When you hire a wedding photographer there are the general questions you will ask in terms of equipment, a second shooter, insurance, and experience. There are a few others question you want to make sure you ask so when you make your final decision you will know exactly what to expect.
How would you describe your style?
What You Want to Know: Every photographer has their own unique style. Some photographers will take stunning traditional photos but may struggle with the creative personal portraits you want and vice versa. Knowing what style your photographer specializes in will immediately let you know if they are the one you should be considering.
Have you photographed a wedding that is similar to ours?
What You Want to Know: If you are planning a big wedding with over 200 guests, you may not want to go with a photographer that has only shot small and intimate weddings. This is also important for the location as well. Does your photographer have experience shooting in low lighting? Large venues? Small private gardens?
How many weddings do you typically shoot in a year?
What You Want to Know: Some photographers may only shoot a small number of weddings per year. This may be because they work more closely and spend more time with each of their couples. Other photographers may only do photography as a side job. Consider asking how long they have been shooting weddings and what other types of photography they do.
What does your typical wedding day schedule look like?
What You Want to Know: This will give you an idea of how early you can expect your photographer to show up and begin shooting on the day of and how late they usually stay. This will also let you know what you can expect on your wedding day in terms of what types of photos they tend to capture throughout the day.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced when shooting a wedding and how have you handled them?
What You Want to Know: This answer to this question can be very telling. If the photographer says they have never had any challenges you might not want to go with them. There is always some kind of setback on the wedding day from the weather not cooperating, traffic throwing off the timeline, wardrobe malfunctions, to equipment malfunctions. You want to trust that your photographer can handle the stress and be honest with you to ensure that they can assist in helping everything run smoothly.
Do you work off a shot list?
What You Want to Know: Each photographer is different. Some photographers will not work off a shot list, some will. There are benefits of not being tied to a long list of specific shots while the day is unfolding. However, shot lists for family groups can be very helpful in ensuring that no important groupings are missed, as well as expediting the family formal portraits by having a clear plan.
Can you describe what your process is like after the wedding?
What You Want to Know: Not only will this tell you just how long you can expect to wait for your edited images, but this will also give you a clear idea of what techniques your photographer uses. How many images can you expect? How many of these images do they retouch? Can you view the complete set of images? How can you get prints made? You want to be sure you know what to expect.