Good communication is key when hiring someone to take those special photos. You’ll want to make sure you know exactly what you're getting for your money, and understand the extent of their services.
Here is a quick list of questions to ask your potential photographer:
Do You Require A Contract Or A Deposit?
This should be your #1 if you are hiring for wedding photography. Having a document to keep you and the photographer accountable will be important if there are any issues later on. The deposit is also a safety net because you know your date is secured, and the photographer won’t have conflicting obligations.
Will I Receive All Of My Edited Photos?
Make sure you will receive all of your high resolution, edited photos. Some photographers make you pay extra if you want more than just the few key shots. (I’ve read horror stories about how brides don’t get all of their photos like they thought they would, and are forced to pay extra).
Having unlimited access to those high resolution photos will enable you to print, download, and share your favorites.
Like me, most photographers offer full, but non-exclusive photo rights. Non-exclusive means clients get all of their photos, but the photographer also has the right to use them for advertising material.
What Location Is Best For My Photo Session?
This is a great question because it is helpful for finding shoot locations. Things such as where the best light is, the prettiest backgrounds, where there are minimal distractions etc. Your photographer will have preferences/suggestions on locations specific to your type of shoot.
What Should I Do To Prepare For The Session?
Asking what you can do, how to dress, what locations to look for etc., can be huge in helping the photographer get the photos you want. You can also read, “What you need to know before your photography shoot.”
Are There Any Hidden/Extra Fees Besides The Listed Price Of My Shoot?
Asking this question helps make sure you know exactly what you will be paying for, and why there might be an extra fee added on. Sometimes photographers will charge the mileage it takes to get to the location, or the time it takes to get from one location to the other. There may be a meal fee if the photographer isn’t provided dinner during the wedding reception. Parking fees may also be added to your total bill.
Do You Offer Any Discounts Or Packages?
This is obviously a good question because it could save you money! $$$$
How Long Will It Take For My Photos To Be Ready?
Many don’t realize the amount of work put into photos after the shoot, and the amount of time depends on the session. For example: Photos from a wedding could take from 4-6 weeks. Engagement, family, or senior portraits might not be ready for 3-4 weeks. So make sure you know when to expect your photographs.
How Long Does It Typically Take To Shoot A (Wedding/Senior/Family/Engagement) Session?
This is good to know for your own personal schedule, and so you know what to expect. Engagement, family, and senior sessions usually only last an hour or two. When planning a wedding, your photographer may have some experience in how much time is needed for those family pictures between the ceremony and reception. (Hint: longer than you think, so planning some hor d'oeuvres or entertainment for that time is a good idea).
These questions will help narrow down the photographer you’ll need, and you’ll go in knowing the important details!