Weddings are the greatest challenge photographers can take. Wedding Photography is not an easy subject and hiring a perfect photographer of whom you can trust and rely on to document the most important day of your life can be an intimidating task. Regardless of if you are hiring the Dream Photo and Video Team or another studio, we have created a list of important questions to help you find the perfect photographer for your wedding day.
While this list consists of the exact reference of what questions to ask, you still need to pay attention to many other factors when meeting with the photographer. It’s important to see if your personalities click through conversation and find out how they handle large groups or people in general during the wedding.
And most importantly REVIEWS!
You want to find out the experience their past clients had with them.
When a company has a good number of reviews, it signifies them as being a legitimate, established company that is trustworthy; it showcases their ability to deliver products of good quality compared to another business who has a low number of reviews. Upon receiving the final product, clients often rejoice not only about the finished product, but also of the experience they had with the company.
The Knot, Wedding Wire, Google and Facebook page are great places to read reviews from previous clients and get a feel for what type of experience you may have with your photographer. We make sure to post our clients’ reviews and experience under the “Love Notes” highlight story section on our instagram account!
- How long have you been shooting weddings?
This is a once in a lifetime special event in your life. Regardless of whether you are going to have a HUGE party or have an intimate home wedding/elopement, you don’t want to hire a totally new, beginner, or amature photographer to shoot your wedding. This question is very specific about “how long have you been shooting weddings?” to ensure that the photographer you are interviewing answers the EXACT question- not how long they have been a photographer for. The reason I emphasize this is because there are many photographers with other specialties such as family, newborn, kids that start doing weddings.
Remember if you have GI issues you don’t see a neurologist. Why hire a family photographer for your wedding?
To get a feel of the experience you will have with your photographer, you need to understand the experience they have had as a photographer. Make sure to ask specific questions such as: “how many weddings have you done?” and “what equipment do you use, and how long have you been using that gear?” You want to make sure that they are very comfortable with their camera equipment and not testing out new gear on your big day.
And please remember, if the photographer has only been shooting weddings for a short period of time, please don’t think that means they are not capable of doing the job. We are all “beginners” at some point in our lives. When you hire a beginner photographer, at least acknowledge and recognize the fact that they have not had as much experience yet; be kind and expect to be missing some shots as they are new to the field!
- What kind of equipment do you use? Do you have backups?
Our studio uses the best quality equipment for our cameras and lenses from the highly ranked company Canon to ensure your wedding photography is covered in a high-definition, high-quality manner! Click here to see what’s in our photography toolbox.
While it is not necessary for wedding photography to have the best and most expensive equipment, it is important for their gear to be trustworthy and professional. On top of their standard set of equipment, make sure your photographer(s) bring backups in case of a malfunction or accident. The worst thing in the world would be your photographer missing half of your wedding because his camera/lens broke and he didn’t have a spare.
- What happens if the photographer gets sick? Do you have a backup plan if you are unable to shoot my wedding for some reason?
While it is unlikely that the photographer happens to fall sick on your wedding day, there is still a chance. It is crucial that the photography studio has a plan to take care of unexpected situations in case of illnesses or accidents. Here at Dream Photo and Video, we have equally skilled master photographers that can take over in case someone is sick or in the case of accidents that may prevent us from being able to shoot your wedding!
- Do you have insurance?
While insurance protects the photographer against equipment theft, it most importantly provides for liability protection. If a wedding photographer does not have insurance, the chances are that they are either new to the industry, are not taking their business seriously, or are just doing this as a weekend gig for extra cash. Professional wedding photographers should have proper insurance for their business.
Lin and Jirsa Wedding Photography carry general business, equipment, and liability insurance.
- Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding? If so, will you have any assistants/second-shooters with you on that day?
At Dream Photo and Video, 2 of our top selling collections guarantee having Sam or 1 photographer at your wedding. If you choose another collection, you are guaranteed to meet with your photographer beforehand and see a full gallery of weddings they have shot before as our associate photographer to ensure that they are the right fit for you!
- Do you specialize in indoor or outdoor events, or both?
We have photographed over 400 weddings in the past 5 years in all types of settings, ranging from in a dark ballroom with no natural light to an outdoor setting with the harshest sunlight. You want to make sure to look at galleries from past weddings the photographer has shot to be sure that they are comfortable shooting in the same atmosphere as your wedding.
- How experienced are you with off camera flashes / artificial lighting?
This is a super important question that often gets overlooked! You want to make sure that your photographer is experienced with any type of lighting situation. If you hire a photographer who is only experienced with natural light, you won’t get high quality photos or (in some cases) no photos during moments of your wedding when the lighting isn’t the best- such as during your reception when all the lights are dimmed or your exit when it’s pitch dark. You want to make sure to have a photographer that is super comfortable and experienced with any kind of lighting situation to ensure that you get that amazing night photo you have been dreaming of!
- Does your studio allow me to choose a certain style of post-production?
One of the factors that separate us from other studios is that we offer customized post-production for our clients’ galleries.
We believe your wedding day photos are a part of your family heirloom, and you will get to hold onto them and share them with the generations to come. We find the time to sit down with you to discuss what style of photos you like (light and airy, moody and dramatic, etc.), and Sam will edit every single image according to your preferred style. Nevertheless, be extremely careful; many studios don’t post-produce images, so you end up receiving unfinished images that come straight from their cameras. In this situation, you are not receiving the finished and professional product you deserve!
- Can I see a fully edited wedding gallery you delivered to previous clients?
This is a piece of advice we give to all couples we meet. It is super important to get to see at least one entire full wedding gallery from the photographer that was delivered to past clients; this allows you to see how they covered all the details, important moments, formal portraits, and all of the artistic shots of a past wedding they have done.
- What is the turnaround time?
Each wedding photography studio varies in the time it takes to produce and deliver your pictures. Studios that do not do any post production or color correction may try to entice you by saying your photos will be ready within the week or even the next day. However, most studios that do develop and produce their images will take anywhere from 2 weeks to 10 weeks.
At Dream Photo and Video, we have developed a consistent production schedule in order to deliver an amazing product in an exceptionally quick manner. This schedule is written in the contract and varies depending on which season you are getting married; usually, it takes 6 -10 weeks for you to receive your finalized post-processed photos.
- Will you color correct my images?
Color correction should be used on every single photo as it is basic post-production. However, many photographers tend to not color correct any images or will only color correct certain photos from your wedding. Essentially, what this means is that you will end up with a lot of pictures where your skin will appear orange, yellow, red or even blue.
As aforementioned, Sam color corrects every single image from your wedding to make sure each and every image is finalized as a professional and high-quality product.
- If I hire you, will I receive a written contract, and if so, when?
Yes! You will, and here is a tip for you. Don’t book vendors who won’t provide you with a written contract!
- What attire will the photographer and their assistants wear?
Though wedding photographers are a big part of your wedding day, it’s important that the focus of your big day is on you and your significant other and not on your photographer! It is of utmost importance for wedding photographers not to distract the couple and the wedding guests from their joyous celebration. Nonetheless, for religious or cultural ceremonies, there may be certain colors that are considered taboo and should be refrained from being worn. Make sure your photographers will be dressed appropriately for the occasion and in respect of your ceremony. Typically, our attire as wedding photographers is black suit pants with a black polo or dress shirt. Dressing completely in black helps us to go unnoticed by our clients and their guests, which allows us to capture the event as photojournalists.