Several years ago, someone forwarded me a website/blog called “38 Questions to Ask a Wedding Photographer” and asked me what I thought about it. I won’t shame the person who wrote the article, but it was ridiculous (and I’m being polite here). Okay, you twisted my arm: 38 Questions for Wedding Photographer Seriously one of the questions was to ask the photographer if they shot with film or digital cameras. I do know there are a handful of photographers who still use film, but that question dropped from the real world about 8 years ago.
So I decided to write an article on what I’ve learned from being a wedding photographer, and how I would choose one. There are frauds out there with a camera. Some are frauds because they don’t know better (they just bought a camera last christmas, and although they don’t know how to use it, they want to be a wedding photographer), and then there are the flakes (who mean well, and are good photographers, there’s just a 50/50 chance that they will show up on your wedding day. It’s fairly easy to spot the bad ones. First let’s go over some red flags. Do not choose a photographer if they:
- Do not have a website with their own domain (a facebook photography page does not count)
- Do not have a portfolio of their work to show you, an album is best.
- Do not return your phone call or email within 24 hrs. I get that everyone is busy, but they should be able to respond within 24 hours.
- Show up to a consultation meeting late. It’s rude and unprofessional. If something happened like a car wreck, they should call you. If they are 15 minutes late, and no phone call, then they have blown it. Red flag
- Do not have or work with a contract. If they have a contract, ask to read it
If a photographer gets red-flagged on any of the above items, stay away from them.
Beware of photo stealers. Some photographers will steal images from other photographer’s websites, and claim them as their own. Watch for images on the website where there are no recognizable landmarks. Ask them where the picture was taken. You can also right click the image and click “Search Google for image”
Some Good questions to ask that are RELEVANT:
1. How long have you been photographing weddings?
2. Do you work with a second shooter? What is the name of your second shooter?
3. Do you have any references, brides that you’ve worked with in the past year that we can talk to, and see their wedding photographs? (if this makes the photographer nervous, red flag)
4. How many hours will you be at the wedding, and when do you leave?
5. How long will it take before I have my edited images in hand. (Some photographers make a bride wait 8 weeks before they see the images)
6. How do you and your second photographer dress? (if they wear jeans, or even NICE jeans, Red Flag)
This is a lead photographer at one of the finest venues in South Texas, “Lost Mission” wearing jeans and a sloppy t-shirt. Absolutely disgusting.
My last bit of advice: Don’t choose a photographer entirely based on price. Evaluate the quality of their work, and their personality. Use your gut instinct.