Trust is essential to any relationship, including the relationships you have with your wedding vendors. After all, you ultimately have to trust these people to take a vision and make it real. That’s no small thing.
As a wedding photography team, we spend a lot of time with the couples who book us. Not only on the day of their event but during all the hours before the main celebration. Between scheduled meetings, the engagement session, and regular check-ins, we spend quite a few days getting to know each other.
While all the time spent together builds trust, how did these couples know they could put their faith in me before signing the contract?
Well, we talked, they asked questions, and my answers assured them they had met their photographer.
So, in this post, I’m sharing the questions we recommend asking potential photographers to see if they’re someone you can trust. Of course, you can’t 100% know if a vendor will meet your expectations, but you can get a good idea by following your gut and asking these questions.
Why is it important to trust your photographer?
Before we jump into the questions you should ask a potential wedding photographer, let me ask (and answer) this one for you.
One of the reasons it’s important to trust the person behind the camera is because they’re preserving your wedding day memories.
Can they capture the real emotion and moments from your day in a way that suits your style? Are their technical skills and experience up to par?
What happens if something doesn’t go according to plan? Can the photographer adjust due to the circumstances and still deliver photos you love? If you trust them, you won’t spend nights needlessly worrying about these things.
Another important reason to trust your photographer is that trust leads to comfort.
I hear couples say they want authentic and candid photos, and it would be great if I could tell them just to act natural when there’s a camera pointed at them. But there’s more to it than that. There’s that trust element. In general, people feel more comfortable and able to be themselves when they trust the person taking the photo.
Ultimately, almost anyone can take a decent picture, but not everyone can make the person on the other side feel comfortable. And the thing is, it won’t matter how pretty the scenery is or how much editing goes into the photo. If you look nervous, worried, or uncomfortable, that will come through in the image.
Now that you know why it’s essential to trust your wedding photographer, let’s get to the questions.
Essential Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer
Bridal blogs and wedding websites usually have lists of typical questions to ask photographers. These can be helpful, but in my opinion, they’re not always that important.
- Have you worked at our venue before?
- How many years of experience do you have?
- What style do you use?
Yes, having experience is great, and you might need to know if they’ve worked at your venue, but you can find many of these answers on your own. Browsing their galleries will give you a good idea of their style. And checking out their social media posts and Google reviews will reveal useful information.
It’s not that these general questions should be shunned, but as a wedding photographer who believes in the power of trust, I recommend focusing on the answers to these questions instead.
1. How do you offer comfort around [insert your insecurity]?
Let your photographer know if you feel awkward stepping in front of the lens. Ask what they do to guide or comfort couples who feel the same.
Our approach starts before we ever photograph you. We will show you full galleries so you can get an idea of how we direct engagement sessions. And we are available to answer your questions and address your concerns through email or phone.
When it’s finally time for photographs, we won’t leave you hanging. Instead, you can count on us* to break the ice with jokes and sprinkle in some encouragement and guidance.
2. What happens if the weather turns?
We think the answer to this question is more telling than asking, “Have you worked at our venue before?” The way I see it, it’s sometimes a good thing if a photographer hasn’t worked at the venue!
Speaking from experience, walking into a new space fires up the creative juices. It’s refreshing. And even if I have photographed at a venue before, I look at it from a different perspective, so the wedding photos tell the couple’s story – not everyone else’s.
On the other hand, it will be a problem if your photographer doesn’t know how to work with the elements. Can they improvise during a downpour? Can they transform a space and make it look appealing? What if the party has to move inside, and the lighting is less than ideal?
Although these may present as challenges, we see them as opportunities for creativity. Whatever the weather brings, we will make sure your day is captured in true-to-life, beautiful detail.
3. What are your values?
Are there things important to you as a couple that you would like your vendors to be in alignment with?
Maybe you want to work with LGBTQ-friendly photographers or those who support racial justice and women’s rights. A photographer’s position on certain issues makes a difference when those issues are important to you because you’ll spend a lot of time with them. If your values don’t mesh, you’ll be less likely to trust the person, and there may be some awkward and uncomfortable moments for everyone.
At MZP, we celebrate all love stories and value human rights. We support black lives, women’s rights, racial justice, and the LGBTQ+ community.
4. What happens if the photographer gets sick or there’s an emergency?
Like the weather, sometimes life takes a turn, and people have to pivot. In this case, who will take their place if your lead photographer can’t make it to your wedding? And do you trust this person to take the photos you’re expecting?
If there is no other person or you don’t know if they’ve been trained in the same style as the lead photographer, how can you trust them with your memories? That’s why this question is important.
MZP has a team of photographers ready to support you should something happen. And they’re each trained to match the bold, bright style you see in our photos. You can read all about our team here.
Trust Takes Time
Of course, building trust takes time, and the more time you spend getting to know your photographer, the more comfortable you’ll feel. That’s the goal, anyway!
But asking these questions is a great place to start. Talking with your potential photographer on a discovery call should give you an idea of their personality. And their answers to these questions should further solidify whether they’re someone you can trust with your wedding day memories.I’d be happy to hop on a call to answer more of your questions and hear about your wedding. Let’s talk!