Last week I posted an article with questions to ask yourself before looking for a wedding photographer. After you have an idea of what you’re looking for in terms of style, hours, budget and products, you’re ready to meet some photographers in person and ask them more questions.
Questions NOT to Ask Your Wedding Photographer
1. Camera equipment
Question NOT to ask: What cameras and lenses do you use?
Better Question: Do you have a back-up for your camera and lenses?
Cameras and lenses are a tool. If you love the photographer’s work, then the tools are unimportant. Would you ask a chef what pots and pans he uses? Unless you know the difference between f/2.8 and f/5.0, a list of camera equipment won’t be helpful to you.
However, it is important that the photographer have back-up equipment. Although my camera bodies and lenses are regularly cleaned and inspected by Canon, I make sure to bring a back-up body, flash and lenses to every wedding.
2. Client reviews
Question NOT to ask: Do you have reviews or testimonials from previous clients?
Better Question: Do you have references?
Reviews and testimonials are great but they only provide a small part of the picture. The benefit of calling a reference is being able to ask questions that you feel are important.
Please only ask for references from photographers you’re seriously considering. Although I am happy to provide references, I hesitate to provide them to a potential client emailing me for the first time as I respect my previous client’s privacy and don’t like giving out their information to everyone who emails me. If you email me a few times, or we speak on the phone or have an in-person meeting, I will gladly provide you with references.
Question NOT to ask: Can I see a portfolio with your best wedding photos?
Better Question: Can I see a wedding album or your best photos from one wedding?
Looking at a photographer’s best work will give you a great idea of her style. However, that doesn’t tell you how well she captures the entire wedding day. Ask to look at a wedding album or slideshow with images from one wedding. Taking one great photo at a wedding is easy. Taking dozens of great photos and telling the story of the day is an art.
A few of my clients have asked to see all the edited images from a wedding. As I usually give my clients about 700 images, that’s a lot of photos to look at! Although I don’t think you have to see these to decide on a photographer, if you’re so inclined your photographer should not hesitate to show you an online gallery or proof book.