When I go to meet with potential clients, I try to be as prepared as I can be. However, sometimes there is a question straight out of left field that I am totally stumped and surprised by. Sometimes (in all honesty) I wonder where on earth these questions come from and how in the world do they help you decide if I am the right fit for your wedding.
Here are some questions that I used to choose who I wanted to hire for my wedding, and some that I find helpful to get to know if we are the right fit.
1. Why are you a photographer?
If this answer is not "Because I love it", I would be hesitant to sign a contract. Wedding photography is more difficult and exhausting than I thought it would be when I started. Trust me, if I did not love this job, I know it would show in my photographs.
2. How much experience do you have?
I think the key to this question is not a certain number, but the confidence with which it is said. One of the best weddings I have ever shot was my seventh wedding. It was some of the best work I had done. However, I look back at other weddings and see how I handled a less-than-ideal situation and I rocked it because of my experience.
Also, know that if your wedding is a year away, this person will have another year of experience and more weddings under their feet.
3. Have you shot a wedding similar to mine?
Bonus points if they have shot a wedding at your venue. If you are getting married in a barn on a farm, ask if they've shot a wedding in the country. If you're getting married in December, ask if they have shot a winter wedding. If you are getting married at a country club with 400 people, ask if they've shot a large wedding. This way they have a better idea of what to expect, and you have a better idea of what kind of photos you will receive.
4. What happens if...?
There is always at least a thousand "What happens if..." questions. Know that a real professional will always have a backup plan, and probably a backup plan for that backup plan. If they're sick, they should find someone awesome to step in. If someone gets hurt, they should have liability insurance. If it rains, well, they can't control the weather. :)
5. How many photos will you take?
Know that each wedding is different. Know that the size and detail of your wedding plays a huge part. Most importantly, if you do not schedule time for photos, you will get less photos. If they say that there is a limit or cap on how many you'll receive, I would be hesitant on choosing them.
6. How and when will I receive my photos?
The latest that my clients receive their photos is 6 weeks after their wedding. I am so excited when I can deliver their wedding photos sooner than that. They receive a password-protected online gallery with high-resolution photographs.
For me, I wanted a quick turn-around time to see my wedding photos. It was definitely top 3 most important things for me as a bride.
7. Can I see a full wedding gallery?
I can see why some photographers might be hesitant to send a full gallery to a potential client. However, this is super important. The number of images you see on a blog post of a particular wedding is probably less than 5% of the photos that the photographer returned to the client. You will want to see everything, start to finish, to get a better idea of what your photographer is capable of.
8. What will you wear?
I see photographers show up to weddings in monogrammed polos, and I have seen some show up in sweatpants (I really wish I was kidding). Personally, I dress like a guest. So if you are having a casual backyard wedding in June, I'll wear a sundress. If you are having a formal wedding at a church, I'll make sure to wear something conservative. Most importantly, if your bridesmaids are wearing black a-line dresses, I will not wear a black a-line dress!
9. What would you like for dinner?
Everyone gets hangry ;)
I'll always take the red-meat or fish option. And taco bars are my favorite!