Whether you book a wedding photographer for your portrait photography experience, we certainly want you to have the best experience that you can. But, that can start even before you book your photographer. However, most times the first question is “What do you charge?” Well, that’s not a wrong query; however, it’s simply the first thing you ask because you don’t know what else to ask to base your decision upon. Thus, if you are looking for the best wedding photographer Chicago, then see the following questions to help you figure out what NOT to ask, & give you some pointers on what to ask instead.
1. Can I have all of the photos you take? Or can we have the raw/unedited files?
Firstly, this question gets asked more often than not. Well, some people freak out about this because they feel like they are missing out on something. A photographer should promise you that they will be holding back any images that you would possibly love. And, the first thing photographers do is quickly go through the images on our card & they don’t even import any images where the photographer can instantly see something wrong with the photo. The photographer likes to capture candid moments during pretty much any session, there will be duplicates as well as photos where someone is turned away, blinking or heaven forbid, picking their nose!
Therefore, a better question to ask is:
How do you decide which images to edit? Well, now that you know what culling is, you can shock the heck out of a photographer & ask them “What is your culling process?”
2. Can you Photoshop?
Secondly, this is a long-standing question that gets asked of photographers more times than not. And, most of the time its mom/bride asking photographers can make them look thinner, or remove a pimple or something of that nature. Say yes, I do use Photoshop as a tool to remove things like a pole or stop sign that was unavoidable in your image, also remove any blemishes that are temporary such as acne, bruises, or scratches, unless a client asks you to keep it. Photographer’s job is to make the images look the best they can without changing the way you look. Well, you’ve all seen the crazy viral photos of celebrities that make them look so unrealistic that there’s no way they could stand in a light breeze.
Thus, a better question to ask would be: Could we move to this other location to avoid cars, signs, etc in our background?
3. What camera/equipment do you use?
You can get many blogs on “Questions to ask your photographer” will tell you to ask this question (especially for weddings)-but don’t do it! Why? As most likely you have no clue what the right answer is. And, no offense, but most people don’t know the difference in equipment. Thus, to be quite honest with you, it isn’t that important. Therefore, good photographers can take amazing photos with a cell phone. We strongly advise against hiring a cell-phone photographer for your wedding, however, if you like the photos that they take, it doesn’t matter what they shoot them with.
So, a better question to ask is: Why do you use the camera that you use? Or what’s your favorite lens to use & why?
4. Can you change your style for our session?
Moreover, believe it or not, after people see my images & tell me they love them, some will still ask the photographer to provide them with images that look nothing like mine. Well, this isn’t a reasonable question for a photographer because photography is a work of art. Also, just like any other form of artwork, every artist has a different style. So, if you want dark and moody images, then photographer more on the light & airy side with my outdoor photography, as well as crisp & clean with a studio or indoor work. Also, one of the best ways to determine who you want to reach out to for photography is to go through their galleries online. Well, if you are a fan of their images, then reach out to them. And, if you like their prices, but are not in love with their images, then keep on scrolling.
Next, a better question to ask: What do you think you offer that makes you stand out from other photographers?
5. Do you charge less if you shorten the length of the session or if I only need a few photos?
Photographers had multiple versions of this question asked. However, the answer will pretty much be the same to anyone who asks it-my prices are what they are because of the time, talent, & expenses that go into every session. However, most regular portrait sessions will last under an hour. Thus, if all things go perfectly & the session only lasts approximately 30 minutes, the photographer refunds a portion of the session fee, just like if the sessions go 90 minutes, the photographer wouldn’t charge an additional fee. They include a certain number of images with all of my portrait sessions, & everyone is welcome to purchase more images at their reveal, however even if you tell me that you will only need the 10, the photographer still going to edit all of the beautiful images that cut so that you can make the right choice for yourself.
Therefore, a better question to ask is: What goes into your sessions & why are you priced the way you are?
Also, some of us offer payment plans so if you love someone’s images but their prices seem a bit out of your budget; ask if they offer payment plans. I’ve even offered a pre-payment plan where they made bi-monthly payments leading up to their session so it didn’t make such a big hit to their pocketbook on the session date.