Friday is the end of the work week for most people, but as a professional photographer it's just another day to prepare for the sessions ahead. I'm not complaining about it, in fact, Friday's are one of my favorite days. We are wrapping up the commercial shoots from the week, mixed with a few more personal sessions, in preparation for the push through the weekend with a wedding or family portraits.
While we are zooming through our day, here is the balance of questions brides need to ask their wedding professionals before selecting the right person. Choose wisely and have a fabulous wedding day!
What Is Your Standard Wedding Attire?
There is a wide range of interpretations in the area. We love to wear jeans and a polo, normally dark colors that hide us in reflections. We also wear tan slacks and black button shirts. We like to be comfortable and will dress to blend with your guests. However, we were shocked two years ago when the video crew showed up to the ceremony in shorts and t-shirts. This was a large formal church with very well dressed bridal party. Afterwards, I thought the church coordinator's head was going to explode as she ran towards me. I looked at her and quietly said "Those are NOT my people". Just be aware and make your dress requirements known in advance, before the odd photographer shows up dressed in a kilt.
Can I See a Completed Wedding?
Your initial perception of the visual artist might be just the website with twenty great images. Ask to see one, two or three completed wedding day coverage galleries so you can be sure the photographer captures what you feel is important. Is there ample coverage of details, emotions, ceremony, reception, dance, special moments? Taking the time now to review these, will save aggravation and time later. You might be surprised to pick up an idea or two for decorating your venue.
What is Your Cancellation or Reschedule Policy?
Remember that you are planning the perfect day in the future, possibly a year in advance. What happens if your groom has a skiing accident the week before the ceremony and will be hospitalized for weeks? Will your photographer work with you on rescheduling? Be sure to ask and get the details. Asking questions before can save confusion and aggravation later.
What is Your Film/Digital Back Up Plan?
You want to know if your photographer has a plan to keep their work from disappearing in a fire, robbery or computer virus. If you are not confident in their response, what are the chances those images will be available in five years, if you have a fire, robbery or computer virus? Be sure your new life's first moments together will be protected and available for the future.
Are You an Active Member of Professional Photographers of America?
I'm assured to get hate mail for suggesting this question. You don't have to be a member of a organization to act as a professional, but we believe there is a need to be a active participant of PPA or a local guild to help aspire and educate the industry. The organization even provides mediation between you and the photographer should problems arise. Membership is so important to us that we only recommend PPA members to clients and invest our time frequently to mentor others. A great place to start your search for a professional is the Find A Photographer database.
And finally question number 10 and probably one of the most important.
Do You Have Enough Insurance to Cover My Grief If You Screw Up?
It sounds a funny, but in reality things can go wrong and that's why we carry insurance. I'm sure you keep active coverage on your vehicle should something happen. We don't plan for anything to go awry but want to be prepared should it happen. Wouldn't you expect a professional to be prepared the same way?
That about wraps things up for this two part blog post. If you have another suggestion or question a couple should ask, please drop us a comment below. If you are already happily married, please share your experiences finding the right photographer for your wedding.
And speaking of sharing… What are the BEST ways for you to share your wedding day images with family & friends? The fine folks over at ShootDotEdit have developed an easy to understand list of options without having to setup a slideshow at grandma’s house. Be sure to check out all the ways to get your photos seen! Let us know which are your favorites so we can incorporate that method into future projects.
Wishing you all a fabulous Friday!