If you google wedding photographer interview questions, you’ll get a whole lot of lists of questions to ask your prospective photographers. Like, long lists. Some of the questions can be very helpful, but a lot of them might not be finding you the right photographer for the right reason. Like, do you shoot film or digital? There aren’t a lot of film shooters around anymore, but if you love the photographer’s work, the medium makes no difference. Can you get along with your photographer for 10 hours on your wedding day? Yes, now that makes a difference! Ask that question. I’ve been asked a lot of questions during my career, here are some that I think are important for you to know. But first, a pretty picture!
1- Do you get the “let’s be friends” vibe?
Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some really amazing people. Most of the time when I meet with new/prospective clients I get this, “yeah, I could see myself hanging out with these guys” feeling. I put a lot of myself into my work and I think it’s important that people can connect with that. I love that my clients enjoy my sense of humor, or at least do a good job faking it! Getting that vibe? Contact me, I’d love to chat about shooting your wedding!
2- How does your photographer stay current?
Style, technology and techniques change constantly in photography, so how can you be sure you are hiring someone who’s game is tight? Continuing education and membership in organizations are two ways I stay current and is also what keeps me inspired. I’m a member of the Fearless Photographers which is a group of the world’s most talented wedding photographers, pushing boundaries and progression of the art. I’m also a member of the Professional Wedding Photographers of Canada (I think this one speaks for itself)!
In addition, workshops and conferences help me stay motivated and ensure I’m learning new things. One of my favourites, which I attend yearly, is the Canada Photo Convention. And, to push myself to be the best I can be, in 2016 I was a student at the world’s most intensive photojournalism workshop for wedding photographers, called the Foundation Workshop. These experiences have shaped my approach to photography and connected me to ridiculously talented photographers across the globe. We have a pretty sweet little community!
3- How does your photographer prepare for a wedding?
Who? What? Where? When? How? Sorry for bringing up school-time memories, but this sh*t is important! Weddings are crazy and timelines get crazier, so your photographer needs to know where to be and when. Addresses for the salon, venue, church or anywhere else should be on paper. Oh, I’ll just follow the limo…nope, that doesn’t cut it! I have a 2-pager that I ask my couples to fill out which keeps me informed and leaves you with comfort in knowing, I’ve got this (you, just enjoy your wedding day)!
4- Does your photographer know other photographers?
Friends with the competition? Absolutely! It sounds a little nuts, but most photographers will tell you that we don’t really compete with each other. We have each other’s backs and share info that helps push the industry forward. It also means that your photographer has been doing this for a while. I find it really helpful to be part of a network of photographers who’ll critique your work, talk tech over a beer and fill in for you if you wake up with the flu.
5- Can your photographer recommend other vendors? (Florist, DJ, Limo etc)
So you’re planning a wedding and you’re overwhelmed by the number of vendors you need to hire and moreover, the number of vendors in each category. Guess what, your photographer has been to A LOT of weddings and sees the same vendors over and over again. Ask for referrals! I have some favourites that I always recommend, people/artists who share the same vision and work ethic. A good list of referrals means your photographer is established in the industry. I’ve got connections! Get in touch and we can talk more about your wedding photography and other vendors you might like!
6- Does your photographer have back up equipment?
So let’s face it, sh*t happens. But when it does, you need to know that your photographer has it handled. One of everything isn’t going to cut it! A photographer should carry 2 camera bodies and at least 2-4 lenses. Sometimes accidents happen and a guest knocks over your light stand and smashes your flash! Ahhh, what do you do? The prepared photographer grabs a spare and keeps shooting your best man’s hilarious roast.
7- Is there a contract?
It’s a little scary, but it’s absolutely necessary. If there’s no contract with your photographer, run for the hills! Having everything in writing means both parties are on the same page and protected. I always like to go over the details with my clients in person and make sure everything is on the up and up. Sign it, get a copy!
8- What is the overtime plan?
The first dance and capturing some of the party on the dance floor is a really important part of the story of your wedding day. But, what if things go sideways with your timeline and the coverage you paid for runs out? Ask your photographer if there’s a plan. Will he/she stay, how much do additional hours of coverage cost? …because you don’t want to miss these:
9- How far in advance should a photographer be booked?
Once you have your venue/date, book your photographer. Typically, this happens about 12 months before your wedding date. If it’s more than that, do it anyway, you’ll probably save money in the long run as photographers tend to increase pricing each year.
10- Does the photographer’s work rock your world?
The answer needs to be yes. While staying on budget is important, what’s most important is that you have a collection of photographs that leave you inspired and remembering how friggen awesome your wedding day was, even if it rained! Your memories are worth it.
So, these are all things that I personally find important in my 6 years of experience as a wedding photographer. If this stuff resonates with you, I’d love to hear from you and maybe even photograph your wedding! Hop on over to the contact page and drop me a line.
Also, here are some other articles I wrote that I think you’ll find helpful: