You've got a list of the top wedding photographers based on recommendations and research, but now comes the hard part: entrusting one of them with the everlasting memory of your wedding. Finding the best wedding photographer for you, your family and your wedding will depend not only on your intuition, but also on how thorough you are in interviewing him or her.
You can glean a lot of information from just the first contact with the wedding photographer. This is your opportunity to ask if he or she would even be available on the day of your wedding and if so, when you can meet for a more thorough conversation. After the first contact, ask yourself these questions:
Did you like his or her personality? Did you feel comfortable talking with him/her?
Was he or she responsive and easily contactable by email or phone?
Did he or she answer all your questions clearly and thoroughly, and make you feel welcome to ask more?
Was he or she accommodating to your needs and special requests?
The face-to-face meeting is when you get to know the wedding photographer much better by interviewing him or her. Consider the following questions for your first appointment:
How long have you been in business? How many years of experience do you specifically have in wedding photography? How many weddings have you covered?
Have you covered a wedding at my venue before?
How will we receive the photos to select from? Online gallery and downloadable from the website, a photo CD or proofs?
How can I, my family and my friends order reprints?
How long after the wedding can I see the photos? How much time do I have to select the photos?
Will you be the person I'll be doing business with after the wedding? Will you help me select photos?
How much time will you spend at our wedding? What are your overtime fees?
Will you personally be the wedding photographer at my wedding? Do you have an assistant? What is his or her role? Can I meet him or her?
Will you be more or less invisible at the wedding or will you be making requests of the wedding party and guests?
Do you have any special packages, plans or options? Do you create wedding albums and design Thank You cards?
How can you get the most flattering shot of my face and body?
What is your cancellation policy? What if the wedding date changes?
Do you keep back-up copies of all your wedding photos?
Do you provide any guarantees on your services?
Will you be taking film or digital photos? Why? If digital, what is the resolution at which you'll set your camera? (Photos at 12 megapixels allow for quality enlargements).
What is your photography style? Photojournalistic (more candid shots), traditional (more posed shots), both or another style altogether?
What is your philosophy on wedding photography?
What's the worst wedding situation you've experienced and how did you problem solve your way through it?
Are you formally educated in photography? Do you have any credentials, certifications, awards or recognitions?
How will you be dressed on the wedding day?
Can I see a full wedding album of a wedding you've covered? How about one from the backroom or one that's going to be picked up soon?