What are questions to ask wedding photographers?
This question came to mind during an interview I had with a reporter for the Wall Street Journal when he was researching a story for the WSJ about wedding photography.
“How many weddings have you photographed?”
You’ve heard it said it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to become an expert at anything.
So if an average wedding is, let’s say, 10 hours, that means a photographer doesn’t attain “expert level” until he or she’s photographed 1,000 weddings.
Even if they photograph 50 weddings a year – they’d need to shoot 20 years to become an expert at that rate.
This doesn’t mean a photographer can’t be good without that much experience, but it does emphasize the more weddings someone’s photographed – the more expert they are at it.
It’s just common sense: The more weddings they’ve photographed the more different types of situations and circumstances they’ve come across. The more they’ve become acquainted with different ceremonies. The more different settings, faces, body types, personalities, obstacles, they’ve handled.
The more weddings they’ve photographed, the more they’ve developed their talent, honed their camera skills and added to their knowledge and expertise.
And last but not least, the more weddings they’ve handled, the more they’ve learned about and increased their skills working with people: brides, grooms, their families, guests and the other wedding professionals you’ve hired for your wedding day.
You should seek 10 years’ experience as a bare minimum. More than that is even better, of course. A note of caution here however: some photographers may do many weddings in that time, but others don’t. So get a good understanding of the quality of the experience level potential photographers have, not simply its length of time.
I’ll be posting more questions to ask wedding photographers soon.
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