Right now, I’m re-editing (with photographer permission) a wedding to create an album. The majority of
these images are dark, grainy, and out of focus. Out of 1700 images, I was able to salvage 150. How does
this happen? My client thought she was hiring a professional photographer, but she didn’t know what kinds of questions to ask when she interviewed photographers.
Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer Before Booking
Here are 12 questions you can ask your wedding photographer so that you may have an amazing experience on your wedding day.
Question 1 – How many times before my wedding day will I meet you?
Why this is important: Forming more than a vendor-client relationship is crucial to creating trust and open communication between both parties. This person is capturing memories you’ll have the rest of your life- you should probably be able to pick them out of a crowd. When your photographer is someone you know you can depend on, you’ll feel a sense of confidence with them by your side on your wedding day!
WBP: We meet local brides a MINIMUM of three times prior to their wedding. For destination brides, we Skype and schedule phone calls to check in. All of our brides receive Kimber’s cell number and are welcome to contact us should they have questions or want to chat at any point. We want our couples to feel like family!
Question 2 – Are you a legal business and do you carry insurance?
Why this is important: Running a legal business helps to ensure a basic level of competence and professionalism. Many hobbyist photographers do not register their business because they don’t believe they make enough money to do so (this is incorrect, by the way. If you make ANY money, you should be registered and paying taxes). Additionally some venues require proof of insurance. Insurance can be a safety net for you as well…imagine if one of your guests damages $20k of your photographer’s gear. It’s a lot easier to pay a deductible than to worry about a potential lawsuit. Vice versa as well…if the photographer is at fault for causing you injury or ruining your day, you have more recourse.
WBP: We are absolutely a licensed business and possess business insurance.
Question 3 – May I see a full wedding gallery?
Why this is important: Most anyone can create 1 or 2 good images after shooting for an entire day. It takes a professional to work in different environments, shifting light, and with moving subjects. How a photographer captures an entire day speaks more than the select images that are carefully curated for their social media.
WBP: We love when we’re asked to show a full gallery!
Question 4 – Do you offer assistance with creating a wedding day schedule/shot list? What else do you do to help ensure my day goes smoothly?
Why this is important: Wedding photos can easily consume a wedding day. Working with an organized professional who assists with the heavy lifting (schedule/shot list) prior to the wedding, helps keep the day running smoothly and the celebration as the first priority.
WBP: We absolutely help you create a schedule and shot list! The most important part of a wedding day is celebrating a new union, not capturing endless formals. We help you create a list of the most important images so that we keep your day moving along. We also show up to every wedding with our famously ugly yellow toolbox, known as the “bridal box”. It contains everything that flustered brides tend to forget on their big day: deodorant, sewing kit, stain stick, etc. We want you to know that we are committed to the success of your day in every aspect!
Question 5 – Do you collaborate with other businesses? Do you have recommendations for other vendors for my wedding day that you’ve personally worked with?
Why it’s important: Local vendors tend to know (or know of) each other. It’s important to make sure that the vendors you’re hiring can work well together. It can be a big red flag if your photographer only speaks derogatively of other local businesses or if other established professionals haven’t heard of them. Conversely, it can be a huge stress reliever when your photographer can recommend other trustworthy businesses to help round out your vendor list for your big day.
WBP: We LOVE to collaborate and recommend other local businesses! We will only recommend people/businesses we have actual experience with and that offer the same level of customer service we do. From makeup artists to venues to officiants- we can help! Please check out our last blog post to see a recent collaboration we did with other local wedding vendors. After all, a rising tide raises all ships.
Question 6 – How do you store my images after the wedding?
Why it’s important: Wedding images can only be captured once. It’s vitally important that you can trust that your photographer is safeguarding them as much as possible. We’ve all heard stories about corrupt
memory cards or insufficient backups.
WBP: Every image is immediately copied onto two memory cards. After the wedding, we transfer to two external hard drives and cloud storage. The unexpected can still happen but we try to take every
precaution with your images.
Question 7 – What level of retouching can I expect on my wedding images?
Why it’s important: Every photographer offers a different level of retouching for wedding images. The vast majority offer basic color correction, exposure adjustments, and perhaps some light skin retouching. You should understand what your final images will look like so that you know you’ll be thrilled with the results!
WBP: Wedding images will be edited with basic adjustments, light skin retouching, and basic object removal (if needed). For images that clients elect to have printed, those files will be more fully retouched and stylized. This includes more advanced skin editing, teeth whitening, fixing lumps and bumps in clothing, etc. Kimber adores retouching and is constantly adding to her retouching education.
Question 8 – Do you have studio samples (canvas, albums, etc.) I can see and touch?
Why it’s important: If creating a wedding album is important to you, you should be able to see real life examples from your photographer. They should have access to a professional print laboratory and tell you what makes their products different from consumer labs.
WBP: Our products come from small family-owned businesses that lovingly handcraft each one. Please come to the studio to experience the difference quality prints can make! Additionally, you will always receive a mockup proof prior to printing and every piece of artwork comes with a guarantee.
Question 9 – May I see some testimonials/contact previous brides?
Why it’s important: READ REVIEWS. If they don’t have them posted, ask to speak to former brides. What better way to get an idea of what your experience will be like than by reading about other brides’? It will likely give you clues into how that professional is to work with and an unbiased view on what to expect.
WBP: Go ahead, read our reviews. You can find them on Google, Facebook, The Knot, and Wedding Wire.
Honestly, our brides do a better job of bragging on us than we ever could.
Question 10 – Tell me about your style and what sets you apart?
Why it’s important: There are all kinds of wedding photographers; from documentary style, to classic, to those who love moody vibes, to those who embrace the light and airy look. Look through a bunch of different people’s work and find what resonates with you!
WBP: For our wedding images, we aim for a classic editing style. We adore crisp images with bright colors that aren’t overly saturated. We also do a mix of candid and posed images.
Question 11 – Why are you a wedding photographer?
Why it’s important: Too often, people want to be a wedding photographer because they heard that’s where the money is. If they don’t possess a true passion for telling love stories and can’t tell you exactly what drove them into the field, take a closer look.
WBP: We were heartbroken after hearing so many of our friends’ horror stories about their wedding photography and wanted to change the industry (at least for our clients). Additionally, we know how sacred these images are and we want to create work that you’ll still love in 30 years. We love capturing love. We’re wedding photographers because we want to make each couple feel special, showcase their unique love story, and craft images they’ll adore for forever.
Question 12 – Do you offer a post-wedding reveal?
Why it’s important: This is a fantastic time to relive your wedding day together and for your photographer to make sure that you’re thrilled with the work! It’s also a great time to create an album/canvas cluster for your home – thus omitting a mile long email chain.
WBP: Yes. We love laughing, and sometimes crying, with our couples at their reveal session. In our mind, it’s much more personal than dropping a USB in the mail. Thank you for taking an extra evening to come view these on the projector with us! Your artwork proofs will be completed shortly and then we’ll hand deliver the final products along with extra goodies!