Brides and grooms to be, this one's for you.
It's that time of year when a ton of couples get engaged and in turn I receive a ton of emails from couples asking me generic questions they've found on a wedding blog somewhere like "What is your photography style?" or "Do you shoot in manual?". There's nothing wrong with asking questions like this, although there are more important questions to ask.
I've put together a little list of questions that actually matter for you to ask when chatting to your photographer.
Why are you a photographer?
"Brides are smoking hot and I get paid to take their pictures" isn't the answer you want to hear. The truth is that there are photographers out there who are in it purely for the dolla-dolla bills and that's okay...to an extent. It is a business just like any other after all, except there is a certain passion for the craft that needs to be there as well. If your photographer doesn't love what he/she does, it's going to reflect in your wedding photos, one of the few tangible things you'll have to remember the most important day of your life.
What happens if it rains?
If it's just a slight drizzle, we'll shoot through that fo-shizzle. (I deserve a slap for talking like this if we ever meet in person). Although, if it does pour cats and dogs there should always be a backup plan. This is a question you should ask your venue about as well. If there's a chance of rain, which it seems that lately here in South Africa we have no idea when it will rain, and your wedding is going to be outside, there should always be an alternate space set up indoors where the wedding can take place.
Do you have backup camera gear?
I can't stress enough how important this one is. Sometimes stuff just goes wrong, gear breaks, photographers fall into ponds, aunt Gertrude brings her newly adopted stray dog to the wedding and Mr.Ruffles attacks the photographer and breaks his camera. In the occasion of any of these unfortunate events, your photographer should always have a backup kit (and a tetanus shot) in their bag to continue shooting for the rest of the day.
How do I know we'll get along?
If your photographer has the personality of a brick, you may encounter a few problems. Your photographer (besides your partner) will be the person you spend most of your wedding day with so it's essential that you get along with him/her. They'll be there to capture every moment of your special day. I personally like to get to know the couples I'll be working with before I shoot their wedding. Being friends with your photographer makes everything flow just that much smoother on the day.
Who will be photographing my wedding?
This may seem like a silly question although some photography studios have a few photographers working for them. What this means is that you may have someone other than your photographer taking photos at your wedding. In the case of "Sheldon Evans Photography", it will be me, Sheldon, who will be your photographer. I never work with second shooter as I'm the one who's style you enjoy, so I'll be the one producing the images. I will however, always work with an assistant who'll be there to help me carry gear, direct people and strategically hydrate me with water so that I don't pass out after being on my feet for 12 hours straight.
Bonus question - What would you like for dinner?
Wait what? Yes, this question is too of importance. keeping your photographer alive is essential to having your photos delivered. Photographers and their assistants often work VERY long hours and require sustenance. The great food at weddings is another reason I'm in this business.