Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring Your Wedding Photographer
Choosing a wedding photographer best suited to you made easy with a few questions
Picture this. It’s your wedding in a few months. The date is decided, the venue is booked, the catering is done, you’ve chosen your wedding dress, the decor, entertainment, everything is checked. Now all that is left is to find the right wedding photographer to capture all those important details – the one remaining important decision for your big day.
Sounds easy, right? Well… There’s a little more to it than just making a few phone calls. Your wedding day deserves to be captured in the most beautiful pictures. And for that, you need a wedding photographer you know, like and trust.
As wedding photographers, we like to think that we are the most important decision you make for the wedding. After all, once the food is eaten and the decorations taken down, what remains is the memories we capture for you. More importantly, we are going to be the one constant presence beside you during all the events. So it’s not only important that you feel comfortable with us, but also that we gel with you as well. The relationship street needs to work both ways for a successful wedding assignment. As important as it is for you to find a photographer who you like, it’s equally significant that we work with a client we connect with.
All the wedding portals will tell you numerous things you need to clarify before hiring a photographer, many of them quite empirical. But to be honest, no one can tell you what you need to know better than us. Remember, we WANT the perfect fit with you as much as you want it with us! The fact of the matter is that there are fabulous wedding photographers in India available across price points, what differs is personal style and approach to work. So grilling us only about our price and number of photos is not a fair way of making your decision. We’d like you to ask us about our style, our personality, what we bring to you and what kind of people we are! We’re here to help you with the right questions that will help you ensure that we’re the right fit for each other.
#1 Ask us what kind of style and approach we follow
Every wedding photographer has a style and method of working they follow. There is no right or wrong – just a personal, creative style and approach. It’s important to find the one that works for you so that correct expectations are set right at the beginning. Some terms you may hear are photojournalistic, documentary, or candid etc. Don’t be bogged down by technical terms – simply request the photographers to demonstrate their style pictorially and talk you through their work.
Talk about how they approach a wedding day typically and what that will mean in terms of shooting your wedding. Do they largely work unobtrusively, behind the scenes or give directions to set frames? It’s important that their style and approach matches what you and your fiancé want from your wedding pictures. For example, if your focus is grand environmental portraits or if it is more along the lines of raw, emotional moments, it would be a better fit for you to choose a photographer who specialises in that kind of work. If you hire a fabulous portrait photographer for documentary, emotional moments, then you’re not thinking your decision through.
#2 Ask us who will be shooting your wedding
It is extremely important that you ask us this question initially, because like we said it’s all about expectations. If the photographer you’re speaking with is an independent professional and works alone, then you’ve got your answer. But if you happen to be speaking to a photography company or a studio, then it’s important to ask who exactly will be holding that camera when you are getting hitched. This is important because we’d hate to have our clients misunderstand this part – are you booking the primary photographer or the team?
Another reason why it’s important to know who will shoot your wedding is budget – photography companies often have differential pricing based on who the team-lead is. A well-managed, professional wedding company will have excellent photographers across price points, but it is important for you to understand the difference so you can decide whose style and budget match yours.
#3 Ask us if our packages are flexible
Once again, we’re back to the matter of expectations. Like we said earlier, price and number of deliverables should not be the primary deciding factors, but it is good to have all these details laid out on the table at the beginning to avoid confusion later. More importantly, it is important to ask how flexible the packages are – not from a negotiation point-of-view but, rather, to include/exclude elements which apply or do not apply to your wedding. We all know and understand that every wedding is unique and being able to take that into consideration while building a customised package for you is always a good thing. All photographers hate starting a conversation with price; we’re hoping you have a budget set beforehand which is a filter you used to reach out to us in the first place!
#4 Ask us about our pricing models and overtime charges
There are generally two ways photographers work. One is the day-wise pricing model (small and/or big functions priced equally and charged by the full day) while the other is decided by the size and time span of each function. Neither is right or wrong – it is what works for the photographer. What you need to consider is which works for you, basis the size and scale of your wedding.
Most Indian weddings are chaotic and tend to run over schedule, whether you realise it at this point or not. It is important to ask at this point whether the photographer has any time restrictions or overtime charges in this case – many of us charge an extra fee for the extra effort and it is important for you to be prepared and have your expectations set right in the beginning.
#5 Ask us to share a full set of wedding pictures
It is only natural that most photographers present a well thought out, tightly curated set of photos on their portfolio. But for you to understand whether a photographer is the right fit, it is not a bad idea to ask for a slightly more expanded collection from any one wedding – either as an album or as an online gallery. This will give you a sense of the approach towards all kinds of functions and events at a wedding – grand or personal, crowded or intimate, crazy fun or emotional.
#6 Ask us how long after your wedding will you get your photos
Most photographers have a standard timeline as far as photo delivery is concerned. They all work in their own way and it would not be fair to compare or use that point as leverage to decide between two photographers. But it is very important to be prepared for that timeline – we know it can be hard to wait for your wedding pictures to come through. But, more often than not, it will be worth it.
#7 Ask us about our T&Cs and contracts
Most professional wedding photographers would have a standard contract for every wedding assignment, customisable to your wedding functions if required. It is designed to protect both – you and the photographer. It lays down all the terms and conditions in black and white and makes your agreement formal. If at this point, there is still any question troubling you, this is the best time to get it out. Remember that contracts are all about safeguarding you as much as it about safeguarding us!
As wedding photographers, we are all professionals and have the best interest of the assignment at heart. We want as fabulous an outcome to your wedding photos as you do and will help answer any questions you may have before signing on the dotted line. So ask away and then sign up one of us already!
We are sure that we’ve given you a lot to think about. But don’t worry. Don’t let the number of options daunt you. Ask all the right questions and leave the final decision to your gut – choose the one photographer or team that you feel that you can connect with and relate to the most. Because after you’ve sorted out the finer details, your comfort with your photographer will show in your fabulous photographs. It will bring out the best of you in your wedding photos.
We’d love to know what made you choose your wedding photographer. Let us know in the comments!
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