Welcome to the blog! I’m a small-town Florida girl and Army wife relocated to the Seattle Suburbs, documenting love from one coast to the other. I live for a good PNW mountain breeze, sweat pants, and local eats. Let's be friends!
My heart aches every time I read a wedding photographer horror story or hear a sad personal experience. Just like every other industry, things happen and I absolutely hate for someone to not have their beautiful memories captured and preserved the way they should be. These questions won’t tell you if your personalities are a match, or if the style of work and experience is what you’re looking for. These are the though questions that NEED to be talked about BEFORE a hard drive crashes to make sure you are hiring a responsible professional.
You would think this is a given, right? Not necessarily. Many people in the industry are teaching themselves and unless they’ve done a lot of research, worked closely with someone or already had a negative incident occur, sometimes they just simply don’t know. Here’s how I protect your images and recommend other professionals to do so as well:
Most photographers I know work rain or shine, healthy or sick but sometimes things can happen out of our control. Your photographer gets in a car accident or has pneumonia and is hospitalized. What do they do? Honestly, we HATE to think about this. It’s the absolute worst feeling but we have to be prepared. In the event that something like this happens, your photographer should be able to give you a reliable plan without many loopholes so someone reputable is there to cover your day. Here’s what I have on my back burner just in case:
So let’s be honest, things happen. This is a must! Even better – ask if they have professional backup equipment. Make sure that your photographer’s back up equipment is still high quality and not just a camera that can “get the job done.”
These are strictly just to make sure they care about what they are offering you and are knowledgeable about the trade and risks. Contracts protect both the photographer and the client. Do you need to know their exact insurance company? No absolutely not. But asking these questions is just one thing to make sure you’re along the right track.
This question brings to light your photographers care for customer service. This answer can range all across the board. If you get your pictures back the next day, did they really take the time and care that they should have when retouching them? If it takes 10 months to get your photos back, I would say they don’t value their customer service. Reasonable is different for everyone but, your photographer should have your photos back to you within a time range of time that you’re comfortable with. On average, most wedding photographers have a turn around time between 6-12 weeks. All of my weddings clients receive their photos in under a month.
YES. I strongly disagree with anyone who tries to argue that this is not important. It’s one of the reasons why I include a second shooter in every single wedding package. Does it make me any less of a capable of a photographer? Of course not! This is strictly for YOUR benefit. Here’s why I think a second shooter is absolutely necessary.
So bride and groom to be, talk about these things in your consultation so you don’t have to think about them later.
DISCLAIMER – Every photographer has a different workflow and there are tons of great companies other than the ones I specifically recommended. There are no exact right or wrong answers necessarily but you should be in agreement with all of their responses. This is simply a guide to help couples know what red flags to search for.