Assuming you’ve narrowed down your short list of possible candidates as your wedding photographer what sort of questions should you ask them before reaching a decision?
Can I See Your Portfolio?
Ask to see a portfolio of their wedding photography and in particular ask to see a layout for a complete day so that you can see how the different stages were photographed and whether you like their style. This will give you an idea of what to expect when you come to be photographed.
What Style of Photography Do You Do?
Posed unnatural looking photos are no longer part of a typical wedding album and these days you will see the terms naturalistic and photo journalistic being branded around. These are terms for wedding photography which tends to lean towards natural photos, capturing both you and your wedding party in natural poses, often without them being aware that a photo is being taken. Ask whether you can have a selection of styles or whether you have to choose just one.
Are You a Full Time Photographer?
Although a photographer doesn’t have to belong to any organisations it appears that they take their profession most seriously if they do indeed belong to an organisation such as The Professional Photographers of Canada. The letters FPPO, APPO and LPPO after their names means that they have successfully completed certain stages of the qualification programme and that they have reached an above average quality when it comes to producing photos in a specific category such as weddings. However, as a result they’re also likely to get booked up quite quickly.
Can I Read the Contract?
As a rule, photographers own the copyright to the wedding photos that they have taken and they have exclusive rights to do what they will with them. This can be changed within a contract by them granting you a license to make non commercial, personal use of your photos which means being able to post them freely on to Facebook or send them to friends, without violating the photographer’s copyright or having to ask their permission first. Make sure you read the contract from top to bottom since this should set out in detail, everything you need to know from the length of time your photographer will be spending with you, to how soon to expect your photos.
Do You Have Insurance?
Finally, all professional photographers should have insurance which not only protects them against theft of their property but also covers the unlikely event that a member of the wedding party falls over a tripod and breaks their leg. If they don’t have insurance chances are they don’t take their business that seriously or they are just starting out.