Updated: Feb 18
St. Louis has a vast number of wedding photographers to choose from. There is a photographer for every style and budget. Your wedding is a once in a lifetime event, and at the end of the day, all you will take home are your photos (and your husband or wife). Finding a photographer you can trust is essential.
Here are a few questions you should ask before booking your wedding photographer.
1. Do you have insurance?
Most venues require all vendors working on-site to have at least a minimal amount of liability insurance. We have a $2 million liability insurance policy as well as equipment and business insurance policies.
2. Do you have back up equipment?
Should the worst happen and your photographer's gear quits working or breaks on your wedding day, if they do not have back up equipment you will not have photography coverage for the rest of the day. I carry 2 camera bodies, 5 lenses, and 2 full sets of reception lighting into every wedding, and keep a 3rd camera body in my car at all times.
3. Do you have back-up photographers who can cover for you in the event of illness immediately preceding or on the wedding day?
Again in case of an emergency, you need to know that there is a backup plan. I work with a network of photographers who serve as backups for one another in the event of an unforeseen emergency.
4. How many weddings have you photographed as a lead photographer?
Experience is important. Every event on your wedding day will only happen once. There are no do-overs. It has to be right the first time. I photograph at least 30 weddings every year.
5. Can I see a full wedding gallery?
It's easy for a photographer to show you only the best shots from each wedding. If you ask to see a full wedding gallery, you will be able to see if a photographer is capable of capturing professional quality images in less than ideal circumstances such as dim churches, dark reception venues, and moving subjects.
6. Do you shoot with dual cards at all times?
What this means is that there are 2 SD or CF cards in the camera at the same time (professional-grade cameras have 2 slots) and that every image is saved to both cards as they are taken. SD or CF cards can corrupt, break, or be lost and it's important that there is a backup. I have dual cards at all times, as do my second photographers.
This is just the bare minimum requirements for a wedding photographer. Here is a more extensive list published by Brides Magazine.