Tis the season right now to be talking to brides and grooms about their upcoming weddings. Lots and lots of brides and grooms.
We talk about prices, budgets, timelines, family relationships, posed shots versus candids, products like prints, albums and discs.
I’ve been asked to write a couple of articles for other publications about the questions a bride and groom should ask their prospective photographers. I always advise people to look at the work of several photographers and find three whose work they really like. Then I advise them to talk with those three photographers. There is a reason for this. Consider that the photographer is the person who will be in close proximity to you for the duration of your wedding. The officiant, while important, will only be there for a half hour or so. The florist will deliver her flowers and leave. The baker will deliver the cake and leave. The DJ, as a rule, will hang out behind the DJ table. The photographer is going to be in the thick of it, the whole time. The only way to discover if you will be comfortable with that is to talk with the photographer. In person is great, but on the phone works too, especially if you are planning a destination wedding.
Budget comes third in the consideration. Yes, budgets are important, but when you consider that the photos will be the only lasting product after all is said and done, I’d like to think that you would place more importance on whether you like the style of the photographer than on how much you are going to pay for those images that are supposed to last a lifetime. If you don’t like your photos, whatever money you spent will be wasted. If you love your photos, you won’t even remember what you spent. You will remember the most wonderful day in your life, every time you see those images. I don’t know about you, but when I want professional photography done, I always go to people whose work I like, and who I feel comfortable with. When I try to skimp because of budgetary considerations, I end up with photos I can’t use because they are basically worthless. I don’t want worthless photos for your wedding, I want priceless photos.
But something has occurred to me. If you’ve ever been on a job interview, you know that one of the questions they always ask is, “why do you want to work here?” Or, “why do you want this job?”
It is an important question. And it is an important question to ask your prospective photographer. Why? Why do they want to be your photographer? Is it because they like the money? Or because they like photographing weddings? Or not?
Their answer to this will tell you a lot, and I think, the next time I write an article about how to find the perfect photographer for your wedding, I’m going to put this question at the top of the list.
So go ahead, call me up and ask me, “Why do you want to photograph my wedding?”