography, there are many different styles, including traditional, contemporary, documentary (or candid), and artistic. Depending on your artistic preference and the type of wedding you’re having, you’ll need to choose a photographer whose aesthetic matches what you’re looking for.
- Can I see your portfolio of wedding photos? Any wedding photographer worth hiring will have a portfolio showcasing his or her work. You should never hire a wedding photographer without first seeing the work he or she has shot. Carefully review the photos, and use them to help guide your decision.
- How many weddings have you shot? Weddings pose specific, unique challenges to photographers. That’s why it’s so important that you hire a photographer with extensive experience working weddings, so you’ll have someone who knows what to expect at your event.
- Is your schedule totally open on my wedding day? Make sure your photographer’s schedule is totally clear on the day of your wedding. You don’t want to risk your photographer being late to your wedding or having to leave early in order to make another engagement. That way, if your ceremony or reception runs long, you can keep your photographer around for the whole thing (possibly at an extra fee depending on how long it runs).
- How much do you charge and how will I pay? While money shouldn’t be the only thing that influences your hiring decision, the fact is that you do have a budget to consider. Wedding photographers come in a wide range of prices, but for the most part, you can expect to pay a decent amount for a quality photographer.
- Will you have an assistant with you? If your wedding will have a large number of guests or be in a big venue, you may wish to choose a photography package that includes an assistant photographer. This ensures that all of the important moments are captured from all angles.
- What type of photo editing will you provide? It’s important that you understand what, if any, post-production services your photographer will provide. Will he or she color correct your images? Will the photographer do any other editing?
- How long after the wedding will the photos be ready? Finally, you should find out how long it will take the photographer to produce and deliver your photographs. Speed certainly isn’t everything – some studios may promise faster turnaround times but not offer any editing –but you also want to make sure you get your images in a reasonable amount of time.
By asking these 8 questions, you’ll help ensure you choose the right photographer for your wedding.
Resource box: Michael Tsao is a professional wedding photographer currently working in Orange County California. He is also responsible for artistically composing the shots and processing the images.