As a potential client shopping for a photographer, there are questions you must remember to ask before you hire. Of course, these questions will be different as each potential client and situation is different. Well, here is my Top Ten Questions to Ask a Photographer.
What style of wedding photography or portrait photography do you specialize in? You want to know what style is being brought to your event or portrait. Some photographers have a photojournalistic style, documentary style, or just lifestyle type photography. If you are shopping for a photographer, you should be concerned with quality and style. This will determine what your photos will look like when the whole process is done. So, search for something that fits you and your event.
Will you work with an assistant or a second shooter? This is important to know for weddings, because you have double the coverage when the photographer uses a second shooter. Some photographers will ask if you want a second shooter and some will automatically use a second shooter. Be proactive and ask the question. A lot of times I shoot alone. But there are situations that I refuse to shoot without an assistant. A wedding is an event that I will at least have an assistant to make things work a bit smoother. A wedding is a very stressful day, even for the photographer. An assistant brings on less stress for that day. Do you want a stressed out photographer shooting your special event? I wouldn't think so.
Are you familiar with the ceremony and reception locations? Knowing where the ceremony and reception is being held is key information. You always want to be sure that the photographer is familiar with where things are located. At times the ceremony location could be miles away from the reception location. So, be sure to ask this one. And be sure to inform your photographer of all locations of this special day. If the photographer does not know this info, it could make the day a very confusing one.
What percentage of your shots are posed and candid shots? This question is important because it is style related. Some photographers are great posers and some are great at catching that moment. Posed or candid shots work well in most situations. Posed shots take a little longer and candid shots usually go with the flow of the event.
Do you mind if I give you a list of special people with whom I want pictures? A photographer should encourage a list of some sort in order to be sure to get what you want. If there is a list, it's easier to accomplish a successful shoot.
How many hours are included? All details need to be worked out before the shooting starts. This ensures that everyone is on the same page. This is one of the things that should probably be put in writing.
What if the reception last longer than planned? First find out if the photographer charges extra for going over the time planned. If there is a charge, then you may want to think of confirming that the photographer is available for the full event. This is also something that should be put in writing.
How long will formal wedding photos take? The amount of time it takes to get the formals done at a wedding is key, its one of the most important shot sessions of that day. And everyone is trying to hurry to the reception. Every situation will be different. The photographer may not have a direct answer, but this part of the event needs to be discussed.
How long will the prints take once they have been ordered? One of the most important details will be, when will you receive your product? How long do you have to wait in order to see, enjoy, and revisit that special day. 6 weeks, 3 weeks, 2 weeks. How long? If a photographer is over booked it will usually take a lot longer than you would like to wait. So pay very good attention to how long a photographer will tell you it will be.
Is an album included? Products included should always be discussed before hiring. Is there an album included with the price offered? Or, is it extra?
Always make sure all the details are taken care of before booking. And, be sure to stay in touch with the photographer if the date of the event is later in the year. These are my Top Ten questions. I'm sure you have your own questions. Feel free to add your questions below.