Happy Monday! I hope you all had a really nice weekend! The weather was beautiful yesterday! I wish it could be like that for most of the year! Anyway, last night, I came across a couple of articles of questions to ask your potential wedding photographer. While most of them were very good questions, I felt like there were a couple of questions that could really mislead you from making a good decision. Here is my take on the questions that I would like to elaborate on.
1. How many weddings have you shot?
There are some photographers that have only shot 10 weddings and are amazing. There are other photographers who have shot 100 and are not as good as people who may have shot less. This is a situation where quantity doesn’t necessarily mean quality. Clearly, you want to pick a photographer that suits your budget and style, but quantity doesn’t guarantee quality. Be sure to check out their portfolio and online galleries
2. How big is the biggest wedding you shot?
This one is very similar to the first one. Unless you’re having a wedding of 250+ people with a giant bridal party, this question shouldn’t be a determining factor on whether or not a photographer is right for you. In cases where a wedding is very large, typically, having an assistant there would be good to have, but not necessary to do the job and do it very well.
3. What do you think distinguishes your work from that of other photographers?
Chances are, if you’re meeting with a photographer, it’s because you love their work. What does it really matter when choosing to hire a photographer why they feel their work distinguishes them from others? In this day and age, with so many people buying the same Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets, a lot of times, the work can be very similar and hard to distinguish, but the experience that you get with the photographer can really make the difference. Also, I think a more appropriate approach would be for you to look at the photographer work and see if it speaks to you. In a sea where so many people are photographers with beautiful work, what is it that attracts you to one over another? For me, I strive for, and have been told so many times, that people love my work because something about my work captures the true emotion of what’s going on at the time without being overly posey. Do you prefer more posed looks? These are some great questions to ask yourself when researching a photographer, rather than asking a photographer this question.
4. What type of equipment do you use?
Again, does it really matter? If I start spouting off all sorts of photographer lingo, will it really make a difference to you if you’re not familiar with camera gear? Instead, I think the more appropriate question would be “Do you have backup gear should something go wrong with your primary gear?” “Are you equipped to handle different lighting situations?”
5. Have you ever shot at my venue? Do you visit my venue before the wedding day?
I do think this is an appropriate question because you may like to see how they’ve shot at your venue before by viewing an online gallery from a wedding they’ve shot there, however, I don’t think whether or not a photographer has shot at certain venues determines whether or not you should hire them. I also do not think that it is necessary for a photographer to visit a venue prior to the wedding. Most times, I arrive much earlier than my start time so I can scope out the area and get a feel for where I’d like to shoot, however, there have been times I’ve gone to very large venues, such as resorts, prior to the wedding with the bride so we can view the grounds together and come up with a plan.
I hope this article helps to provide some insight from a photographer’s standpoint as to why some lists of questions may not be relevant. Having a list of questions pre made from a wedding planning book are helpful, but can also give you a preconceived notion that if a photographer gives you an answer that the planning book doesn’t see as a positive, that they may be a bad fit for you. I would encourage you to really get to know your potential photographer and get a sense as to whether or not you mesh well with them.