What do you think the most important question to ask your photographer before hiring them is? Find out below!
There are a ton of blogs out there written by all sorts of vendors in the wedding industry about questions to ask your photographer before you hire them. While yes all of those questions are very important to ask your photographer, believe me, you need to be asking about insurance and what equipment they shoot with. There is one question that you MUST ask! There is one question is the Most Important question to ask your Photographer before hiring them!
“Can I see at least one FULL wedding gallery?”
So why is this THE question? Out of the entire list of questions, I could and think I should be asking my photographer?
The answer…there are a couple of different reasons.
- In the very scary and sometimes terrible world, we live in, there have sadly been many cases of fraud. And some terrible people out there like to take advantage of prospective brides & grooms – they build elaborate websites using other photographer’s images. They create this professional front and get you to book them, put down a deposit and then you never hear from them again. By asking to see a full wedding gallery you are increasing your chances that the person you are meeting and looking to hire is truly a photographer. It’s even better if they can show you multiple galleries. The chances of a scam artist getting ahold of multiple galleries are even slimmer.
- You’re making sure that all those incredible images on their website aren’t just from styled shoots – that they’ve shot a wedding before and have some experience in the flow and pace of a wedding day. And if they don’t that they’re being upfront and honest about that.
- By seeing a full gallery you are seeing exactly what the photographer is capable of. Just like in any business or any area of life, you only show examples of your best work on the front pages of your life. In your resume and your front yard. Well, we photographers only feature our best 15-20 wedding images on our websites. We only feature the best 30-50 images of each wedding in the blog posts. But yet we tend to deliver anywhere from 200-1000 (depending on the photographer) in a full wedding gallery. So by seeing a full wedding gallery, you’re seeing the 2nd tier images. The ones that didn’t make that “perfect” cut! You’re seeing the night shots, the reception shots, the family formals. You’re seeing the ability of the photographer in all different lighting situations. Is the reception lit properly? Are the images blurry? Out of focus? Is the photographer capable of capturing your whole day and not just the details and the bride and groom portraits?
- You’re seeing exactly what the photographer feels is important to capture during a wedding day. Do they grab pictures of your parents during the ceremony as they watch you share your vows and are crying? Do they take multiple pictures during the family formals? Do they grab pictures of the groom’s details as well as the brides details? How do the document the reception details? How many reception images do they capture? Are there images of your guests or just the bride and groom? You can see if what you’re dreaming of your wedding gallery looking like can actually be a reality with this photographer. And then discuss those dreams compared with the realities with that photographer.
- You get a feel for the style of the photographer – is it consistent? Or does each area of the wedding look different? Look like it was shot by a different photographer? Do you like the style of the photographer – are they a more documentary style, lifestyle or a posed style of photographer? A classic style – the style you would compare to your parent’s wedding images? Do you enjoy the story their gallery is telling you?
- You’ll see exactly how your gallery will be delivered to you. Is it through a link online? Is there a downloadable option on that link? Is it through a USB drive? Can you share the images to Facebook from the gallery? Is it divided up into sections of the day to make viewing easier or is it all just thrown together? Are the images sorted chronologically or are portraits in the midst of the ceremony making it difficult to see all the images?
If you’d like to see a few examples of some of my full wedding galleries – check them out here!
Hiring a vendor for your wedding can be such a huge feat. There is a tremendous amount of trust involved in hiring a professional for your wedding – you are trusting that they will show up, that they will give it their best and provide the best and most professional and beautiful services to make your wedding the day you’ve been dreaming about! So make sure that you’re asking the right questions to help build that trust. If you walk away from the conversation not fully trusting or with a weird feeling in your gut, trust that!