When it comes to planning your wedding, you'll eventually need to meet with a photographer. You not only want someone who is reputable and easy to work with, but also someone who provides high quality images that you and your loved ones can look back on for many years to come. It's not only important to meet with a photographer before you book them to make sure your personalities mesh well (hey, they'll be right by your side from the beginning of your wedding day to the very end, so it's important you guys get along!), but also you need to be asking them the right questions to make sure you know what to expect.
First and Foremost
First and foremost, ask them if your wedding date is available. As the old saying goes, two is better than one, so find out if they'll have an assistant with them the day of the wedding. If so, that's a bonus for you! Typically their assistant will assist with giving family and the wedding party direction, moving furniture, holding props, and so on. They can also cover two spaces at once -- for instance, your photographer might be taking photos of the ceremony, while their assistant might be behind the scenes taking photos of the wedding party lining up.
It's important to find out how long they have been photographing weddings for. Experience is very important, especially if you are paying a couple thousand dollars. It's also a good idea to ask if they've been to your ceremony and/or reception venue before, and if not, do they plan on visiting it before the wedding takes place? The day of the wedding, they need to know the ins and outs of the wedding venue so they can get all sorts of shots.
What's Your Style?
All photographers are different when it comes to having their own photography style. The types of equipment they use might differ, whether they prefer you send them your Pinterest photo inspiration and a shot list or maybe they use their own. Be sure to ask -- you don't want to encounter any surprises the day of your wedding!
Payment & Logistics
Finally, you'll want to figure out what you're getting into by asking what packages they have to offer. Choose one that is best for you as some packages are 6 hours of coverage, 8 hours, 10 hours -- and so on. Ask if an engagement session is included or if this is considered an add on for a couple hundred dollars. Some photographers even offer a photo booth or a photo back drop for that matter (all you need to do is bring the props!). Also, be sure t find out when the deposit and final payment are due and what the amount of the deposit is. Most photographers will require a specific percentage down to hold the date. Some photographers love publishing their work in bridal magazines so be sure to find out if this is something they do. Who knows, you and your husband-to-be may just end up on the front cover of the Minnesota Bride magazine. There's nothing wrong with that, right!? Finally, ask when you can will get your photos back and how those will be provided (CD-rom, USB, etc). Most photographers turn around photos in about 8-10 weeks, although, we have seen it done in just 3 short weeks (over-achiever!)
For a full list of questions which we encourage you to print and bring with to your upcoming photographer meeting(s), check out this great article from BRIDES.