Years after your wedding, you’ll be able to look at your wedding photos and remember your special day fondly. For stellar photos, choosing the right photographer is key. Before you finalize your photographer, make sure to conduct interviews and ask questions. You’ll spend a lot of time with your photographer on your wedding day, so you want to get along well and understand the entire photo process.
Not sure what to ask? From prices to photography styles, there’s a lot of bases to cover. Here are a set of questions to ask your wedding photographer before booking.
Important Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer
Are you available on my wedding date?
This pretty much goes without saying, but you need your photographer to actually be there at your wedding! If you love someone’s photos, don’t get ahead of yourself. Make sure the photographer is available on the day of your wedding.
Will you be the photographer for the wedding?
Ideally, you want to meet with your photographer before your wedding to ask these questions and strategize for photoshoots.
If you’re booking through a company instead of an independent photographer, ask if you can speak to the photographer who will be shooting at your wedding. It’s important to feel comfortable so that your photos look relaxed and natural.
Have you photographed weddings before?
To get high-quality photos of your wedding, find a photographer with the right experience. Aside from asking if the photographer has taken pictures at weddings before, ask about experience with wedding size, indoor versus outdoor weddings, and more.
Be sure to ask how many weddings they’ve shot – if you’re only their second or third, you may want to consider other wedding photographers with more experience.
Have you worked at this venue before?
Many photographers in the wedding circuit are already familiar with local wedding venues, so they may have insight to the best lighting, secret photo spots, and more.
This goes along with the photographer’s experience. Although it isn’t necessary that they’ve shot at the venue before, familiarity with the space is a bonus. If they haven’t worked at this venue previously, the photographer might be willing to visit and get a sense of the location.
Have you worked with our wedding vendors before?
Many photographers who work a lot of weddings may get to know other wedding vendors like florists, caterers, wedding planners, and so on.
While it’s not essential, it’s nice to know that your wedding vendors will get along or see a friendly face at the event. If you’re comfortable with your photographer, you may even ask if they can recommend vendors that you have not booked yet.
Will you be shooting any other weddings on the same day?
You’ll prefer to have your photographer’s full attention on your big day. If your photographer is working at another wedding before or after yours, they run the risk of arriving late or needing to leave sooner than you’d like. Though this is unlikely to be a major issue, it’s best to check.
Do you shoot destination weddings?
If you’re planning a destination wedding, it might make sense to book a photographer in that location so that you don’t have to pay for travel fees.
If you loved your photographer from your engagement photos and you want them for your wedding photography as well, however, you can ask if they are willing to travel for destination weddings.
Will we have the rights to our photos?
Ask if you’ll have the rights to your images, or if the photographer retains them. This is important to know if you care about your professional photographer using your photos to share on social media or on their website.
Questions about Wedding Photography Style
How would you describe your wedding photography style?
There are numerous wedding photography styles that you might be interested in for your photos. Whether you prefer photojournalistic photography, fine art, or want to utilize the gorgeous natural light outside, book a photographer that excels at your personal style.
Will you be shooting in digital or film? Can you shoot in both?
Some photographers shoot exclusively in digital while others prefer film. Keep in mind that film photography is more expensive, but the photos often look better. See if your photographer can take a mixture of photos in digital and film.
Do you have an album with samples of your work?
To get the most accurate sense of a photographer’s work, look at their samples. Don’t just look at any samples; ask specifically about their wedding albums. Browse pictures of a full wedding so you can see how the photographer shoots all aspects of the big day.
Can you shoot in black and white?
If you prefer black and white photos, check with your photographer to see if this is an option for your wedding photography.
What kind of camera equipment will you be using?
In addition to what kind of high resolution camera equipment you photographer will bring, confirm their plans for bringing extra or backup equipment. Also, ask if your photographer intends on bringing lighting equipment. If not, you might need to work with your venue to secure it.
Questions For the Wedding Day
What specific shots will you take?
Do you want to have family photos and pictures of the bridal party taken first? Is there a particular angle you want for your first kiss? By going over what photos you want for your wedding day, you and your photographer will have a better idea of what to expect.
Some photographers may be more flexible than others. Book a photographer who can work with you to achieve your wedding vision.
Can we request specific shots that we would like?
Perhaps you want very specific first look photos, or you have other unique photo ideas for your wedding. Ask wedding photographers if they are willing to accommodate specific shots that you have in mind.
Most wedding photographers will be happy to accommodate specific shots that you’re looking for, but be sure to check so that you aren’t disappointed.
Can you take first look photos?
For the bride and groom, the first look is a special and emotional part of their big day. Seeing each other for the first time is a moment a photographer can capture forever.
What time will you arrive?
