5 important questions to ask your photographer before hiring them
In a world of seemingly unlimited choice it can be totally overwhelming to know how to find exactly what you’re looking for—including a photographer. What are the qualities of a good wedding photographer, and how can you find someone who is perfect for you?
1 – How many weddings do you typically photograph per year?
So many people are influenced by the price of a photographer, but if there’s one thing that you should actually be focusing on, is value. You’ll easily find photographers who do 100 or more weddings a year, and this is typically not a good sign.
Imagine booking a photographer who has just done three weddings in a row before yours… there’s just no way that they’ll be able to put in as much attention to detail as a photographer who has been preparing for your big day all week. For that reason, the best photographers generally do around 20 weddings per year, They then place all of their attention and energy on their clients and are able to push their creative boundaries for every couple they work with.
2 – Do you work alone or with a second photographer?
The choice of a solo photographer VS a team will impact your wedding photography experience:
- A solo photographer will easily blend in with the guests, adding a more intimate and authentic touch to your photos. It will perfectly serve a candid approach, and you'll get great spontaneous images of guests acting naturally, as if the camera wasn't there. On the wedding day, having a photographer that you know personally can help you fell more confident and relaxed, as you the communication will friendly and easy.
- A photography will be able to cover more angles at simultaneous moments during your wedding day. This is a great option especially if you're having a big wedding. A team can spread on the wedding grounds, and make sure every guest and every angle is covered. It is also a great option if you're planning to have a lot of group photography during the evening, as one photographer can focus on the grups while the others photograph the event candidly. The relationship will be a bit more vendor-like, as the team will coordinate themselves throughout the day (sometimes with headsets), and will be interacting with you a bit less. In terms of budget, a team is often more expensive than a solo photographer, but you also get a lot more photos in the end.
3- What happens if it rains on our wedding day?
This is a difficult question, which will differentiate experienced photographers from newbies.
An experienced photographer will know how to adapt, and use the unforeseen events of the day in his creative process. Whether it’s raining, snowing, whether there is a power cut, a good photographer will know how to put these new elements at the service of your story. There is always a way to make interesting and emotional images; a good photographer knows this, has already anticipated these risks, and he has prepared his equipment accordingly.
Therefore, I strongly recommend that you ask your photographer this question, to see if his solutions are right for you.
In Thailand, the rain is often a short but heavy pour. There are many ways to deal with the rain, whether you'd like to prevent it, or embrace it. The rain actually brings the Tropical vibe to a whole new level: palm trees and summer dresses ondulating in the wind, water droplets shimmering in the light... and a super-rare soft diffuse light (that is SO rare in Thailand), which is the most perfect light ever for portraits(!) So whether you choose to embrace it, or to stay in for a portrait session, i've always got a raincap in my bag and i'm ready to go.
4- Can we see your portfolio from the “after dark” parts of the wedding day?
Most couples don’t think about it, but a significant part of your wedding will take place at night: the bride and groom’s entrance, wedding cake, first dance, dancefloor … So it’s important to make sure your photographer knows how to work without sunlight.
There are many solutions for working “at night”, and every photographer has their habits (and preferences). It can be difficult for a novice photographer to work without natural light, but it doesn’t mean they won’t know how to do it. The best is yet to judge for yourself.
I Personally love the creativity brought by night lights: spotlights, candles, sparklers, coloured gels… not to mention the guests who give the best of themselves after a glass of champagne or two!
5- How do you interact with us on our big day?
Choosing a photographer you sincerely like is just as important as their portfolio. You’ll be spending a lot of time with him/her on your wedding day, more than with any other provider, so make sure you’re comfortable around him/her.
- The candid photographer (also know as photo-journalistic ) will be friendly and discreet. He won't give you many poses or direction during the day, but will help you take the best shots during your protrait session, and your group photography. The candid photographer often uses prompts over poses, to highlight the authenticity of your day, such as “let's walk to the beach” or “can you remember the first time you saw her?”.
- The fearless photographer captures images in an original way : “a grimace of a bride, a vase filled with water which spills on the head of the family, a married couple in a non-weddingy environment, it’s fearless, it’s life! “. The fearless photographer tends to be outgoing and eclectic, and will encourage you to have fun with your wedding photos.
- The editorial photographer draws inspiration from commercial photography. Editorial photos are intended to be published for commercial use. Lighting, composition, and decor are key to getting the perfect photos. The framework tends to be stricter (more posed), and you’ll get fewer images, but they will all be magazine-quality.
When choosing your photographer, keep in mind the style of your wedding, and the personality of your guests. It can be jarring to have a low-key photographer in an eclectic and extravagant wedding, or conversely, an outgoing and directive photographer in an intimate wedding.
I personally have a photo-journalistic approach, spicing it up with some editorial vibes for couples portraits.
And there you have it,
5 questions that are super important to ask your chosen wedding photographer before you hire them! Hopefully these tips and trick will help you to decipher the qualities of a good wedding photographer. And if you have any questions about wedding photography or about the things we have discussed above, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love to hear from you!
Your photographer friend,