5 Questions You Should Ask Your Wedding Photographer | Lynchburg, VA Wedding Photographer
When you're looking for a wedding photographer it can be really tough to know what questions to ask. You probably Googled what you should ask and got a bazillion articles telling you to ask about what equipment they shoot with, if they've shot at your venue, what their photographic style is, and a lot of other questions that honestly don't mean anything and you probably wouldn't know what answers to look for in the first place.
Whether or not you like their images is a great place to start. This blog is meant to equip you with questions that are intentional and will give you a better idea of what to look for in a wedding photographer. This isn't an exhaustive list but just a few points that I think are important to consider.
1. What does your backup process look like?
I can't stress this question enough. Here's why. While hard drive crashes don't happen super often, they do happen. If you hire a photographer that has no process in place to backup their images then not only is there the chance that they could lose your wedding day images but you also have to ask yourself, "What else are they not taking seriously?" There's no exact answer you should be looking for but you should be looking to see that they have a backup process that ideally includes at least 3 backups and one of them is either in the cloud, off site (outside of their home or studio/office), or in a fire and water proof safe. That way if a hard drive crashes, their home burns down or is flooded, your images are safe no matter what.
2. Do you have experience shooting in different lighting scenarios?
This question is a replacement to the ever so common, "Have you shot at my venue before?" If you've ever searched for a wedding photographer you probably found an article online that said you should ask this question. I understand what those articles are getting at when they suggest this question but I just don't think it's a question that matters. Here's why. If you ask a potential photographer this question and they say no, they haven't shot at your venue before, you might be tempted to think that they're less qualified or might not do as good a job as someone who has photographed a wedding at your venue. Well, I'm here to tell you that that's just not true. In some ways not shooting at a venue before can give you a fresh perspective that photographers who shoot there all the time may not have. What you should be looking for is that your photographer is experienced in multiple lighting situations. Because if they understand and know how to use light to their advantage then they can create beautiful images no matter where they are.
So, here's what you should look for. I would first check their website. If every image on their site is during sunset in a field then you may want to ask them if they've ever shot in low light situations like a dark reception or portraits at night. Have they done portraits indoors? Can they handle the harsh light around noon? If they only know how to shoot portraits at sunset then how will your images turn out if it's cloudy all day and you don't have a sunset? If it rains and you can't even shoot outside? If you can clearly see different lighting scenarios on their site then that's a clear sign they can probably handle whatever is thrown at them and still create beautiful images.
3. Can we see a full gallery?
Have you ever admired an artist's work? If you have then you know what it's like to look through their work and feel like they just can't do anything wrong. It's like everything they produce is amazing. You wanna know why it seems like every aspect of their work is gold? It's because they only show you the gold. That's why it's so important to view full galleries from a potential photographer. Because they might take killer portraits but really struggle with getting ready photos or reception images. Viewing a full gallery gives you a better idea of how a particular photographer shoots across the board and also a better idea of what your wedding may look like. If you only ever see the images they share you may never know if their work is weak in a particular area.
4. How do you deal with rain on the wedding day?
This might seem like an obvious question but you'd be surprised how many photographers don't have a rain plan. This also goes back to making sure your photographer is experienced in multiple lighting scenarios. If they are and it rains then they'll have no problem adjusting and doing portraits inside or have a creative way to still do them outside. When asking this question you should look for a few things. Have they dealt with rain in the past? If so, how did they handle it? Did they use the time wisely? Did they do nothing during that time?
5. What's your favorite part of the wedding day?
Ok, so this question isn't one that should determine whether you do or don't book a particular photographer. But! I think it can be very insightful. Finding out what a photographers favorite part of the wedding day is gives you a peak inside what kind of mindset they might be approaching the wedding with. For instance, I have two favorite parts of the wedding day and they have nothing to do with photography. I LOVE ceremonies and receptions. I love ceremonies because I always always think about my wedding. I think about how incredible it was to see my beautiful bride walk down the aisle and how awesome it was to look her in the eyes and promise to love her forever. I literally get so excited knowing that my clients are experiencing that too.
Second, receptions are my all time favorite. So, I'm a super awkward dancer. But, during receptions I feed so much off the energy of the crowd. I've heard the songs they play at receptions like a bazillion times but it never gets old. Every single time I'm always so filppin excited to be there and be celebrating with everyone. I usually don't know anyone at the weddings I'm shooting but I always feel like I'm actually a part of the wedding and not just another vendor. You can see how a question like this might give you some insight into whether or not a photographer really enjoys what they do.
I hope you enjoyed this blog! As you're looking for a wedding photographer I hope these questions will help you to narrow it down to someone who really is a great fit for you. Like I mentioned, this isn't an exhaustive list and there are other great questions out there to ask. Keep an eye out for another blog on questions to NOT ask your wedding photographer.