When it comes time to pick out your photographer for your wedding, it's easy to make a decision based on a portfolio alone. You see their work and think "my god, that's beautiful! We have to hire her!" then all that is left is crossing the t's and dotting the i's to solidify that booking. You're done and you've hired your dream photographer!
But there is a sea of talented artists out there, many with similar styles that you crave ... how can you possibly pick??
Simple! ASK THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS.
It's important to know the "behind the scenes" and how your photographer operates; they can have a gorgeous portfolio but be a nightmare to work with! Or perhaps they don't have the best business practices, maybe some hidden fees you aren't warned about ahead of time? 6-month wait period for your album?? Not good, people! Having a connection with your photographer will make your big day run smoothly for all involved.
So what questions should you ask your photographer before you book?
1. ASK ABOUT THEIR GEAR. What happens if their camera malfunctions? Do they use a backup? I carry three camera bodies on me at all times; this may seem like overkill but you never know what can happen! When I am photographing the wedding throughout the day, I will have two bodies on me and a variety of lenses at my disposal to shoot multiple angles, distances, etc. I also carry an abundance of fully charged batteries for my cameras and speedlights (flashes), but I do bring my chargers just in case. I have harnesses for my cameras so that they are at my fingertips at all times, bags to store my gear safely, and microfiber clothes to make sure all of my gear is clean and spotless between lens changes!
2. ASK ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCE. How many weddings have they shot as a prime photographer? Can you show me multiple portfolios? I have years of experience in wedding photography and the portfolio to prove it! My goal each year is to shoot (at the very least) 15 weddings as a lead photographer. I can show you many galleries from many venues at all times of the day and year, so don't be afraid to ask!
3. ASK ABOUT THEIR LIGHTING EQUIPMENT. Do they use artificial lighting or are they all natural? Many photographers use artificial lighting, while many stick to all natural using only their surroundings and camera settings to capture the light. I use about half and half! I bring all of my lighting equipment to all weddings regardless of the time of day, location, etc. You never know what the day may bring or what cool shots we can get with some artificial lighting! I absolutely love golden hour with the amazing sun flares and golden earth tones so you'll most likely find me shooting "all natural" for your B&G pics!
4. ASK ABOUT THEIR CONTRACT DETAILS AND PACKAGES. Cancelation policies? What happens if the photographer gets sick and can't make it? Hidden fees? Read your contracts thoroughly! Mine is simple and directly laid out; no difficult legal jargon mumbo-jumbo. I've never missed a wedding to this date (knock on wood), but should I ever get so sick that I cannot make it, I would never leave you without one! I always bring a 2nd shooter with me anyway, so I would find a colleague on equal caliber to take my place and when they're done, I will still be editing your photos! I have no hidden fees! My packages are laid out on my website (details everything included!) and contract; you pay that + sales tax and nothing more unless previously discussed (such as hotel or other travel fees if your wedding is out of the area). Everything is there in black and white so make sure you read thoroughly!
5. ASK ABOUT THE TIMELINE. How long can we expect our photos to be returned to us? Some weddings, between myself and my second, we can take up to 9k (or more!) photos depending on how long you've booked us for ... it takes us a little while to cull through the photos and then start editing. I usually have a "sneak peek" out to you within a day or two, but it can take me up to 8 weeks to return a finished gallery (again, depending on the length of the day, the amount of photos taken, etc). However, I do things a bit differently than most! The day after your wedding, I will send you your blank gallery. As I edit sections of your wedding day, I will be adding them in real time! So check your gallery every day or two and you'll have new content! Once complete, I will send you a final email as well as a photo release!
You have SO many options when it comes to vendors; it doesn't need to be overwhelming when it comes to solidifying your choice. Make sure you ask the questions (whether it be face to face, Zoom call, phone call, or email) ... get to know the person you will be spending the biggest day of your life with! After all, we will be all up in your face for 8+ hours!