*POV: You're looking for a wedding photographer, and you're not sure where to start.*
First: Find a few photographers on Facebook/Instagram/Google with images you LOVE & reach out via their website or social media to schedule a video chat to get to know each other! (Sidenote: If you want a SPECIFIC Wedding Date & Venue, you'll want to make sure you have those secured first! Otherwise, if you're flexible on "when and where", definitely let your photographer know!)
Second: Make a list of any questions you have, and write them all down. (Trust me, you'll forget if you don't!) More than likely, 80-90% of your questions will be answered by a professional photographer before you even ask them, BUT just in case, here are a few ideas to make sure you ask about!
9 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
1. Do you have a list of preferred vendors you love to work with?
Don't know of any good DJs?! Haven't found a florist you LOVE yet? Ask your photographer! I personally have a list of Videographers, DJs, Florists, Wedding Planners/Coordinators, Venues, Caterers, and more that I LOVE working with!
2. Do you have business insurance?
This is definitely a question you want a YES answer to! And most Wedding Venues require your photographer to have business insurance as well, so make sure you ask!
3. What is your turn-around-time?
Each photographer is different when it comes to delivery time! Some photographers are super speedy and can return all your images in 2-4 weeks, but more than likely you're looking at 8-12 weeks turn-around-time. Either way, it's good to know!
4. What happens if you get sick or cannot photograph our wedding day?
Hopefully this is never something you have to worry about! BUT! On the off chance something were to happen to your photographer, make sure you are made aware of what would happen if he or she is unable to photograph your day. Will your photographer make arrangements to have a back-up photographer there to photograph your day? Will you receive a full refund? Most photographers have this listed in their contract and are more than willing to go over details with you.
5. Can we view a full wedding gallery?
This answer I will put quite plainly. If a photographer won't show you a full wedding gallery (or 3-4), just walk away. There is ZERO reason you shouldn't be able to view past work from a photographer you're planning to invest money in.
6. Do you have back up equipment if your camera breaks?
EVERY professional photographer should have at least TWO cameras (if the first stops working) & each camera should have TWO memory card slots (one for backup if the first card goes corrupt). Your wedding day only happens once, and though bad things happen all the time when it comes to technology, a professional should go above and beyond to try their hardest to prevent bad things from happening on your big day.
7. Can we view your contract?
This question goes along with the last one! What happens if "something bad" does happen? What happens when your images are lost or a camera breaks? Unlike your weekly iPhone updates... this is one "sign below if you agree to the terms and conditions" that you should READ FULLY. And sidenote... if your photographer doesn't have a contract at all... I would recommend you keep looking for a new photographer.
8. How long have you been in the wedding industry?
Have they been photographing weddings for 5-10 or even 15+ years or are they just starting out and have 1-2 years under their belt? You may be thinking... why does this matter? And the truth is, if your wedding photos are at the TOP of the priority list for YOUR WEDDING, then hiring a photographer with more years of experience under his/her belt is definitely the way to go.
In general here's how much you should expect to spend on a MIDWEST PHOTOGRAPHER based on their experience.
- Beginner Photographer: $500-$1500
- Amateur or Part-Time Business: $1500-$3000
- Semi-Professional Photographer: $3000-$4000
- Professional: $4000-$7000
- Luxury: $7000-$10,000+
REMINDER: These are GENERAL pricing ideas. Each individual photographer sets their price based on what they see as fair for the experience & images they deliver. The key is to be informed on who you're booking!
9. Can we add extra coverage last minute if we need more time on the wedding day?
Your wedding package came with 8 hours but you need 9? Shouldn't be an issue! Just check with your photographer to make sure you're able to add on an extra hour of coverage (and double check the price) last minute. You can always mail a check when you get back from your honeymoon for the extra hour!
1. Your wedding dress will get dirty.
I know. You spent a lot of money on her. She's pricey. BUT! You'll only wear her once, and it's worth the pretty pictures to walk in the grass, gravel, and a little bit of dirt.
2. Your wedding day timeline will not go 100% as planned, and that's 100% okay.
You spent a lot of effort to make the PERFECT timeline for your wedding day. I get it. However, I can tell you from years of experience... wedding days never go 100% as planned. That's just what makes your day special! It might rain. The planner might have the wrong address written down. The groomsmen will probably be late for pictures... It'll all be fine. Just remember, your goal for the day is to get MARRIED! And that'll still happen whether you're on time or 30 minutes behind.
3. Your family's not as crazy as you think they are.
Every family has that *super weird* Uncle Al & the *extra chatty* Aunt Bev. It's okay. We've been there, seen that, and handled worse. Just turn around the other way, let someone else handle the problem, and enjoy your day. I promise, someone else will fix the problem for you.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read through
"9 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER!"
... She makes you feel so relaxed and honestly had so much fun while she was taking our wedding pictures!! I would have to say the time she took taking our pictures was one of the main things my husband and I talked about for DAYS afterwards!