Wedding photographers are unlike any other suppliers you’ll hire for your big day. And this is down to the fact that their selection is typically based on emotional connection and trust, as much as it is skill or style. Photographers are solely responsible for the images captured on your wedding day. Therefore, they need to be right for you. Actually, not just right, perfect. But finding the ideal candidate isn’t always easy, which is why I thought I’d share some essential questions you should be asking prospective wedding photographers during the interview process.
Questions that’ll unlock their potential to be ‘the one’, and help you understand whether you’ll be happy to have them follow you around on your big day! It may well be that you can ask yourself some of these queries while researching prospective wedding photographers, and you won’t necessarily need to pose all of them face to face. But be sure to hold back some questions for your interviews, as their real-life responses will often give you more of a rounded view of them as a person.
If you’re planning in-person meets, or Zoom calls with potential wedding photographers, these are the questions you should ask.
Experience is absolutely not a deal-breaker, we all have to start somewhere! However, the responsibility of a wedding photographer is unbelievably high, as are the expectations placed upon them. Therefore, when looking at wedding photographers with less-experience, it’s vital you ask them questions in-person. As you’ll need to carefully gauge your opinion of them not on physical evidence, but on a vibe.
Ask yourself, do they feel confident? Trustworthy? Have they shot at your venue before, or somewhere similar? If so, that’s a massive plus!
Not all wedding photographers work full-time, many prefer to keep the job as a creative outlet. Which can mean they’ve shot fewer events than those with a long career in photography. This doesn’t mean they’re any less skilful, or experienced. In fact, it’ll likely mean they’re more passionate about getting that perfect shot, and creating the keepsake you’ve been dreaming of.
Experience in wedding photography does often correlate with popularity, so if you’ve got your heart set on someone with a portfolio bursting at the seams, be aware that you may need to be flexible with dates.
Every wedding photographer has their own unique style. A signature look that’s typically an amalgamation of different themes. The style of a potential photographer needs to match with your own desired aesthetic. Otherwise, your pictures will look very unlike you imagined. And you may not even get the key shots you’ve been dreaming of.
For example, a documentary/reportage wedding photographer will simply capture your day as it unfolds, and is unlikely to arrange any formal group shots. Whereas a more traditional photographer will often orchestrate events in order to capture desired scenes. These are the two extremes, and it’s possible to have a little bit of both present in your photo album, but only if you’re clear from the outset.
To find out about my photography style, and discover more tips on finding the perfect wedding photographer in Derby, have a look at my recent post.
Wedding photographers are typically transparent with their costs, and by the time you interview one, it shouldn’t be necessary to ask about any nasty surprises post-wedding. But you definitely should! As with any other supplier you hire for your wedding, photographers will expect to be paid extra for services outside the agreed package. Therefore, you need to both be on the same page, and clear about what is included, and what’s not.
Ask about how much they charge if events run a little longer than expected. Do you own the rights to all the pictures? Can they be freely published online? Will all the photos be professionally edited? Are travel fees included? There are many things that won’t necessarily be included in an advertised package, and it’s down to you and your photographer to agree on those items before signing on the dotted line.
Depending on the scale, and demands of a wedding, it’s often necessary to have two shooters present on the day. I typically like to work with another photographer as it increases my ability to capture every moment. Together, we can be present in two different places at one time, and ensure nothing from a wedding is missed.
Not all photographers work as a team, so if you do want simultaneous shots taken, such as both of you getting ready, you need to ask wedding photographers early on if they’re able to hire extra people. This will likely come at a cost, if not already included in their package.
It’s good to meet the extra person they’re hiring too, as they’re going to be as present on your big day as the main photographer. This isn’t always possible, but do ask, and hopefully, they’ll be able to set something up.
I started this post by sharing how important it is to have an emotional connection with your photographer. You need to like them. And what better way to get to know them, than to find out a little about them, and their life away from the camera. Ask them a few informal questions, like, what do they get up to on a wedding-free weekend? Where’s their favourite holiday destination? Nothing too direct, and in-fact if you can just have a natural, back-and-forth conversation with them that’s so much better than firing questions across a table. And may mean you’ve found a person who you can really get along with, and trust with your ‘investment’.
As an experienced wedding photographer in Derby, I would love you to capture your big day. I have shot countless celebrations across the country. Always using a relaxed, and friendly approach, creating photography with a natural and timeless feel. A look that will be loved for a lifetime.
If you’d like to browse my recent work, please take a look at the weddings section on my blog, and if you’d like to find out about pricing, take a moment to visit the info page. For any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via my contact page.