The Other [most important] Question to Ask Your Wedding Photographers
photos in this post by Shari and Mike Photographers
joyfully shooting diverse weddings
Before you hire a wedding photographer you need to ask them a crazy long list of questions that include major gems like, "do you take shot lists?" "What kind of colour correction do you use?" "Is it an extra cost to have you photoshop out the Emergency Exit sign?" "Is it actually you or do you send an assistant" "What's your favourite part of a wedding?"
If you need more guidance here's some of the lists I read before meeting with our photographers- here's one from The Knot here's the one from my girl Martha Stewart here's from A Practical Guide here's Real Simple.
All very helpful, real + practical lists full of great questions to ask. The lists are fairly interchangeable. And in all honesty a professional photographer will basically have one of these lists too and will go through it with you when you get there, telling you all about their packages + turnaround times + show you a few complete wedding albums + then you just spend the rest of the time talking about beer [or wine or soda or whatever it is you're into drinking] + how you met + then you see how often they laugh at your jokes + vice versa. You need all that information. Yes, yes you do.
But something I didn't read anywhere and didn't think about asking until it was too late (but thankfully it worked out beautifully) is the most important question you can ask your photographers:
how will you treat the diverse group of people I love?
and second to that
how do you feel about shooting a super hippy weirdo ceremony?
Kyle + I are basically the definition of what a white, blue-eyed, tall, middle-class, able-bodied heterosexual couple is "supposed" to look like. When people meet us they often make a lot of assumptions about who we are + how we exist in the world, and usually those are "nice" things. We face the world as two very privileged people, and when we walk into a room we really aren't at risk of people throwing hate-speech at us, and of our photographers getting up and walking away, or refusing us service, or being just not as excited as maybe they should be. Because that's how we exist in the world, it means that even though we pride ourselves on being wonderful allies to our friends + family who are not as wildly privileged as we are, we sometimes forget about them + some of the prejudices they face every day + default into not being good allies.
We are so sorry dear friends.
We don't mean to forget about you!
So for those of you beautiful souled yet wildly, [or even somewhat privileged] heterosexual betrothed out there, here's my important advice on how to be a better ally than I was.
Check your privilege and remember all the ways it's important to you to include your loved ones.
The most important question to ask your photographers:
Our guests include LGBTQ+ folks, and our guests have diverse cultures, abilities, and races. Do you have experience shooting diverse weddings?
and if not, how do you feel about // how will you be including these folks in your photographs?
Another generally doesn't make the list question (and is nowhere near as important)
"I want to get married in a circle + walk down the sidewalk with welders in the background, are you going to be cool shooting that? Does it freak you out or excite you?"
That one is mostly just for those having a weirdo hippy wedding like me. But to generalize it's
"how do you feel about shooting [insert culture, religious, or whatever] type of ceremonies?"
weddings are all about a community coming together to celebrate love so
don't forget to love + celebrate
your entire community
all the way down to getting full-babe photos of them all