Wedding photography is an investment into a product, a memento of the day that catches as lovely images all the joy and emotions experienced by you and your guests, and something you will enjoy and appreciate for years to come. So when picking a photographer for your wedding, here’s some things to consider and ask:
1. Above all do you like the type of photos they take?
This is the most important question I think. If you don’t like their photos why are you spending any sort of money on their work. These photos are of perhaps one the most important events in your lives and years down the line if you don’t like their photos now it is unlikely you will like them later.
2. Do you like them as person?
They will be working with you possibly all day from when you get ready to the point you depart for your honeymoon or beyond. Ideally they will be as unobtrusive as possible on the day except when they need to be, but you still should feel you will be comfortable with them being around.
3. What products, albums, framed prints do they offer?
Find out what the photographer can offer in the way of finished products. There is nothing quite like having an album of images from the event, something you can take down and leaf through in years to come. A well compiled album will reflect your wedding and also have images you want. Hopefully there will be at least one or two cracking images you might want framed as well. If you go for any digital image only options there is big risk your images just remain on disk and seeing your images on screen just does not compare to seeing them in print.
4. Do they design the album themselves?
When looking at any example albums, ask whether the photographer designed it his/herself or whether they farmed it out to an outside company. If it is the photographer themselves they are more likely to compile an album that accurately reflects the day, and has their personal streak of artistry in it, than somebody who was never there.
5. When looking through the photographers portfolio, ask the photographer about the photos.
Good photographers are usually passionate about their images in particular the ones in their portfolio. After all these are their favourite images. Asking a photographer about their photos gives you a better idea about what they are like as a photographer, whether they and actually know their craft and some indication as to whether they actually took the images you are previewing or not! Unfortunately, there are photographers who deliberately scam clients by stealing others photographers images from the net to use and pretending it was their own work (as happened to Lin and Jirsa Photography) . The photographer who actually took the images should be able to give quite a bit of detail about the images they took.
6. What does the photographer do to ensure delivery of service on the day?
Do they regularly have their camera gear serviced. Cameras and lenses like cars, over time and particularly when well used, need cleaning and maintaining. Does the photographer have back-up equipment so that if on the day their camera fails, they are still able to take photos?
7. Do they back-up the photos and archive them?
If they are not backing them up, what happens to them? Are they just deleted?
8. Are they insured?
Just in case things really go wrong…
9. Are they members of a professional body?
In the UK this might be the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP) or the Master Photographers Association (MPA). Photographers who do belong have shown that they are willing to follow a code of conduct and also quite likely wanting to be accredited/qualified showing their photography is upto a certain minimal peer review standard.