Guest post by Meghan Elizabeth Photography
There are a ton of blogs out there written by all sorts of vendors in the wedding industry about questions to ask your photographer before you hire them. While all of those questions are very important to ask your photographer, there is one question that you must ask!
What is the most important question to ask before booking your wedding photographer?
It's this: Can I see at least one full wedding gallery?
So why is this the question you should and could be asking your photographer? There are a few different reasons.
1. In the sometimes terrible world we live in, there have sadly been cases of fraud in which some people build elaborate websites using other photographer’s images. They create this professional front and get you to book them, put down a deposit and then you never hear from them again.
By asking to see a full wedding gallery, you are increasing your chances that the person you are meeting and looking to hire is truly a photographer. (It’s even better if they can show you multiple galleries!)
2. You’re ensuring that all those incredible images on their website aren’t just from styled shoots and, instead, that they’ve shot a wedding before and have some experience in the flow and pace of a wedding day.
A full gallery will show you exactly what the photographer is capable of! Most (if not all) photographers only show examples of their best work on the front pages of their website. While they're only showcasing the best 15-20 images on their homepage and the best 30-50 images in a blog posts, your wedding photographer will deliver anywhere from 200-1000 in a full wedding gallery.
So by seeing a full wedding gallery, you’re seeing the second tier images, the night shots, the reception shots, the family formals, et cetera. You’re seeing the ability of the photographer in all different lighting situations. Is the photographer capable of capturing your whole day and not just the details or the portraits?
3. You’re seeing exactly what the photographer feels is important to capture during a wedding day. Do they grab pictures of your parents crying during the ceremony as they watch you share your vows? Do they take multiple pictures during the family formals? Do they grab pictures of the groom’s details as well as the brides details? How do the document the reception details? How many reception images do they capture? Are there images of your guests or just the bride and groom? You can see if what you’re dreaming of your wedding gallery looking like can actually be a reality with this photographer. Then, discuss those dreams with them!
4. You get a feel for the style of the photographer. Ask yourself: is it consistent, or does each area of the wedding look different, as if it was shot by a different photographer? Take note of their style – are they a more documentary style, lifestyle, or a posed style of photographer? Ultimately, you're trying to get an answer to this question: Do you enjoy the story their gallery is telling you?
5. You’ll see exactly how your gallery will be delivered to you. Is it through a link online? Are you able to download or share to Facebook from that link? Are you getting a USB Drive? Is the gallery itself divided up into sections of the day to make viewing easier or is it all just thrown together?
Hiring a vendor for your wedding can be such a feat. There is a tremendous amount of trust involved in hiring a professional for your wedding – you are trusting that they will show up, that they will give it their best, and that they will provide the best, most professional, and beautiful services to make your wedding the day you’ve been dreaming about! So, make sure that you’re asking the right questions to help build that trust. If you walk away from the conversation with a weird feeling in your gut, trust that!
In business since 2013, Meghan is the owner and lead photographer of Meghan Elizabeth Photography. A photography team serving Maryland, Pennsylvania, and beyond who documents weddings and portraits for the joyful, timeless, and elegant.