Choosing the perfect wedding photographer today is a more complicated task than when your parents or grandparents were married. Wedding photography is not only a big business, it’s also an art form. When selecting your wedding photographer, keep in mind several questions.
1. What is your base cost? If doesn’t matter if the photographer is the best in the business — if you can’t afford him, you can’t hire him. When discussing cost, begin by asking the base cost and then dive into other fees and charges. Are there extra costs for photos at multiple locations? Does the photographer charge travel fees?
2. What is your experience? Be sure to ask your photographer how long she has been working weddings or has been in the business of professional photography. Ask for references. Ask to view previous work. If you don’t like what you see, walk away.
3. How will my satisfaction be guaranteed? How will he deal with equipment malfunctions? Will he provide everything he guarantees in a written contract? If the photographer seems reluctant answering any of these questions, he’s not the one.
4. What is your artistic style? Every photographer has her own style. If you prefer a more stylistic or artsy approach, then a photographer who shoots in a traditional style is not for you. In addition, be sure you will be working with the photographer you interview and not an assistant or partner. You do not want to be surprised on your wedding day when a different photographer arrives.
5. How long will you be at the wedding? If you want your photographer at multiple locations during your wedding day, be specific when negotiating his time. Make sure he will be where you want him and for as long as you want him.
6. Will it be digital photography? Today’s digital images are technologically advanced, so most observers can’t tell if the print is film or digital. The advantage to digital photography, according to wedding planning site TheKnot.com, is that it’s easier to make copies of your wedding photos and store the prints on disc.
7. How are proofs delivered? Find out if you can access your proofs online. How long will the photos be archived? Ask how your wedding photos will be preserved and archived. Will they be accessible several years later if your album is lost or destroyed? Be sure to ask at your initial interview how long before the proofs will be ready for your viewing.
8. Who owns the rights to the photos? Will the photographer be able to use your wedding photos as part of his portfolio or in other marketing materials? Can you stipulate restrictions?
9. How long before we receive our final albums? Be sure to get a firm date and have this delivery date written into your contract with the photographer. You do not want to be waiting six months to receive your wedding albums.