5 disturbing questions for your wedding photographer to ask so you don’t get screwed up

I am Vincent Kem, and I got married in July 2017, to prepare it I let my wife choose everything, it went from the venue, decoration, to the caterer. Of course I was present with her in all the steps, I think I was a good companion and especially driver. ;o))) But if there is a point on which I was more than proactive, it is on the choice of the wedding photographer.

Guess why? Because I am a wedding photographer myself. I certainly wasn’t going to choose a wedding photographer with a risk of crashing! I don’t care if it bothered my interlocutors. They could not improvise an answer except to give factual answers.

Obviously, as a wedding photographer, to make our choice, I asked questions that brides don’t always think about, and I can tell you that many of them could have avoided falling on photographers who will finally have failed them either before or on the wedding day, or even after the wedding. Here are some examples:

Example 1 of crashing:

Example 2 of crashing:

Example 3 of crashing:

What are the 5 disturbing questions to ask the wedding photographer?

  1. Are you a full-time wedding photographer? In asking this question, you need to assess your ability to have control over your agenda. Indeed, if he is a salaried employee with a double activity as a freelance photographer and that for one reason or another he can’t free himself from his salaried job for your wedding day, you may be warned much too late about his inability to honor his service. Since you will have little time left, you will have a hard time finding an available photographer, especially in high season. Remember, when choosing between your marriage and his job (or vacation), you can guess what he will choose, and it certainly won’t be you.
  2. What solutions do you have if your camera breaks down in the middle of a wedding? Don’t be satisfied with “This is professional equipment, it can’t break down, and nothing has ever happened to me, I’m careful”. Even the most professional equipment can break down. The acceptable failure rate for manufacturers for their after-sales service is 3%. So the risk does exist. Most wedding photographers use only one camera, but some wedding photographers take a more professional approach than others by using two professional quality cameras. Even if two boxes can fail at the same time, the risk is even lower, even close to zero. But if one of the cameras breaks down, the second camera will allow the wedding photographer to cover your wedding, even if it is less comfortable for him.
  3. What backup system are you using on the wedding day? In 2014, I went on a long-distance hike, lasting almost a month and a half. I was able to take many landscape photos on the same high capacity memory card. With 5 days to go, my camera shows a memory card error message. After more removal and insertion of the card, the camera told me that no memory card was inserted. I had just received the greatest lesson in professional photography. Luckily it wasn’t for client photos or wedding photos. I thought this memory card was reliable, but when you think about it, a memory card is like a consumable, it can undergo a lot of writing and reading, but wear and tear exists and at some point it will fail. To avoid this risk, professional cameras with dual memory slots allow you to photograph weddings safely. If one of the cards in the same device fails, then the photos on the second card remain redundant.
  4. If you get sick and can’t make it, even for another reason, what options do you have? Indeed, it can happen to anyone to get sick, even to the most serious wedding photographer. In this case, his seriousness has already pushed him to prevent this unforeseen situation, by being part of a group of professional photographers in the same style of wedding photography, one of whom could come and replace him. But beware, here’s what you need to know: If the photographer you’ve chosen is charging below-market prices, then he or she will have a really hard time finding someone willing to fill in for below-market prices, and especially at the last minute. Hiring a photographer with a market price means that he will be able to be replaced quite easily, otherwise, he will have to accept to pay the difference. But in most cases, they will leave you out in the cold to find a replacement.
  5. You are a photographer, but do you have experience in weddings? Sometimes a photographer has been recommended to you by a friend or acquaintance. But be careful, it is not because he is a photographer, that he will be able to take all the important pictures of your wedding. It requires an eye, an artistic vision that not everyone has. To make sure, here is what you can ask him: Ask if he has a website dedicated to wedding photography, check if he is known in the wedding community, for this ask to see his instagram account, look at the photos published and especially if many professionals from the area where he operates are among his followers. If not, it will give you an indication of whether he is really a wedding specialist.
Two boxes for maximum foresight on the wedding day

How to save time when choosing your wedding photographer?

  • Choose the style of wedding photography that suits you best. Don’t waste time meeting with photographers without first having an idea of their style. This will avoid wasting the parties’ time
  • Now that you know the potentially disturbing questions you should ask her, filter out the photographers you’re likely to meet with on a date, ask those questions in private Instagram messaging, texting, messenger or via email. This will allow you to pre-select them and give your Top 3 a date.

Maybe you already know these questions, if so it’s good, but it’s even better to dare to ask them. And keep this in mind, a truly professional photographer will never be embarrassed to answer any of your questions.

Article written by Vincent Kem, wedding photographer

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Vincent Kem, wedding photographer, ranked in the Top 30 My Wed in France (out of 1650 photographers)