Yay, you've found a photographer (or two) that you like! Now it is time to get down to the nitty gritty and ask them the questions that will split them apart from the rest, and make sure that you are hiring the right one for you.
So what are the questions you should be asking?
1. Can I see photos from a whole wedding that you have shot?
This is important because you have to make sure you like the photographer's style, and you want to make sure that they know how to photograph a wedding and won't miss any of the important moments. You don't want to hire someone based on a few sample shots you have seen on a website as these will likely be the photographer's best work and you want to get a rounded idea of their work.
2. What do you charge?
Yes, this is an obvious question, but you need to make sure you can afford your photographer after all the other expenses of the wedding!
3. What do I get for my money?
Different photographers offer different packages. You need to know what you are paying for, from the hours they will be with you, to the final product. Make sure they have everything you want covered. Having a photographer there from the bridal (and groom) prep through to the dancing will undoubtedly be the most expensive option, but makes sure that every moment of your day is captured - it is so worth it when the day flies by so fast! Also, make sure you know how the photos will be delivered too you, a download link, a USB, a CD, a DVD, in an album, or as printed or framed photos, the options are endless so make sure you know what you are getting and if you'll be able to reproduce/print them yourself.
4. Do you have an assistant?
A second photographer is a brilliant way to make sure the whole day is captured, while the first photographer is with the bride and groom, the assistant can be capturing images of the guests and other behind the scenes shots that you miss as the bride and groom. It's also a great way to make sure the bride and grooms faces are captured during the ceremony, while you also have some great shots from the back.
Photographs above by Photography by Krishanthi http://www.photographybykrishanthi.co.uk/
5. Do I get all the photos?
Often photographers will edit the shots and only give you a final number - they do this to make sure the images that you get are high quality and it protects their reputation. If you want all the images from the day, this is something you may have to negotiate in advance. Different photographers work in different ways, and it is worth remembering they usually own the copyright to their photos so you can't reproduce them without their permission, and it is best to credit them if you have had permission to share.
6. What experience do they have?
How many years have they been photographing weddings, and how many weddings have they shot? Experience is really important, not only for making sure all the right moments are captured but also to make sure they know how to shoot weddings - with the right lighting, focus etc. The more experienced photographers will be more organised and prepared for any situation. It's also worth asking if they have shot at your venue before; if they have they will know the best spots for good shots, and if they haven't you can suggest they check it out in advance.
7. What happens if they are unable to make it for some reason?
You want to know there is a back up plan should your photographer be unwell or unable to make it for some reason.
8. Ask to see their insurance?
You want to make sure they have public liability and professional indemnity insurance incase anything should happen.
Once you have the answers to all of the above and are happy with the answers there are two final questions which are, perhaps, the most important ones. Do you get on with them? A photographer should make you feel comfortable and relaxed, fitting in with you and your family and friends so that you are happy on the day. Also, have a think about their personality, are they going to be able to order you/your guests around to get the shots that you want without rubbing anyone up the wrong way? They need to be assertive but not aggressive!
If you are happy with all of the above, it's time to book them in! Hooray, you've found your wedding photographer, another thing ticked off the list!