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What to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

Smile! You will, especially if you and your lensman see eye to eye on how to document the day.

Framed wedding photosDebra McClinton


7. What happens if you show up late or can’t make it to the wedding?

The photographer should let you know his or her backup plan in case of an emergency. He or she should supply you with the complete contact info of another photographer on call that day and the studio’s after-hours phone number.

8. Can I see a sample contract?

Your prospective photographer should be open with his or her procedures before you sign anything. The contract is a binding document that is agreed upon by both parties and should protect both. If he or she doesn’t show you a contract or use one, pick someone else.

9. Are you part of any professional associations, or do you have extra training in your field?

Someone who keeps up with the latest technology and information in the industry is serious and passionate about his or her work, which will show in the photographs and how he or she works with you.

10. Do you have liability insurance?

All your vendors should be covered by their own insurance in case anything goes wrong. For example, if a guest trips over the photographer’s equipment and gets hurt, you could be liable, since you hired that person. The photographer’s insurance should take care of the incident. Some venues will insist that all your professionals be insured. Find out well before the wedding date if this is required by the venue.

11. What type of cameras do you use, and will you have any backups in case something breaks or doesn’t work?

If you want the best pictures, hire someone who uses the latest top-quality equipment. A true professional will arrive at the wedding prepared with more than one camera and lens.

12. How many years have you been photographing weddings?

Since a talented pro with fewer years of experience can outshine a 30-year veteran (and vice versa), what you want to know is whether weddings are the person’s specialty and if he or she enjoys photographing them. The photographer’s enthusiasm will translate into sharper pictures.

13. What do you charge for overtime?

Make sure the contract specifies the amount of time the photographer will be on the job and how much it would cost to keep him around if the celebration runs longer than scheduled.

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Bird & Banner folk art wedding invitation

The wording of the wedding invitation can be as creative as you want. Think meaningful quotations, song lyrics, or any other phrases that will give your guests a sense of the style of your wedding.