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There are dozens of lists on various wedding websites, offering brides questions they should be asking photographers during their meeting.  I’ve met with a few brides who have printed these lists out, telling me that they have no idea why they’re asking certain things, other than because TheKnot told them to.

So what should you really be asking your photographer and why?

  • First and foremost, be sure that the photographer offers a contract. Believe it or not, there are actually photogs out there who don’t utilize one – and that can turn out to be mega bad news for you. Be sure to read the contract carefully, asking questions about anything unclear. Your photographer is there to help you and if he or she becomes annoyed at your questions, it may be an indication that you should find someone else to be a part of such an important day.
  • While many weddings lists suggest you ask if the photographers has shot at your venue before, it really doesn’t matter. Instead, ask to see a variety of full weddings – indoors, outdoors, churches, etc. This will show you that they are able to adapt to their surroundings and the challenges new locations may bring. Don’t panic if your photographer explains that they don’t normally visit a venue prior to the wedding. A professional will arrive early enough on the day of the wedding to scout out the area, leaving ample time for traveling.
  • Always, always ask to see full weddings  from beginning to end. Anyone can pick a few best photos, but it’s important to see consistency throughout the entire wedding.
  • Not everyone knows much about cameras, so asking in depth questions about equipment may not be very beneficial for you. You should, however, ask about emergency backups. What if their camera stops working mid-wedding, do they have a spare? If the answer is no, definitely move on. Cameras can malfunction without notice and it’s crucial for a backup to be available.
  • Pay close attention to dress photos, making sure that details aren’t blown out.

    The photo on the left is a photoshopped version, showing loss of detail in the dress and skin.

    The photo on the left is a photoshopped version, showing loss of detail in the dress and skin.

  • Watch for harsh shadows.

    Notice the large black shadows around our bodies? Professional photographers have the knowledge and experience to properly position their flash to avoid these ugly shadows.

    Notice the large black shadows around our bodies? Professional photographers have the knowledge and experience to properly position their flash to avoid these ugly shadows.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask to speak with past brides. If the photographer is awesome, past clients will be more than  happy to gush about their wedding photos – they want you to have incredible images too!
  • Find out exactly what you should be expecting: How long will it take to view the final gallery? album? If digital files are included, be sure to ask if there are any limitations attached.
  • Do you hope to receive mainly photos of yourself and husband to be or is it just as important to have a wide variety of guest and family photos? Ask your photographer if they are able to provide the coverage and focus type you are seeking.
  • Every professional photographer carries liability insurance – and some venues require proof. If your photographer doesn’t carry insurance, it could that they aren’t willing to invest and take their business seriously.
  • Are they a full time photographer or ‘doing photography on the side’? This can be an indication of how much time and attention will be focused on your wedding. How will that play a role in regards to their response time, how long it will take to receive your photos, etc?Although it doesn’t necessarily mean it is a red flag, be sure to ask the photographer to elaborate should they mention it’s on the side.
  • After going through your list of questions, be sure to ask yourself the most important question: Do I want to spend an entire day with this photographer? If you love their work, their answers to your questions seemed great, but the idea of spending another minute with this person makes you want to scream, it is best to search elsewhere. You will spend more time with your photographer than any of your wedding vendors. Choosing someone who doesn’t match your personality or who makes you uncomfortable could make a negative impact on your day.

Click here to view the #1 Question that brides should be asking – but don’t!

 

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