What Questions Should I Ask Before I Hire My Wedding Photographer?
Do you have a business license and permit?
You might be saying to yourself this is a weird thing to ask. How does this impact me? It's very easy to present yourself as a professional photographer. All it takes is a nice camera from Best Buy, a free Facebook business page posting images taken from Google, Pinterest or even other photographers and that's not even the scary part. In order to book any kind of vendor for your wedding day, we will all require a retainer to save your date. So let's say you find someone who is just starting out and you think you're getting a great deal and you book the new photographer and pay their retainer only to find out shortly before your wedding that they are no longer in 'business'. Their Facebook page is now gone and you can no longer reach them by email or phone. Now since they never actually had proper documentation to be offering their services you essentially just made a payment to a person so legally they have no obligation to refund you. This is why a legal business will always have you sign a contract protecting your security as much as their own.
"I've been a proud legal business owner since 2016!" -K.H
Do you have business insurance?
Now, this may not affect you directly, but it's great peace of mind knowing that the professional you hire has considered all the 'what if's'. Did you know, that unlike home and auto insurance you're not required to have small business insurance? However, wouldn't you like to know if something happens to the photographer's equipment that they have insurance coverage to help replace everything from cameras to laptops. If photography is not someone's full-time profession they may not be thinking about these 'what if's' quite the same.
"I always make sure that I have my clients back so it's nice to know my insurance company has mine!" -K.H
Can your equipment perform well in over-exposed and low-light settings?
As wedding photographers, we come across crazy lighting scenarios all the time! Some of these scenarios can include windowless basement receptions, stained glass windows, fluorescent ceiling lights or high noon direct sun making shadows under the nose and causing everyone's eyes to squint! It's important to know that whomever you hire has the knowledge and equipment to handle all of these situations and more.
"I can confidently say I have the best camera in the Canon lineup. This beauty can see better in the dark than I can! I fully understand as a wedding photographer I need to be prepared for everything and anything especially working with less than ideal lighting." -K.H
Do you have a backup camera, lenses and other important equipment?
Camera equipment is not invincible. Just like your phone or laptop, our machines can break. Accidents happen! Make sure whoever you hire has brought backup equipment along with them so even if their camera does quit on them you won't have to worry. This is another benefit of working with a professional.
"Personally I have four cameras and twelve lenses. Each photographer on my team has an additional two-three camera bodies. Even on our worst day, we can't break that many!" -K.H
Are you used to working with the average couple VS paid models?
Obviously, not all of us are models in front of the camera. I know when I'm placed in front of the camera my hands get sweaty, and my smile starts to quiver and shake. It can be very nerve-racking. Making sure the photographer you hire has experience working with real-life couples will let you know they are used to giving direction and guiding someone throughout the process. This way you will always look your best! In general, it's extremely important to ensure all the images being displayed on the photographer's Facebook page or website are taken by that photographer and their team.
"P.S. All of my engagement and wedding photos are real couples!" -K.H
What happens if you can't make it to our wedding?
At the end of the day, we are all human. Things happen and though it may not be ideal, make sure whoever you hire has a backup plan in place so you're not frantically looking for another photographer the day before your wedding. This will give you immense peace of mind.
"This is why I have hired and trained an amazing team of talented photographers who are more than capable of doing an incredible job, with or without my guidance." -K.H