Hiring a wedding photographer is tricky business! Are your personalities going to mesh? Will they help you feel comfortable in front of the camera? Are they going to deliver on their end of the deal? OH the anxiety!!!
Let me help you out a bit. Here are three things you should definitely be asking photographers and the answers you should be receiving.
1. What equipment do you use?
A wedding photographer must be prepared to tackle a number of challenges. During weddings, the old adage applies - anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. For that reason, ensure your photographer has a variety of lenses, camera bodies, and flashes. If you're photographer says they only shoot with one camera and one lens and are not willing to rent back ups... beware - this person does not have your best interests at heart.
For example, I always carry 5 different lenses with me at all times and I have two camera bodies. I dual wield my camera bodies on a harness with two different lenses on that I think are most appropriate for the situation. The rest of the lenses are always nearby in case of emergency. One of my camera bodies even writes images to two separate cards as back up because, unfortunately, technology sometimes fails.
2. How do you handle low light?
A photographer must have a working understanding of how to use flash. If the photographer says that they are a natural light photographer and do not use flash (ever), then I feel that is a cop out. Yes, there are some instances where flash is not appropriate or allowed (churches for example), but during the reception, flash should be used to avoid excessive grain in dancing photos.
Flash has a certain look and feel, and personally, I prefer to shoot in natural light 100% of the time. It's just my style! That does not mean that I won't be able to continue shooting when the sun goes down and still produce clean or fun images in low light.
3. How do you safeguard the images?
This, friends, is what differentiates a bad wedding photographer from a good one. A professional understands that the wedding images are of utmost importance and should be backed up and handled with care. These are treasured memories! Memories you paid big bucks to have documented. Make sure your photographer has a system in place to keep your images safe.
I have FIVE different back up methods. A little excessive and paranoid? Maybe. I would rather be overly safe than super sorry with your memories. As mentioned above, my camera bodies record images to two separate cards at the same time. That way, if one of the cards fails, the other still has all of the images! When I am done at a wedding, I immediately back up all the images to an external hard drive, sometimes right outside of the venue. I then upload all of the images to my editing software where they are stored on my computer and in the cloud. I keep all of the images on the cards until I've uploaded the Hi-Res JPEGS to the online gallery.
I hope this helped a bit, friends!