I don't know about you, but for me this was one of the most important decisions to make. It was third on my list, date and venue being first and second. When making our budget I was insistent on being able to splurge on a photographer. In my opinion these photographs are going to be keepsakes of our wedding day that we have forever.
Before even getting engaged when I saw photographers Facebook pages or blogs which I loved the style of photography I would bookmark it! So when I first started my search I started there. Not to mention I had a bunch of recommendations from family and friends.
Once I narrowed down a few of my favorites that was in our budgeted amount I contacted the photographer to set up a time to meet or talk on the phone. I did a lot of research online on the types of questions to ask your wedding photographer before you book. There are a lot of helpful a sites out here! There were so many questions I would never have thought to even ask!
I would definitely recommend doing your own research before you start calling, for two reasons: 1) you don't want to waste the photographers time if you can tell from their online portfolios or bio that is isn't the right fit, and 2) you want to be able to tell if they're a good fit.
One site that is always a go to for me is TheKnot. They have a nice article on the types of questions you should ask, you can find it here. Another guide I used can be found here.
To help me keep organized before I got a wedding planner I found it extremely helpful to keep tract of contacts and such in an excel workbook. I created a “photographer” tab and listed at the top a list of 10 questions that I narrowed down from the two articles I listed above. I then listed out my top 3 photographers that I would be calling. I would use this to keep track of their answers to the questions, or if I needed to leave a message the date I left a message, etc. I also listed out each of their packages that I was interested in (all found from doing some research on their websites) and their prices. And I wrote down few things that I like about either their style or from their “about me” sections. I also wrote off to the side a few things that I knew I was looking for in a photographer and their style! Be prepared because they will ask your questions too (three words to describe the theme of your wedding, etc.).
The 10 questions I asked were:
1) Do you have my date available?
This an obvious, and sadly, I did run into a few of my favorites already being booked, but don’t get discouraged!
2) How would you describe your photography style (e.g. traditional, photojournalistic, etc. )?
This is really important! And you can usually tell by looking at their website, but definitely good to ask the photographer. It is really helpful to know the differences between wedding photography styles so that you can make sure you will hire a photographer that will naturally take pictures that you love! For descriptions of the various styles visit here.
3) Are you shooting in digital or film format or both?
4) Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding?
So important to find out. Because you might be feeling a connection with the person you are talking with but then later on you find out that they are not the photographer for your wedding.
5) Do you have a travel fee?
6) Have you shot at my venue before?
7) Are you photographing other events on the same day as mine?
8) Do you have backup photographers who will shoot the wedding if you're sick?
9) How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due?
10) What is your refund/cancellation policy?
I found that we really wanted to have romantic photos with natural light that capture the emotions of the day and tells a story as the day unfolds and less of traditional, formal poses. When I was on the phone with the photographer we chose, I could feel an instant connection. She was visioning our wedding day as we spoke. It felt right!
Linking up for Wedding Wednesday with Macy over at To Travel & Beyond and Nikki over at MakeUp Her!