I see you, newly engaged and anxiously planning a wedding! I want to help you make sure the person you are paying thousands of dollars on for your wedding photos is the right person for you. So here are 5 helpful tips and questions to ask before you sign that contract and pay your deposit.
1. Always ask them to see a full wedding gallery.
Instagram highlights are nice and definitely a good indicator of style but make sure you see what their full body of work looks like. They may have gorgeous portraits but can they handle the lighting in your reception space, do they capture the moments they promise to? Is all there work consistent even in different lighting? These are things you will have a better feel for once you’ve looked through a real wedding gallery of theirs.
I love sending over galleries to couples! I know I have beautiful work to show you and I can’t wait for you to see it. If anyone is hesitant they are likely not confident in their own work, and if they aren’t why should you be?
2. If you are not getting a real grasp on their personality over email, ask to hop on the phone and get to know each other a bit.
If they haven’t already tried to get to know you a little then that is usually a red flag and I would search on for a different photographer but give them the benefit of the doubt. If they spend the whole phone call talking about themselves and their process and never really ask you about the two of you, probably best to move on. You want a photographer that sees and cares about YOU.
You want to pick someone who are 100% comfortable being your self around. You unique, quirky, self. You don’t want to feel like you have to preform on your wedding day. This is your wedding day not some styled shoot to add to their portfolio. Make sure to find someone who cares.
Getting on the phone is one of my favorite parts because I love meeting and talking to new people and hearing a new love story. I am a sucker for it. If they don’t have time for a phone call, then they really don’t have time for you either.
3. Ask them if they have business insurance.
This is a good way to find weed out the amateurs from the professionals. If they don’t have business insurance they likely don’t have a business license either and you should never trust someone with your money who isn’t doing things by the book. You want to make sure you are in the best hands possible!
4. If you are hiring a photographer for a destination wedding, ask them if they have ever been there or what their experience is working overseas/an area they aren’t familiar with.
Destination weddings have a lot of moving parts so it’s essential that you have someone who can handle it all. I don’t think if they haven’t been to your location it’s a non negotiable, I work in new countries and places all the time. BUT I do my research, I come ahead in a advance to get a feel for all the details and the area, especially if it’s for my elopement clients as I do location scouting for them. So ask them about their process, do you fly out a couple days in advance so I don’t have to worry about your flight getting delayed and you not making it? Etc. Make sure they are up to the job.
This always weeds about people who are just trying to build their travel portfolio because you will quickly find out their doing things cheaply to afford being able to do your wedding. I stress doing things legally and wisely. I work hard to make sure everyone who hires me feels seen and cared for, not like an afterthought or a cool travel job. Your wedding day is more than that.
5. Find someone who cares about you as people and not just what your wedding will do for their instagram feed.
This is a huge one. More and more I see wedding photographers popping up that seem to only care about what this wedding will do for them and not how they can serve you, the client. At the end of the day what I do as a wedding photographer is simply to serve my couples and I love it! I am not in this to get insta famous or end up in a magazine. I do this because I truly love capturing love stories and showing the world how beautiful they are. So ask them about their why, pay attention to how they treat you and whether they seem to care about you or just your wedding. You deserve a wedding photographer that sees you and cares about your relationship long past the wedding day is over.
I hope this was helpful for you as you are planning your special day. Stay tuned for more Wedding Wednesday Tips! 🙂