When it comes to planning your wedding date, you need to get all the details just right. Since everyone will need to be dressed and hair and makeup should be completed before photos, confirm the arrival time for pictures.
What will you wear to the wedding?
You want your photographer to blend in at your wedding, so go over any details involving the dress code. However, keep in mind that your photographer will be moving around constantly, so don’t expect them to wear a tuxedo or ball gown. Your photographer will look professional while taking lovely photos.
What’s the backup plan if you can’t make it to the wedding?
Plan ahead for any unexpected scenarios. If your photographer can’t make it to your wedding, have a backup plan in place. Ask your photographer who will replace them if they aren’t able to show up.
Questions about Prices
How much is your standard package? What exactly is included in it?
When budgeting your wedding, it’s important to know exactly how much you’ll be spending on vendors like your photographer. Some wedding packages might come with extras, like engagement photos or edited photos. Other packages can be more basic, just covering the cost of taking pictures at the wedding.
Before purchasing a package, look at all your options.
Can I customize a package?
If none of the photographer’s wedding packages fits your needs, ask if it’s possible to customize your own package. You might not be able to build your own package from scratch, but a photographer might be willing to work with you and make a few tweaks to an existing package.
How many hours does your package include?
How long do you anticipate your ceremony and reception will take? If you think both will run long, make sure your photography package covers that time.
Can you take engagement photos?
Depending on your photo package, a photographer may take engagement photos in addition to the wedding day itself. By having the same photographer take your engagement and wedding photos, you can build a relationship early on in the planning process.
Feel free to ask about other pre-wedding events like the rehearsal dinner as well. If you want professional photos from your rehearsal dinner, ask if this can be included in your package.
Do you charge for travel?
Some photographers have a radius for traveling and charge an extra fee for traveling outside that range. To avoid any hidden fees, ask your photographer about travel charges.
What are your overtime fees?
Your package or contract has a certain number of hours the photographer will be working, so ask about overtime fees in case you and your guests are having too much fun dancing the night away!
When is the deposit due? Do you have payment plans?
When you’re hiring multiple vendors and booking a venue, you’ll have several deposits. Stay on top of them to ensure everything is paid on time. The fee for a photographer is less than larger payments, like venues, so you can pay it all at once or ask about payment plans.
Are you covered by liability insurance?
With so much going on during a wedding, there’s always a chance of a slip-up. If your photographer has liability insurance, it’s one less thing for you to worry about if a camera falls.
What happens if I need to cancel? Is there a refund?
Although it’s not likely, cancellations happen. If you need to change the booking for your photographer, ask if you can receive a full or partial refund.
When do I get the contract?
Regardless if you book through a company or hire an independent photographer, you should receive a written contract. A contract outlines expectations for both you and the photographer, and you can refer to it if any issues arise.
Questions about Collaboration
Do you work with any assistants or a second photographer?
A photographer might bring an assistant, and having a second shooter allows you to get different angles of the same moment. In general, another photographer helps you capture more of your wedding.
However, this service will also come with a higher price tag, so you should discuss details like this when booking a photographer. Ask for the price of second shooters before you agree to having more than one photographer.
How do you work with videographers?
A photographer and videographer will both be floating around to ensure you have the perfect pictures and videos to remember your wedding day. Both need to know how to work around and with each other. If you haven’t found a videographer yet, ask your photographer for a recommendation or vice versa.
Editing and Final Photo Questions
Does my package include color corrections, retouching, and other edits?
Having a professional edit your wedding photos will make them even more polished. You’re going to want the best photos possible to frame and hang up, so inquire about editing. Some packages might already include edits and corrections.
Be prepared for your photographer to charge more for edits, as they do take more time and work.
Does my package include prints or an album?
Some packages only come with a limited number of photos. For extra prints or a photo album, discuss options with your photographer. As always, be aware that extra services involve higher fees.
Can I find my photos online?
Your photographer might post your wedding photos online and give you access to download them. Ask if there’s a website for you to check for uploads. If your photos are online, it might seem like they’ll be there forever, but your photographer may take them down after some time.
Confirm how long you’ll have access to the photos and what your rights to the photos are in terms of downloads and sharing.
When will you send the pictures?
No one wants to wait long after the wedding for their photos. Editing takes time, however. Discuss how long it will take for your photographer to edit and send your wedding photos so you don’t need to wonder and wait. Instead, take some time to relax and enjoy your honeymoon!
Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer and More
Now that you’re prepared to question and book a wedding photographer, you can move to the next step in planning your wedding! Yeah Weddings is your go-to source for all things weddings: figure out your wedding budget, how to pick vendors, and much more to prepare for your big day!
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