1. Digital Downloads and Hidden Fees.
Some photographers we will not allow you to download all of your photos and in essence be in control of all of them. A lot of photography packages will not include prints, and you will be forced into paying more money to get them. Another common tactic is to force you to purchase a certain amount of prints to then get the digital files. Albums are also a common add-on that will be marked up a lot. Make sure that what you are signing in the contract is what you want. Packages tend to be the best deals, but again, make sure you know exactly what you're getting.
2. Do you get the sense they truly care?
The best photos come from photographers that truly care about their clients and take the time to get to know them. When you're comfortable with your photographer, you're more likely to show your love for your significant other and those moments make for real moments and awesome photos. Take the time to go out to grab coffee or a drink with a potential photographer. Ensure your personalities match up and you're comfortable. Make sure that your photographer isn't considering you as just income.
3. Second Photographer?
If a second photographer is important to you, ask that the second photographer has worked with your lead photographer and they have a similar or complementary style. Working with a second for the first time can come with it's own set of issues and you don't want that happening on your day.
4. Is there a minimum budget?
Although we all have our budgets, spending less than $1,000 on wedding photography in Colorado is in general very, very cheap and likely the result will also show. Could you luck out? Possibly, but most seasoned photographers start out at $1500 for 4 hours. Plus, if you really want to work with someone it doesn't hurt to ask about a deal- they might have your day open and be willing to do so at a rate closer to your budget. $1500 or more might sound like a lot, but photographers that can charge that tend to have a lot of invaluable experience to ensure not only that the photos are amazing, but that you look your best, and your day goes smoothly. Remember that photography is a big part of your memories and it is the only thing you're paying for that you will have to look back on beyond your wedding day. Food, drink, the flowers, the venue will be paid for and you'll never see them again beyond that day.
5. Consistent Style?
Ensure that the photographer's style is consistent, and that shows in all photos. You may even want to ask to see an entire wedding gallery or galleries. This shows their work is consistently good across the board.
6. Facilitating a comfortable environment and posing.
Many people are not entirely comfortable in front of the lens, and thus it helps to have a photographer willing to help facilitate posing to make you look your best. Ask photographers what they do to make you at ease and assist you in posing. Some will have posing classes under their belt and past experience that will make the session a positive one for you.
7. How long will editing take?
Some photographers will not commit to how long editing will take and therefore you might get your photos back much later than you hope. Ask for a commitment and time frame as to when you will receive your edited photos after your wedding.
8. Reviews and Feedback.
Reviews, reviews, reviews! What past couples say about a photographer is oftentimes an indicator of how they will perform for you. Make sure to read through a few reviews of highly rated photographers before speaking with them.
9. Engagement Photos!
Oftentimes, engagement sessions are overlooked. The fact is an engagement session is the best way to see if you're in sync with your wedding photographer. You can see how they work with you, how the photos turn out, and how quickly and efficiently the process works. Spending time with your photographer during an engagement session helps you feel at ease on your wedding day, and you can't beat that!
10. Safeguards for your photos.
Ask about safeguards for your photos. Experienced photographers will have many backups like an extra camera or cameras, extra lighting gear, etc. in case of equipment failure. They'll also ensure your photos are backed up as soon as they are loaded onto their computer. These little things make a difference in case of a mishap.
11. Are they willing to work with other vendors on your day?
Making a little effort to work with other people involved in your day goes a long way to making your day a positive one. Photographers willing to go the extra mile will add to the positivity during a wedding day.