What you need to know before you book your photographer and videographer.
By Lisa Dukart
Wedding photos and videos are lasting, tangible memories and as such, should have some thought put into them before they’re even created. Unlike other vendors, couples will spend the majority of their wedding day with their photographer or videographer, so asking the right questions and having good chemistry is essential.
When booking, style, aesthetic and personality are among the most important factors. From getting ready until the final send off, the individual or team will be there documenting. Meeting in person and having conversations on the phone can help determine compatibility ahead of the big day. “The experience is every bit as important as the photos,” says Todd Zimmermann, owner and principle photographer at Pictures by Todd, in Bryn Mawr.
Aside from the basics—style, experience, price—there are some important questions to ask. Consider how he’ll cover the event and whether or not there will be a second photographer to capture additional moments. Those having a unique wedding ceremony should ask if the photographer has experience covering something similar or feels comfortable trying.
“I want the pictures to represent and be authentic to who they are,” Zimmermann says. “Everyone has different sides to themselves and I want them to come out in the photographs.” Capturing those moments and feeling comfortable enough to be oneself is largely based on comfort, and Zimmermann says it’s important, “that we really have that rapport.”
Equally important is how much coverage the photographer will provide. Eight hours is the standard, but it’s important to find out whether he’s willing to extend on the spot, should the reception go longer. Also find out who will be at the wedding. Larger studios mean multiple photographers, so who you meet with might not be your photographer.
Questions for photographers and videographers can also extend to practicalities. They have lots of experience at certain venues, so they can offer insight about where and how to shoot. Ask advice on the best time of day for portraits and group shots, and what light elements work best. While he will have some input, it’s best to have an idea in mind of what, who and where you want photos taken and if the photographer is flexible.
“I want to make sure that we shoot the day and capture what and who is important to them and figure out the best and easiest way to do that,” Zimmermann says. “I ask what their priorities are, that way I can customize the timeline.”
Finally, look at the fine print. Find out how and when you’ll receive your photos, what type of album is included and the cost of add ons. Learn how long you can expect to wait and what you’ll get when they’re finally presented. Some studios will only retouch orders, some will edit all of them, and others, offering less expensive packages, will provide minimal edits. Those uncomfortable with photos appearing on the photographer’s portfolio or social media channels should ask to have a clause excluding it.
Whatever style you opt for, ensure your know what you’re getting into by asking the right questions ahead of time.