After reading the reply to these questions by the previous blogger I was quite amused at such an arrogant response, which is a shame because this is what wedding photography is all about; appreciating what your clients want and listening to what they require from you. So to help out anyone reading this blog these are my responses to the questions outlined by Stephanie.
1) How will you interact with my guests? I think its important to get to know people really quickly, whats nice about working from the very beginning (bridal prep) is that you get to know half the family before you even get to the church. This really helps later when you take photos of them as they are more comfortable with you. Also, its important to feel like a guest at someones wedding if you're working as well, which helps the photographer blend in with the rest of the crowd.
2) Is your style traditional or photojournalistic? Formal poses or candids? Personally, I do a bit of both, but its a good question. What I would ask a client, more importantly, is what do you want? Its not hard for a photographer to do a bit of both! It always helps if the client knows what they want.
3) Are you a photographer or a WEDDING photographer? Lets not be hasty with this question, It's important to get someone with experience in weddings, but a versatile and multi-talented photographer could really add another dimension to the images. For example, I work as a workshop practitioner involving photography with Early Years, which means that I'm pretty experienced with working with young children. This helps get great pictures of kids.
4) What can we do to make sure our pictures are the best they can be? Give the photographer as much info about the wedding as possible, particularly visual details! A photographer will see and snap all these anyway but its great to know what to expect.
5)How do you keep from burning out on weddings? It's only usually working one or two days a week, I think question 6 could give you an answer for this as well!
6) What do you do to find fresh inspiration for every wedding? Every wedding is different, every person is different. You meet loads of new people every time and go to a great party! Each wedding is unique and a good photographer will appreciate that, showing excitement about the little things that will define your day as your own!
7) How many weddings do you generally do in a year? This will show you how much a photographer works, but if they've got a good portfolio and they're a freelancer, they could lie to your face and you'd never know! I do think that this question is slightly irrelevant. If someone is good, you will be able to see it!
8) Do you use different lenses? Most good photographers would! A better question would be, do they use more than one camera, but seriously, don't put too much weight into this question.
9) Do you use 2 shooters at a Wedding? If you ask this question, you should be prepared to pay for two photographers. I don't use a 2nd Shooter, because I can usually cover everything but I know plenty who do. My advice on this is that if you feel that your wedding is going to be quite large, then maybe ask if they will be using an assistant...
10) Do you carry back up cameras? An essential question.
11) Which image quality do you shoot with? (make sure: high-fine or raw). This question is very important; also ask about their post-production work. You want to see that they are using good quality images and RAW processing (Digital Negatives) This makes all the difference. I have seen some good images in the past that have had little or no work done on them! It can look terrible.
12) How long does it takes to receive the proofs? This is good to know, but be aware that if it takes 4-6 weeks, then your photographer is obviously quite desirable and quite busy! But quick service is always nice!
13) Can I see printed samples of your work with at least one album of just one wedding, not a collection of your best shots? Yeah, ask to see maybe a whole wedding digitally, or an album from one wedding. Seeing printed versions is also desirable, you want to make sure that they can be printed as well as viewed on the web.
I hope this helps people who are looking for good photographers. More importantly, think about the actual person as well, do you actually want them at your wedding? And how are they responding to your questions?
One final point: Ask about copyright issues and whether you will recieve all the images and be able to do what you like with them. Though Photographers own the copyright, you should still be able to do what you like with your images! If they say you can't put them on facebook etc, walk away...
Thanks, Philip! I think your answers would be very helpful for a couple interviewing a photographer.
My take on these questions is that they aren't all meant to get a specific response (like "How do you keep from getting burned out?") rather, they are getting to know you type questions. The photographer's answers will reveal personality, style and preferences.
It's easy to find a list of the standard questions to ask online (contract specs, image rights, prices, etc.) but I thought it would be helpful to get a little more creative. In defense of clueless brides everywhere...I was one myself once, after all...they really don't know the "obvious" right answer to some of these questions. For the complete novice, they may be worth asking.
I couldn't agree more, in my consultation interview I have a form which is just a blank spider diagram that I ask Brides to list everything visual that is happening in their wedding, which allows me to get to know what things they are 'designing' their wedding for! This is really helpful to me.
Its important to remember that its a two way street, the photographer needs to get to know you as well. Its no good them just showing up on the day knowing little about you, as they want you to feel relaxed in front of the camera so its important you both get to know each other. This also helps on Stephanies point about burning out on weddings; its much easier when you know your client because then you enjoy their wedding more as a guest as well as a professional.