Everyone asks the same 3 questions; How many hours does your package include, how much are your packages and do you have a 2nd photographer. Although these are valid questions, I wish clients would look a little deeper and ask the following;
How long have you been shooting weddings? A seasoned photographer will know how to handle groups, move quickly and think quickly on their feet. After shooting weddings for over 20 years, I've learned how to re-adjust to schedule changes and stayed focused on what I need to get done.
What do you like about wedding photography? This question could be a great way for you to connect with your photographer. They might love photojournalism, they love creating something that will be valuable to the client for years to come, or it might just be the best way to make money as a photographer. I love the challenge! As a trained commercial photographer, I have my own idea of what to do and I love to get an idea of what the client wants. Pinterest is a great tool to get an idea of the feel that the client is looking for. And I love creating a family heirloom.
Tell me about a difficult situation you were in and how did you handle it? A great question that nobody asks. I've been in situations where the weather wasn't great and we had to re-think where the ceremony would be last minute and had no place to shoot the formals afterwards. As a seasoned photographer, I knew I had to make it work. I pulled the flower arrangements from the reception to dress up the boring lobby we had to shoot in, re-arranged some furniture and did a little Photoshop magic to get rid of some distractions in the background.
What kind of equipment do you use and do you have backup? You want a photographer that uses professional equipment and has backup. Although I have a Nikon D300, I know it won't last forever. So I have backup cameras and flashes. The couple receives high-res images on CDs. You want high res images because you can reproduce them in a large format without loosing detail.
Do you have reviews or references? This is very important. Client testimonials are a great way to get insight into the photographer's personality. Calamuci Photography is on Wedding Wire and Facebook. I've seen the word Passionate a few times!
So take a look at the photographer's website, read reviews, find out how long and why they do wedding photography and if they seem to handle situations well, ask for cost. You might be willing to pay a little more than you budgeted for if you feel a connection or feel you will positively receive the images you are dreaming of.
Best of luck,