Interviewing potential wedding vendors is like going on an awkward first date — you both hope there’s chemistry. One of the most important parts to planning your wedding is the person that will be capturing your most memorable moments.
Once you’ve got a few favorite photographers, narrow it down to a handful of favorites, and set up a time to meet them. Make sure you’re meeting the person who will be wielding the camera at your wedding. You have to like, trust and get along with your photographer — that way you can leave the magic of photo making in the photographer’s hands. When interviewing your photographer, make sure to get all of your questions asked. Here are five questions you should ask:
1.) What percentage of your work is composed of weddings?
First, you should gauge how much experience a potential vendor has. Photographers’ time commitments and skill sets vary—some only work part-time or might mostly photograph something else (e.g. portraits). This doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t do an amazing job as your wedding photographer, but it will give you a sense of what they will be able to contribute towards your nuptials.
2.) How long have you been photographing weddings?
This follow-up question is another indicator of experience and will reflect accordingly in the pricing. What justifies that photographer’s prices?
References are absolutely critical—ask around (recently-married friends and other vendors you’ve booked can be great sources). Read anonymous reviews online and speak to former clients.
3.) Will you be my photographer on the day of the wedding?
Some larger studios might book your appointment with a sales rep or agent. Ask to schedule a follow-up meeting where the actual photographer assigned to your wedding is present so that you can get a sense of their personality and demeanor before you sign on the dotted line. It’s also important to ask what’s their plan if they’ re unable to attend due to illness or unforeseen circumstances.
4.) What do your packages include and what will I have to pay extra for?
Photography packages vary drastically; some include a flat rate (e.g. $3,000 for 10 hours of footage) with a-la-carte extras (your album or a photography assistant) while other photographers may charge different levels of packages ranging from least- to most time-intensive.
5.) What are your payment terms?
Get down to the nitty-gritty of finances towards the end of the conversation, once you’ve had a chance to warm up to the photographer. Find out when the deposit is due so that you don’t risk the chance of losing a vendor to another couple who’s getting married on the same date. You can expect to spend about 12 percent of your wedding budget on photography, on average. ALWAYS make sure you get the payment terms in writing. Do not deal with any vendor who does not offer you a written contract, PERIOD.
Now that you’ve gotten the most important questions answered, get ready to be flawless on your wedding day and look forward to seeing the photos that will preserve all the memories.
Written By: Shayla Silas, Staff Writer, Modern Domestic