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5 Questions you should ask EVERY Photographer
Your wedding day is by far one of the biggest milestones of your entire life. You are creating memories that will last for the rest of your life. Whenever I sit across the table from an AWESOME couple, I am brought back to when my wife and I were planning our wedding. We were overwhelmed with all the different decisions we needed to make, and for many of those decisions, we had no idea what to look for, and what questions to ask!
I created this little checklist as a starting point to get the conversation started with your photographer. EVERYONE has different needs, wants, and desires in the perfect person to capture their special day. Here are 5 questions to get you started on finding the perfect photographer:
Do they include a print release?
In the United States, as soon as the photographer pushes the shutter button, they OWN the copyright to that photograph.
That means the only way that you may legally print or have printed the photos that were taken at YOUR wedding is if you have a print release from your photographer.
Otherwise, you are going to have to purchase individual prints from your photographer specifically, even if it’s 50 years later! I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer not to be working my main hustle when I’m 85….
Do they have a backup plan?
Murphy’s Law LOVES weddings. One thing you should NEVER do when planning a wedding is a Google search on wedding day disasters. Just don’t do it!! I have definitely developed a healthy sense of paranoia and OCD when it comes to backup plans, both proverbially and literally.
You need to make sure your photographer can keep shooting if something breaks, yes, but also what happens if there is an emergency and they can’t make it to the wedding?
What about the images themselves? With today’s technology, I literally have three copies of every single photo taken by the time LEAVE the wedding. As soon as I get home, they are backed up to a total of five different hard drives in two separate locations. Overkill? Probably, but that one time I had a hard drive fail with an entire wedding saved to it, I was thanking my lucky stars I had carbon copies everywhere!
Do they include an engagement session?
The engagement session is a PIVOTAL part of having a relaxing experience on the day of your wedding. Yes, it is a time where you can have some AMAZING photos taken, but it is so much more than that. Having that time for you, your fiance, and your photographer to get to know each other in the context of a camera definitely sets up for a natural feel on the day of your wedding. I’ll actually be going over this topic in detail in a future email so stay tuned!!
Do I NEED a second photographer?
This is one of those situations where a WANT may not necessarily be a NEED. If you decide that a second photographer is someone that needs to be there, talk with your photographer about what kinds of people they bring as second photographers.
When I was first starting in the wedding business, I learned VERY quickly to pay a bit (ok, a LOT) extra and hire another wedding photographer as my second. Since they need to be able to keep up with the speed of the wedding day without sacrificing quality, I need to hire the best. Most Craigslist photographers crack under the pressure.
Do our personalities fit?
This may not be an actual question you ASK, but it is DEFINITELY something you need to consider. One thing that many couples I talk to don’t realize is this:
The photographer is the ONLY non-family member that will be with you from the time you’re putting on your makeup to the time you’re belting the last song on the dance floor at the top of your lungs.
If you absolutely love their work, but they make you uncomfortable, or they just annoy you, they’ll be with you. All….Day…..Long. If your personalities match, and you get along, GREAT! They’ll be with you all day, and everyone will have an amazing time! Those are the kinds of memories you want surrounding your beautiful pictures.
I hope this helps get you started with your conversation with your photographer. If you have any questions or would like to chat some more, hit me up! I’d love to hear from you, and I absolutely LOVE talking weddings!
Was this helpful? Check out these other posts for some more tips and tricks!
Tyler Rieth is a wedding photographer in Baltimore, Maryland. More than just that, he is also a part-time therapist, timeline consultant, comic relief specialist, and above all, your personal storyteller. He currently lives in Maryland with his beautiful wife, two amazing kids and a pair of feisty dogs.