10 Questions every Bride should ask their Photographer

A Top Ten Article

Michelle and Rob Sepia

There are many “Standard” questions every Bride should ask of their prospective Wedding Photographer. One of the most important answer you should get is how comfortable you were when interviewing you photographer and how comfortable they were answering your questions. Check my website to see how I would answer these questions and a few more…

1. How would you describe your style?

Styles between photographers will vary, you should become familiar with the more common styles to see which you relate to most.

-jim: You know, I like to think my style depends much on my client. I was a traditionally trained wedding photographer for many years and recently have leaned more and more into the photo-journalistic and documentary styles. But even shooting a non posey journalistic shot I feel I need to get in there and adjust to make every picture as good as it can be.

2. Have you shot at _____________ before?

Having a photographer who has worked at a venue before is an obvious benefit, being aware of the area and spot locations that are great to shoot helps too.

-jim: For 15 years or so I have photographed in probably every conceivable place a wedding could take place. I am not totally convinced having shot at a location before really benefits me. The Sun is at a different position at different times of the day along with different times of the year, there is constant construction done that changes the photogenic qualities of an area and even the plants grow or die to change conditions. Point is, regardless if I have photographed at a location I like to visit at least two weeks prior to the event and check its current condition. I even like to show up early in the day to be sure I am prepared.

3. Will you work from a shot list?

Many Photographers do not like too, it can inhibit them and require a little study before hand. you may need one, you may have a family member coming you haven’t see for years.

-jim: Absolutely, like many I don’t like running through my bag to find it but sometimes it is just necessary. I do however prefer sitting with my couples in the days before the event and discussing all of the details that makes their day special to them.

4. Are you the main photographer that will shoot our event?

There are many studios out there that will not be able to answer this. You should be absolutely sure the person you are interviewing is the actual individual who will photograph your event.

-jim: You I am the main photographer at any event I book. I do not book weddings for other photographers.

5. Can we meet any photographers who will also be our taking pictures?

Often times couples would like to add an additional photographer. It is a great idea to meet with them as well.

-jim: I like to choose the second photographers. I know my style and theirs and your desires and feel I can choose one that will compliment all of us. I have many to select from and keep a fresh list. You are welcome to meet them before hand.

6. How long have you been photographing weddings?

Nowadays there are many new hobbyist entering the field and trying there talents in wedding photography. There are many who are stellar photographers and there are some who are not. Some shady, and some real gems. Your event should be handled by a pro. There is much more to photographing a modern wedding then taking great pictures.

-jim: for over 15 years I have been a Los Angeles and Orange County wedding photographer. For most of those years I have been a freelance photographer working for 4 or 5 other studios which allowed me to stay very busy. In the last few years I have desired to control my own schedule and now turn down much of the work sent by other photographers so I may concentrate on my clients.

7. How many other events will you also photograph that weekend?

Make sure your event is the only event that day and preferably the next day too. You want to be sure if the scheduling does not work out you can have you photographer stay a little later and not have to miss shots because they have to pack up and prepare for the next job.

-jim: I do not schedule any other event for the day of or the day after a wedding. I am usually working hard the next day backing up everything correcting images and sorting through them to get them to you as quick as possible.

8. What kind of equipment will you bring with you?

Will your pro have professional equipment? Will he or she have back ups too? If you hire a second photographer will they have compatible equipment as an extra precaution?

-jim: I use professional grade Canon equipment as do my the other photographers I work with.

9. What happens if you can’t make our event?

While there are few reasons most professionals will have for missing an event I have heard of some really silly ones. Recently one that involved a baseball game. But what would happen if your photographer gets hit by a bus? Is there a backup plan?

-jim: It has yet to happen, but I am prepared for it just the same. I have a network of professional photographers I work with that have similar skill and experience that are available to me even at the last minute to cover me.

10. Do you offer high resolution images with copyright release?

Often a touchy subject, will you have available to you the high resolution images even if it is at an extra price? If not, will the studio store those images and for how long?
-jim: A DVD of high resolution images is included in my top packages and can be purchased as an add on to any package.

Your Top Ten questions may be a little different, but, that does not change the fact that it is a good idea to discuss it with your photographer.
Here are a few others that strike me as important:
Does he/she have liability insurance?
-jim: I am fully insured.
What type and how much assistance will they provide in planning your album?
-jim: I do all of my own album design in the studio. I also do the printing.
What attire will they and their assistants wear?
-jim: I dress in shirt and tie as do any of my shooters and assistants.
Can other people take photos while you are taking photos?
-jim: Absolutely, I only have issue if they are in the way or calling attention to themselves.
Are they are a member of any associations or groups specific to the industry?
-jim: I am a member of the local chapter of professional photographers in addition to the Professional Photographers of America.