“Planning a wedding is stressful” is basically the biggest understatement EVER. Between finding a dress, venue, caterer, invitations, decor, etc., it can get overwhelming faster than you can say “I do.”.
Finding your photographer is no different.
Often, during in-person consultations, the bride will say ” I had so many questions to ask you, but I just can’t think of them right now”. This is totally normal and I’m here to help.
It’s so important that you get all the facts from any photographer you interview to shoot your wedding because, ultimately, they’re going to be in charge of remembering your day for years to come.
Here are the top 5 questions you should jot down before meeting with potential photographers:
1. Are you insured?
This might seem a little silly, but you need to protect yourself AND your images. It’s unlikely, but things do happen and your images could be lost, stolen or destroyed for any number of reasons that are often totally out of the photographer’s control. So, if a photographer is insured, they’re covered for this type of loss and you will be compensated (although that doesn’t nearly make up for image loss on your big day, but it’s definitely a reassurance). Also ask them what sort of backups they do. They should be using two memory cards: one for RAW images and one for backing up each image. In addition, they should have a good external hard drive for storing your images after the wedding.
2. What equipment do you use?
Now, this answer might be totally over your head, but it’s a great way to feel out the photographer’s experience and knowledge. If the photographer hesitates and seems unsure, it’s a red flag that they might not be as well equipped as they seem to ensure you get the images you want for your wedding day.
3. What’s your shooting style?
THIS IS A BIG ONE!
You want to pick a photographer that values the same things you do in their images. If you like bokeh, make sure to pick someone who lives for blurry backgrounds. If you like sharper, more dramatic images, pick someone who uses off-camera flashes and wide angle lenses. This one may take a bit of research on your part before interviewing photographers to find out what sort of style you like and what sort of equipment your photographer should have to make that happen, but it’s SO worth it.
4. Do you shoot in RAW?
Okay, so the difference between RAW and jpeg is HUGE. If your photographer is shooting in jpeg, the images are more compressed and smaller so that, when they edit, they have a lot less flexibility to fix lighting issues due to weather or poor indoor lights, etc. Shooting in RAW is the only real way to make sure that, no matter the circumstances or lighting situation of your wedding day and venue, you’ll get good, crisp images every time.
NOTE: Photographers shoot in RAW, but you’ll receive high-resolution jpegs as a final image. RAW files are insanely massive and honestly, not needed to get high-quality prints or web images. Hi-Res jpegs are the perfect file format to receive so it doesn’t clog up your hard drive, but gives you flexibility to print as large as you like.
5. How do I get my final images and what rights do I have?
Each photographer has their own process and workflow for getting images to their clients. The most popular ways are to mail you a USB drive with the final jpegs or to send you a link via email to an online gallery. I send gallery links to all my clients through Pixieset. You can see the post here. This lets you view your images in a beautiful layout, order high-quality prints right from the gallery that get shipped directly to you, and download various file sizes to fit your needs.
In terms of your rights as the customer, your photographer should include a print release in your contract as well as a model release. Photographers want to blog about your wedding and share your beautiful images, yay! So, model releases allow them to do that as well as use your images for marketing, etc.
The print release you receive gives you the right to download, print and share your images for personal use. The only thing you can’t do is use your images for resale, promotion, marketing or anything that gives you a monetary profit unless specified in the contract.
So there you have it! Jot these questions down when meeting with photographers to get a good sense of who you’d like to work with.
Happy Planning! 🙂
If you’re looking for a photographer for your 2017 wedding, let’s chat!
The year is booking up quickly and I only take on a select number of weddings to ensure a great customer experience and attention to detail for all of my couples. If you think we’d be a good fit together, I’d love to hear more about your plans for the big day!