Hiring a wedding photographer is one of the most important steps in planning your wedding. This wedding photographer will be the person who is responsible for helping you to remember your special day and the memories that were created. In addition to helping you document your special day to be remembered for years to come, a wedding photographer is typically one of the main investments for your wedding in addition to the venue and catering. Before selecting the right San Diego wedding photography professional to meet your needs, it is important to ask these top 10 questions to ensure that you will receive everything that you’re looking for out of your wedding photos.
1. Do you take digital photographs or supply prints?
This question should be asked to find out the exact type of photographs that you will be receiving from your wedding photography package. In some cases, you may want to have your own prints to frame and place in albums while you may also be interested in digital photographs that can be shared online and easily printed if wanted. Tip: Don’t forget to ask if there is a limited time for purchasing prints after the wedding day.
2. Do you shoot in color or black and white?
Find out if the San Diego wedding photography company shoots in color, black and white or both. Having these classic photo finish options help keep your wedding photography timeless. Beware of trends! Remember the sepia tone with the colored red flower, shoes or what have you? This trend was “cool” many years ago, but may shy you from showing off your wedding photos from then now. Therefore be sure that if your photographer is doing something trendy and fun now they should also furnish you with the classic color and black and white photo finishes. Tip: If creating a wedding album, go with the classic photo finishes for the timeless appeal.
3. What is your general style of photography?
You will want to hire a photographer for your wedding whose style matches yours. See if they specialize in specific types of photography such as portraits, formal or artistic photos; just to name a few. It’s okay if the wedding photographer has a hybrid style as this type of wedding photographer is more adaptable to all the major events that occur on your wedding day. For example, the getting ready photo shoot plus the B+G photo shoot lends itself to an artistic creative approach while group/formals require a directive portrait style. Then you have the ceremony and reception for that photo-journalistic ninja mastery of photography. To be a “chameleon” photographer requires a lot of skills, which leads to the next point…
4. How many weddings have you photographed?
With the digital boom we’ve seen in the past decade, anyone can claim to be a “wedding photographer”, unfortunately that title does not tie with skill level of a professional. To get a good idea of the wedding photographers skill level, you may ask how many weddings they have photographed prior to yours and if they were similar in size and style that you desire.
5. Can we view your portfolio?
If wedding photography is a top priority on your list, you should never hire a wedding photographer before seeing samples of their work. Ask to view their portfolio to get a good idea of the type of pictures that they take. Many professional wedding photographers have a website allowing you to conveniently check out their work.
6. Do you offer package deals?
It doesn’t hurt to ask if the wedding photographer offers special packages for serving in the military, referral from a preferred vendor or for booking early. If a special deal is available…great, yet be fair to professional wedding photographers and refrain from asking for more discounts than given. Wedding photography is fun yet hard work not only on the BIG day, but also the following days after with the photo edits.
7. Are there additional fees for photography goods?
Some wedding photographers may charge by (a) photographer shooting time and talent services and/or (b) photo goodies. Find out if it is an all-in-one price or if you will also need to pay for service plus any photo goodies desired. Tip: Ask how many services hours are included in your wedding package and if these service hours are allocated from start to finish or only shooting time as some weddings have idle time in-between major events i.e. ceremony to reception.
8. Can special shots be requested?
If there are specific shots that you’d like to have taken at the wedding, ask if you can request this option. Most professional wedding photographers have a standard wedding shoot list remember by heart. Let the wedding photographer know if there are specific shots that are important to capture that is not a standard. Additionally let the wedding photographer know what shots can be omitted to avoid having your photographer being uncertain if that moment will happen or has passed. Nothing is more nerve wrecking than looking for a “missed” shot during editing when it never occurred.
9. Will you have a second pro photographer or assistant?
Always know who will be present at your wedding and become familiar with any additional pro shooter(s) and/or assistant(s) that the wedding photographer may bring along with him or her. Two professional photographers are recommended for weddings greater than 50 people as there are many important events occurring all at once. It is key to have the maximum opportunity and angles to save and capture that moment. Quality is as important as the quantity. Assistants are fine for the wedding photographer, but for the Bride + Groom you’ll want to know if the assistant will be shooting as well and what their professional shooting skill level is. Understand the relationship between the photographers; ask how long have they worked with each other. The last thing you would want is two photographers that have never worked with each other because trust and complimentary shooting styles are very important to have between photographers [Reason why I married mine amongst other reasons; wink].
10. Do you have references?
You are paying beaucoup bucks for a wedding photographer. In addition to a videographer, a wedding photographer’s work is lasting. It is an heirloom. Additionally, hiring a photographer is like building a lasting relationship. Some photographers shoot other occasions i.e. maternity and family photo shoots. Therefore do some research and Google, Yelp and/or speak with the photographers references to ensure that they are professional, do an excellent job and really someone that you see a “pro-friend-sional” relationship with.