Besides securing a venue and caterer, choosing your wedding photographer is one of the most important vendors you’ll book for your wedding day. For one thing, a wedding photographer is one of the few types of vendors who can only handle one event at a time or per day. (If there’s someone you have in mind that you’d like to photograph your wedding, it’s best to consider booking them immediately!) But on another note, wedding photos are arguably the most important way couples remember their wedding day. Like any other vendor you plan on hiring for your wedding, it’s important to ask the right questions at an initial consultation or meeting with a wedding photographer to make sure you hire the right person to capture your special day.
Here are 5 important questions to ask:
Do you have a list of references and a portfolio?
Professional wedding photographers will not shy away from this question and will not be hesitant to provide the names and contact information of happy, satisfied clients as well as images they’ve shot at previous weddings. By checking out their references and portfolio, you’ll be able to see how many couples have enjoyed working with the potential photographer, how experienced the photographer is with shooting weddings, and possibly if the photographer shot any weddings similar to your wedding’s style and size.
Do your services and/or packages include a second shooter?
Second shooters can be a lifesaver to your wedding day. For starters, if you and your partner are getting ready at two different locations, both photographers can capture each of you (and your bridal party) getting ready without the hassle of the primary photographer hastily traveling from one location to another, or worse, only being able to capture one of you getting ready because there isn’t enough time to photograph both.
Second shooters can also provide more candid photos of the wedding day as the primary photographer captures portrait shots and the “must-have” photos. Furthermore, second shooters can provide a second perspective of the wedding day and can act as a backup (including their equipment) to the primary photographer. Research which wedding photographers include a second shooter in their services/costs. For the ones that don’t, find out what the additional cost would be for the photographer to supply a second shooter.
How much of a deposit do you require for booking your services?
Some photographers require a set deposit amount while others request a percentage of the total amount to secure your wedding date. Either way, it should be blatantly stated in the written contract. A payment structure listing future amounts and due dates as well as the types of payment accepted should also be stated in the contract. (FYI every professional wedding photographer will always provide a written contract. DO NOT use a photographer who doesn’t have one!)
What is your overtime rate?
Many wedding photographers provide photography packages with a set number of hours included to shoot a wedding while others may have one fixed price to shoot the entire day with no number of hours attached. It’s important to find out what kind of packages each photographer offers, but more importantly, find out what a photographer charges if you go over the number of hours allotted to your wedding day. The last thing you want to be doing at your wedding is negotiating additional fees with your photographer on the spot.
What is your refund/cancellation policy, and what happens if you become ill on the wedding day?
No couple likes to think about it, but weddings may be cancelled or postponed for a variety of unforeseen reasons. And let’s face it: There’s always a possibility your wedding photographer may have to cancel if he/she is sick on your wedding day. So what happens in those unlikely events? It’s important to know ahead of time what your photographer’s refund/cancellation policy is as well as what happens if he/she is unable to shoot your wedding. That way there are no surprises.
Thursday, June 15, 2017