The typical wedding will involve 10 separate vendors or more so it's important when interviewing these vendors that you know a few specific questions to ask going in. For the third installment of "Things To Ask When Hiring A Wedding Vendor," we take a look at hiring your photographer. These 5 tips come to us from my friend, Erin, of Erin Kranz Photography - an amazing wedding photographer in the Charlotte area!
I can’t tell you how many times brides have told me how fast their wedding day went by! Your wedding is one of the most special days of your life – Not only is it the start of your new marriage and family, but when else is everyone you love all in one place? Hiring a great photographer is the best way to ensure that your story and memories are preserved for a lifetime and beyond. As the lead photographer and owner of Erin Kranz Photography here in Charlotte and having photographed weddings now for 6+ years, here are a few questions that I know brides would find helpful to ask during the initial consultation with myself or other photographers:
1. How would you describe your style?
There are many different styles of photography out there, so it’s important to choose someone who naturally matches your own vision for how you want your day to be captured. We get that you may not be a photographer yourself, so being able to articulate exactly what you’re looking for isn’t nearly as important as being able to recognize it in a photographer’s work. Spend some time looking through their portfolio and recent weddings on their blog and try to imagine your own story told that way. Then when you meet in person, asking this question can help confirm their vision and if it matches yours.
2. What's your favorite part of the wedding day to shoot?
This may seem like a fluff question, but you probably spend more time with your photographer than anyone else not in your wedding party on your big day. Not only does this let you get to know them a little bit better, but it also gives you a deeper glance into that photographer’s specialties and what they care most about.
3. Do you have any suggestions for our ceremony start time?
This is definitely a question I wish we were asked more often. Photography literally means “drawing with light.” An experienced photographer should be able to work with any lighting situation, but there are definitely certain times of day that naturally produce better and prettier light than others. For example, having an outdoor ceremony at noon is not the best idea not only because of the heat, but the sun is also directly above then and will cast some very unattractive shadows on your faces. In contrast, the hour before sunset is lovingly referred to as “golden hour” by photographers because of its soft golden glow and is actually the ideal time for portraits. Your day does not have to revolve around the photography, but if the photos are especially important to you then this is definitely a helpful one to ask.
4. Should we consider doing a first look? If we don’t want to do one, how much time should we plan for photos after the ceremony?
One of the fun things about weddings today is that you really get to do whatever you want and make the day your own. Traditionally the bride and groom would not see each other until the bride walks down the aisle, but more and more couples are opting to do a first look instead. Not only does this help calm wedding day jitters and allow you to actually talk to each other the first time you see each other, but it also gives you a lot more time to capture some great portraits before the ceremony even starts. There are also times that doing a first look is the only way to get any natural-light portraits, such as if you’re doing an evening ceremony during the winter and the sun is setting early. If you’re on the fence, ask your photographer about the potential benefits for you and your fiancé. It’s completely a personal decision, so if you opt to stick with the traditional route make sure to ask about how much time is needed so you can still get the portraits you’re hoping for.
5. What types of lighting are you comfortable with?
While a lot of photographers now proclaim natural light as a specialty, it’s most likely not going to be daylight during your entire wedding. This means that a good knowledge of both on- and off-camera flash is essential to tell your story both well and beautifully. If there aren’t any examples of flash in a photographer’s portfolio, ask if you can see some of their night or reception images also.