10 Questions to Ask Your Photographer

How to Interview Photographers

[su_dropcap]1[/su_dropcap]What is your experience with Photography?

The goal here is largely dependent on your needs. If you are looking for a portrait or headshot photographer then you need a photographer who has done that work. If your goal is to hire a wedding photographer then it’s important to set expectations. Expectations can be set and met depending on the experience of the photographer and your own expectations. Are you looking for someone who isn’t charging a lot? Then it’s probably that your photographer will not have a lot of wedding photography experience. Are you expecting amazing shots and candid moments caught perfectly? Then expect to pay for that vision and that experience.

Common concerns here are:  How many events / weddings have you shot? How many years? Have you shot at this particular location before? Have you covered an event/shoot of this type and magnitude before?

[su_dropcap]2[/su_dropcap]Who will be there the day of the shoot?

It is a common misconception that the photographer on record is the photographer who will attend your specific event/wedding. Photography as a business is similar to many others. The larger a business grows the more employees and individuals involved. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You should however opt to meet the exact photographer who will cover the event, and ask for their specific work/samples.

Common concerns here are: Are you paying for the photographer whose work you like or for someone else?

[su_dropcap]3[/su_dropcap]What is your style?

The goal here is to try and understand if the photographer uses a specific style or technique. I.E. Traditional, Candid, Photo-Journalistic, Posey, Artsy / Artistic or Documentary.

[su_dropcap]4[/su_dropcap] Do you have others shoots/ events for that day?

This is simple. Do you really want to hire a wedding photographer who is running around at another wedding before yours? Maybe, but what if he’s late? What if the wedding he is shooting is right before yours and at the other end of New York City or in a different borough? Worse, maybe your photographer is still in NJ with just minutes remaining before your special event?

Common concerns here are: Can your photographer handle the workload? Will they reasonably be likely to be on time? How will their schedule affect you?

[su_dropcap]5[/su_dropcap]Do you shoot in black and white or color originals?

This may not concern all of you out there, but for many artistically inclined, and those that are still fans of the film media this can be important. If your photographer is shooting in film, will they shoot in black and white? If not, then will the digital originals be in color and then post-processed or will the originals be in black and white?

[su_dropcap]6[/su_dropcap]Can you provide the negatives or digital files?

This is becoming more and more common today. What we want now is access to the original media. This way we can save it online, on the cloud, in our hard-drives, backed up on an internet website, etc. So ask your photographer if they can provide this service. If so, is there a charge? Generally speaking there is a minimal charge for this service and it is well worth it.

[su_dropcap]7[/su_dropcap]Are you okay if the event goes overtime?

It’s great if everything goes according to plan, but if it doesn’t, will your photographer walk out as soon as his/her 6 hours are up? Or will they stay and do what it takes to finish the job? If so, will they do this out of the kindness of their heart or for a fee? Clarify this concern with them in advance.

[su_dropcap]8[/su_dropcap]What type of equipment do you use?

Depending on the event the answer to this question will vary. The goal with this question is to get an idea of what they use, how much equipment they will bring and if any accommodation is needed as a result. This question will also get you an idea as a client as to their understanding of equipment and their confidence level.

[su_dropcap]9[/su_dropcap]How much do you charge for this service?

Many would put this at the top of the list, but reality is that even as a professional photographer I wouldn’t ask this of another photographer until I fully understand what and who I am getting involved with. All too often clients and photographers are concerned with the cost of the service, without knowing what they are paying for and the details.

[su_dropcap]10[/su_dropcap] How will they be dressed for the event?

If you are hiring a photographer for a formal event, you do not want them to show up dressed up in a tank top and jeans. I have seen this happen myself many times, and it never goes well. Set the expectations here and let that be the end of it.


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