Find and book with these questions in mind.
After narrowing down your shortlist to one or two potential photographers/videographers. Set up a meeting with each of them in person or either through a phone call, video call or texting to know if you feel comfortable around them.
The importance of this cannot be overemphasized; this meet up will help foster a cordial relationship between you and your selected photographer.
You’ll be spending a big part of your special day with this person, being at ease will not only guarantee you enjoy yourself more, but they’ll also get better shots. Win-win!
These are some questions you should ask before choosing a photographer; they are a little bit lengthy so you can email them for better correspondence and for the sake of record keeping.
What is your area of specialization?
Here is why you want to know this; for example, you want all your pictures to be taken as portraits, to avoid a mix of portraits and landscapes you will want to go with a photographer that specializes in portraits shoots. A lot of photographers when shooting, use a mix of several styles of photography and it is safest and best to go with a photographer that likes to shoot the style of pictures you want.
Are my pictures going to be edited? Will I see the original copies first?
It is commonplace for photographers to edit pictures and two of the editing process is color balancing and retouching. These give the pictures taken on a shoot a perfect look. Some photographers may show you untouched copies of your photos and others might not if you want to see both copies you should discuss it with your photographer.
How many events have you shoot, how often do you shoot events, which events and what period in the year do you like to shoot most?
More often than not, the event you need a photographer for will happen once in your life, your wedding day, your 21st birthday, your marriage’s 50th anniversary. You will need a professional cameraman with sufficient experience to take pictures of your event, not somebody who practices photography as a hobby on the side.
What do your packages cover?
When you pay for any service you need to know what it covers. Does it include hard copies as well as soft copies of your pictures? Are you getting any of them framed for the same package you are paying for or do you have to pay separately? These are important to know, as it will avoid any issues that may come up.
This also includes the rate of coverage, will I be charged by the hour or is there an overhead price for as long as the event holds?
Can I make a deposit or do I have to pay all up front?
You will also want to know in addition to the above question when payment is due and when to expect your pictures.
Who exactly will be my photographer for the day?
Because you are speaking to the owner of a photography outfit does not mean he will be the one to take your pictures that day. Make sure you set an appointment with whoever is covering your event.
In this same vein, if you are patronizing an agency of photographers be sure to ask if there is a backup photographer if anything happens to your photographer and if there will be a second photographer to cover certain angles. This may cost more but it is worth asking.
Do you also have a videographer and if no, how will I coordinate with the one I will be hiring?
If the agency you are hiring does not have videographers and you have to hire one ensuring there is a good rapport between the photographer and videographer is important in the quality of coverage you get. You can also ask for a recommendation for a videographer.
How many events do you cover on a weekend?
You will need to know this to understand the schedule of your photographer and properly anticipate his arrival.
Have you shot any events at my venue before?
Your photographer needs to be aware of any lighting issues or needs your venue may have, if he has worked there before, it will be an added advantage for you. In a situation where your photographer hasn’t shoot at your venue before, going there beforehand will be important.
Is a shot list necessary or do you prefer to capture the event as you deem fit?
Most photographers will like to know specific shots to take but do not overwhelm them with too many requests. You should trust your photographers to take amazing pictures.