I once read a Craigslist post of a frustrated bride ranting about why photographers were so expensive. $3000 to point and shoot and edit a few photos? I believe she used the word “wack” when it came to their unfair money making schemes. The photographer community, as you can imagine, was none too thrilled, and rightfully so.

These are your wedding photos. They’re kind of important. I know too many people who regret not investing in a better photographer. “It felt wrong to spend so much money. I really didn’t know any better.”

Because of this, the photographer might be the hardest vendor to book. Here are a few things to think about as you start your search.

Questions to ask when interviewing wedding photographers

  • What is your primary style? What are your influences?
  • Can I see a complete wedding from start to finish?
  • How many weddings have you shot? Any similar to mine in terms of venue, style etc?
  • How many weddings you do per weekend?
  • How many pictures do you take per wedding?
  • How do you back up your work?
  • Do you have liability insurance?
  • How much editing goes into the final product? Do you color correct all photos or select ones?
  • What equipment do you use? Do you shoot digital or film?
  • If my event runs longer than we agreed upon, are you able to stay?
  • How do you stay incognito during the ceremony while capturing great shots?
  • What will you be wearing?
  • Will I own the rights to my photos?
  • When can you expect to see the photos including proofs, albums and negatives?
  • Are engagement photos included?
  • What is the backup plan if you are ill or cannot make it at the last minute?

Things to include in your contract:

  • Name of photographer and assistant including contact information
  • Specific arrival times and locations
  • Complete package details including
    • Length of time
    • Number of proof
    • Engagement photos
    • Albums
    • Key dates (deposits, engagement shoot, event, dates to receive photos etc)
  • Pricing
    • Fees
    • Prints and reorder prints
    • Albums
    • Negatives
  • Ownership of photos and use of images including length of time photographer will keep the negatives.
  • Event & Shot list – for formals, portraits, composition, etc.
  • Any other contingencies that you might foresee such as overtime, illness etc.

And when it comes down to it, love the person and love the work. Don’t just like it. Be obsessed with it. Because you want to feel confident and comfortable when they are taking your soon to be cherished photos on your big day.

For the complete series on wedding vendors, click here.

 

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