Selecting a wedding photographer is a big decision. It’s important to find someone you can trust and who cares about you, your day, and your images as much as you do. You only have one chance to capture your wedding day and to have it captured exactly how you want it. The secret is to work with someone that is a perfect fit for you. After the wedding, you should be thrilled with both your images and your experience! (For more tips about how to choose your wedding photographer, please see our "How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer".)
As you are narrowing down your decision on a photographer, there are some key questions that you should ask.
There are no do-overs on your wedding day. Be sure to ask how long your photographer has been photographing weddings and if they are a true wedding professional. Weddings are very different to photograph than just portraits. There are a lot of things that photographers need to be aware of and know how to do such as: use a wedding day timeline to make sure your wedding day goes smoothly; work in low light situations common for indoor ceremonies or reception spaces; organize large groups quickly for family photos, make some beautiful images of you, your fiance, and wedding party; and provide support to you before and during your wedding day.
An experienced, seasoned professional will have multiple events, if not years of experience, a portfolio showcasing their work, and reviews/testimonials from past clients. Be rest assured when you're making your decision by choosing an experienced professional who will be prepared for anything on your big day and has the portfolio to prove it.
Contracts, sometimes called "Photo Agreements", are incredibly important when booking. A good contract will describe the services agreed to, date of coverage, costs and payment dates, and include the turn-around times of when you can expect to receive your final images. It will also provide info such as if the photographer has the ability to use the images in their portfolio. If a photographer is not able to provide a contract with all of these points, you run the risk of not knowing what you're agreeing to or when you'll receive your images. It's best to have one upfront when booking and can prevent any confusion in the future as far as what to expect.
Large, multi-photographer studios can easily handle more than 1 event for the same day because each photographer can cover a different event. For smaller studios, we recommend that you select a photographer who will only have your wedding booked on your wedding date so they can focus on serving you on your big day. Sometimes plans can change and you might need for them to come in earlier or stay later. If your photographer has multiple events booked for the same day, they might not be as focused on your big day.
It's always good to confirm who exactly will be covering your special day. You'll want to meet with them, learn about each other's personalities, ask them questions, and make sure that they are a good fit. By meeting with them in advance, you don't have to worry about what or who to expect covering your wedding. For larger studios with multiple photographers, you'll want to meet the photographer that will actually be present and capturing your special day.
While it's extremely unlikely that your wedding photographer will suddenly not be able to cover your day, it's important to know what the back-up plan is if your photographer should suddenly become extremely ill or have a family emergency and be unable to make it. Do they have a network of other photographers they can call to have someone take their place? Will they make these arrangements? Or are you responsible for making arrangements should the photographer be unable to make it? A good photographer will have a back-up plan, upon back-up plan to make sure that you get the coverage of your special day that you expect.
While every wedding is unique and different, and no photographer is going to tell you an exact number of images you'll expect to receive, they should be able to give you a rough estimate of how many final images you can expect. As a general rule, a large 300+ guest wedding with 10 hours of coverage will most likely have significantly more final images than a small, intimate wedding with only 5 hours of coverage. Most photographers will easily be able to tell you a range of final edited images that you can expect per hour of coverage.
After your big day, you'll be so excited to see your images and share them with your family and friends! It is so important to clarify upfront the estimated delivery time of your images so that you know what to expect. This should be included in your wedding contract. Preparing and editing your final images does take time, but a true professional should let you know.
Are you recently engaged and planning your dream wedding in Columbus, Ohio? If you are looking for a wedding photographer to capture all the special moments and people on your big day, we'd love to talk to you! Click here to tell us about your wedding plans and to see if we're a good fit for your wedding day! You can also reach us by calling 614.031.8579 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.