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1. What’s your style? This is a must-know in order to ensure that you and your photographer/videographer are on the same page. What style do they excel at? Lifestyle? Photojournalism? Dramatic? Classic?
2. What is included in your packages? Any given package should at least entail information about the number of shooters, hours of coverage, and deliverables. That information will guide the rest of your conversation with them.
3. How many weddings do you shoot a year? The answer will give you a feel for how experienced they are in wedding shooting. If you want awesome wedding media, you’ll want them to be taken by someone who does it for a living, if not very frequently.
4. How long have you been shooting weddings? This will also give you a feel for how experienced they are, but don’t immediately rule someone out if they’ve only been in business for a couple of years! A pro who’s done a lot of weddings in just two years could have more vision than someone who’s been doing weddings for 20 years.
5. Have you shot at my venue before? If they have, that’s good! They know the lighting situation and the layout of the venue. If they haven’t, that’s not a dealbreaker! In this case, your photo & video team should be committed to doing extensive research and a walkthrough of your venue -- they’ll know what to bring and how best to prepare.
6. Can I see a full collection of wedding photos? Don’t settle for the select photos in a photographer’s portfolio. Ask to see a full wedding photo collection or two -- you’ll really see how the photographer captures the entirety of a wedding day.
7. Are you willing to follow a shot list and/or certain requests? It’s your wedding day, and your photo & video team should know that. It’s good to give your team some free reign, but they should be open to collaborating with you and making sure they get the shots you want.
8. Do you bring your own lighting? It’s good to know that your photo & video team will be prepared to capture your photos in the right light -- no matter what the situation is. Another thing to make sure of is that their equipment isn’t too bulky or obtrusive! Your decorator’s work doesn’t need to be blocked by stands and umbrellas.
9. Who will cover my wedding if you’re sick? A prepared photo & video team will immediately give you the names of their team members or close collaborators -- there’s not a chance they would leave you in the cold if they were sick.
10. Based on my hours and needs, how many photos will be delivered? How long will the videos be? A good number for reference is 50 delivered photos per photographer per hour. For video, edits vary from sub five minute highlight reels to two hour documentary cuts.
11. What is the exact payment plan and structure? You’re making quite the investment in your wedding, so it’s important to know when you’ll have to pay a large sum of money. Typically, a deposit will be required to secure your date.
12. Can I look at a sample contract? Transparency is important. Make sure that you are able to access a sample contract for you to look over extensively. It will be a comprehensive guide to the photo & video team's procedures and services, as well as other formal fees that may need to be paid.
13. When will I be able to see my photos & videos? We all know that curation and editing takes a while! It can take weeks, or even months depending on who you go with. Simply knowing when you’ll get the photo & video will help manage your expectations -- and your mother’s.
14. Who owns the photo & video once they are completed? It’s important to know about the digital and printing rights to your photo & video. Will you be able to post your photo & video to social media without watermarks? Will you be able to send your photos to a printer, or do you have to pay your photographer to do so? What will your photographer be able to do with the photos after they are completed?
15. Why you? We were asked this question by one of our awesome brides a while back, and it’s stuck with us ever since. (Hi, Carly!) Your photo & video team will tell you what makes them stand out from the rest -- and that’s something you’ll definitely want to hear in your search to find the perfect one.