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There are many lists of questions out there on what you should ask potential wedding photographers. Many of those questions on many of those list – suck. bad. They’re either outdated, useless – or outdated AND useless. That question about what gear does your photographer use? Doesn’t matter. (If you’ve actually seen their work and their photos – you know they make amazing stuff. You don’t ask your caterer if they only cook with cast-iron pans or whatever so why ask your photographer if they’re shooting with a medium format blah blah blah.)
SO. Here are four questions you should ask your wedding photographer (during your sit down meeting with them.)
1. Do you have insurance.
I know – insurance talk is never excited and it’s probably not at the top of your list when you’re trying to find your wedding photographer. But whether or not they have insurance is a clear indicator of whether or not they’re a Professional Photographer. Again – this is really boring and not sexy at all, but it’s TRUE. They’re asking you to give them $4,000 to photograph your wedding. Would you give that much money to ANY other business that didn’t have their paperwork in order? Then WHY would you give $4,000 to someone who isn’t professional enough to have something as simple and basic as business insurance?
Your venue has insurance. Your caterer has insurance. Your wedding planner has insurance. So your wedding photographer should definitely have insurance. Your wedding is not the day for amateurs and beginners.
2. Do you have back up gear.
I’m not talking about an extra memory card, or extra batteries. I’m talking about a full back up KIT. That’s the whole thing. Camera, lenses, batteries, flashes – a full backup set. Of course this is a just-in-case scenario where your photographer would need to pull out the backup gear, but it’s YOUR WEDDING. You hired a professional photographer because they can handle anything and EVERYTHING – but most importantly – they have invested in their business, and they have professional gear and backups for their backups. The only answer you ever should accept to this question is “YES. I have a lot of backup gear.”
3. When will the photos be delivered.
This is an easy question to forget to ask. For everyone’s sanity (yours and the photographer’s) – you should find out when to expect delivery of your photos. That way whenever your mom/grandparents/aunts nag you about the photos, you can simple say “It’ll be another 3 weeks. So stop asking please.” And at the same time it holds your photographer to making that delivery deadline. It’s a simple question and your photographer will probably include it in their contract anyway. You just want to make sure you know what to expect so that you’re not thinking it’ll be 2 weeks when your photographer’s normal delivery time is 6-8 weeks (especially if they’re a busy rockstar photographer.)
4. How many weddings do you photograph a year?
You want to ask this question partly to find out how experienced your photographer is, and what kind of workload they have. Just like the rest of us – being busy with work is great – to a point. A general rule of thumb is 30 weddings per year is about right for a very busy wedding photographer handling everything on their own (sales, shooting, editing, delivery). If they’re photographing more than 30+ weddings a year then they should definitely have a good workflow and process setup to keep things organized and running smoothly.
Also – there is a big difference in experience between a photographer that’s been doing this for 5 years but only does 5-10 weddings a year vs. a photographer that’s been shooting 30+ weddings a year for the same 5 year time period. A BIG DIFFERENCE. The photographer that does 30 weddings a year will have run across many more problems to solve, and will honestly just know how to handle many more surprise situations, deal with different people – and make the most AMAZING photos out of EVERY situation and location. You can’t beat experience most of the time.
All photos by LeahAndMark & Co.
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Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co. Questions You Should Ask Your Wedding Photographer.