Do your research.
Hire a photographer who has a good track record, has an established portfolio and shows real weddings on their website as opposed to creative shoots. It is also very important to ask the photographer to see a wedding in its entirety versus just seeing blog post of a wedding which may only have around 50 images, I also recommend looking to see if your photographer has positive reviews about them. Websites like wedding wire and google reviews are a great resource for this.
The way you act with the photographer in your initial meeting will determine how your wedding day will unfold with that photographer.
I always say the initial meeting is like going out on a first date. We always have the “set” questions we ask each other but then if we are comfortable with each other conversation will just start to unravel. If this happens to you and you get off topic with your wedding and talk about a movie that just came out or shows you have an interest in, that may be the person you want to hire.
How does your photographer dress for the initial consultation
The initial meeting is also like a job interview. Suit and tie may not be necessary but if a photographer shows up in running shoes and workout clothes as opposed to clothing you would wear to a nice restaurant that may help in seeing how the photographer appreciates their business or not.
Ask your photographer about other vendors
9 times out of 10 if you are hiring all your vendors in the city you are getting married in, chances are all the vendors know each other. This is also important because the vendors know how they work together resulting in a greater client experience.
Ask your photographer how they prep for the day
It sounds silly but ensuring your photographer has a good head on his or her shoulders is important. See if they answer by saying something along the lines of I have multiple forms (questionnaires) the bride and groom fill out which include a wedding day timeline, emergency contact numbers, or if they have multiple cameras for backup, an indoor location if it rains. If the photographer you are meeting with sounds like they have planned for every worse case scenario, rest assure it's one less thing to worry about on your wedding day
If the photographer uses a second photographer ask about the second shooter.
Whenever I meet with couples I tell them I can’t guarantee them exactly who the second shooter is but what I can promise is it is also someone who owns their own professional photography business and has a vast amount of knowledge about a wedding day.
Ask about the turnaround time for your photos
I always return final edited client photos within 2 months of their wedding day. If it is over a 6 month turn around I would ask the photographer why such a long process.
Ask about what is fully included the wedding collection
When you are initially emailing a photographer back and forth they most likely will provide you with a wedding collection for your wedding. If you are happy with the cost of the collection the next step is to meet with the photographer. Once you discuss your wedding day and everything ask the photographer to explain the wedding collection to you in full detail so you understand what you are receiving.
Ask them about the payment process and to see a contract before officially hiring them. Making sure you are comfortable with the legal side is also very important. Once you feel that everything makes you happy hire your wedding photographer and start planning the photos with them for your wedding day.