Here’s a great post from our guest blogger, Chicago wedding photographer Peter Gubernat:
Choosing a wedding photographer is probably the most important decision a couple will make before their wedding day. The wedding photographer is the one who will capture the entire day for everyone to relive. Here’s the 5 most important questions to ask a potential wedding photographer:
Can we see some full wedding galleries? A lot of times, photographers who are just starting out will do styled photoshoots and use those photos for portfolio. Unfortunately, as awesome as those images can be, they can be very different from their actual wedding portfolio. After all, the pace of a real wedding day is quite different than that of a relaxed and fun styled shoot. You want to ensure their full wedding day style is consistent. If the full galleries look different what what you see on their website, watch out!
Who would shoot our wedding if you were hospitalized? No one ever plans on getting sick or being in a car accident, but it happens. I have a team of four photographers who consistently work for my brand and are not only familiar with my approach and style but also my schedule. If something were to happen to me, the lead associate photographer would take over. Do other photographers have this capability? This can be a clear sign of someone who is just starting out and may not have the experience to handle this scenario.
Are all the photos we receive edited? This is a great question as some photographers just run a blanket preset on all the photos they capture and send the client the gallery of 2,500+ photos. As a newly married bride, can you imagine the stress of picking out which photos to print out of 2,500 photos? That is a huge task! Anyone who gives a couple that many photos isn’t processing the photo one by one and not giving them the attention they should be. Make sure that all the photos you receive are edited for exposure and color and are culled so you receive only the best of the best.
Will you assist in building our wedding day timeline? Any seasoned wedding photographer should answer yes to this. They will know how much time is enough for each stage of your wedding (and there are many). Another clear sign of a newbie photographer is if they can’t accurately estimate how long certain parts of the day should take. Obviously we can’t foresee everything but we should be able to give you a good idea how long everything should take.
Is our retainer/deposit refundable if we cancel or reschedule our wedding? The correct answer here is, No. A professional photographer will understand what it takes to run a business and be profitable. They’ll know that meetings, emails, phone calls all take time and cost money. Any photographer who is willing to refund your deposit is just over eager to book you as a client and might pretty much say anything to get that booking. Be wary of this. You want to hire someone who is professional enough to understand their own business and what makes it work.
Hopefully you’ve found these questions and answers helpful in looking for a professional wedding photographer!