You’re planning on having the most memorable day of your life and naturally worried about finding the right photographer for the job. Deciding on a photographer can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure which style of photography fits your budget.
Choosing the right photographer is an IMPORTANT decision because you will look back on your wedding images and recall your special day fondly for years to come. Choosing the correct photographer is crucial for brilliant images. My best advice – interview and ask questions before deciding on a photographer!
I also recommend you do this process because on your wedding day, you’ll be spending a lot of time with your photographer, so make sure you get along well and understand the entire photo process. As an experienced wedding photographer, I want you to know that this is also very important to us. I’ll be working with you throughout the entire day, so I just want to make sure we both meet each other’s expectations. Take a look at these 9 questions to ask your wedding photographer.
Questions to ask your photographer
#1 Have you worked at our venue before?
Many wedding photographers are already familiar with local wedding venues, so they may know where to find the best lighting, hidden photo spots, and more. This is consistent with the photographer’s background. Although it is not required that they have previously shot at the location, familiarity with space is a plus. If they haven’t worked at this location before, the photographer may be willing to go and get a feel for it, or even ask them to show up a little early on the wedding day to scout out the good spots.
#2 What exactly is included in your packages?
Check whether prints, albums, and proofs, as well as other coverage such as bridals or engagement shoots, are covered when comparing prices. They can all have a big impact on the prices. It’s not always a terrible thing if your album isn’t included, you can always buy it separately later or do it yourself. Compare packages, but ultimately finding the best photographer is about more than just who provides the most prints.
#3 How many hours of coverage do we get?
Packages can vary from a few hours to whole-day coverage. If the photographer charges a high hourly cost for overtime, you might have them leave after you cut the cake rather than after the last dance. Alternatively, you can pay a bit more upfront for a longer package, but you don’t want to miss out on all of the special moments.
#4 Can I see a couple full wedding galleries?
Ask about their full wedding galleries, not just website/Instagram examples. Look through photos from a full wedding to see how the photographer captures every detail of the big day. Make sure you like everything you see, not just their hand-selected images on their website/socials where you see the best of the best.
#5 Do you use flash?
While you are looking at their galleries don’t forget to spot the night/dark images, especially during reception time, where there is usually a dark environment. Sunset photos are beautiful and we all love them, but how do they handle the not-so-ideal lighting times?
#6 What is your turnaround time?
Like every other bride and groom. you’ll want to see images as soon as possible, and the wait can be overwhelming (it can take months!). You can control your expectations if you know ahead of time. To be honest, some photographers take 6+ months to get images back to you. If this is something that is crucial to you, you need to know their turnaround time, even during a busy wedding season.
#7 Do you shoot on manual?
Book a photographer that knows their equipment and camera very well. It’s simple to click a button on automatic mode, but you won’t get the best pictures. Cameras are actually quite stupid, so you are looking for an artist that can tell their camera what to do. For you to get some truly amazing pictures, then they’ll need to understand how to manipulate their camera. If they shoot on any other settings they are at the mercy of the camera and even the best camera isn’t very smart.
#8 What is your cancellation policy?
Unfortunately, given the examples from the past year, cancellations do happen! Whether you need to change your photographer’s booking, see if you can get a partial refund or if they allow you to rebook them for your new wedding date.
#9 Why should we hire you as our wedding photographer?
Lastly, here is one of the most important questions of all… but this time I will give an answer personally for me.
As a photographer that primarily works with people, I love to build relationships with those that I photograph. I always tell my clients before they book with me that choosing a wedding photographer is like choosing a friend. You will spend the most amount of time with your photographer than anyone else on your wedding day. You want someone that helps you relax, and feel comfortable in front of the camera. By being someone that my bride and groom feel comfortable with personally, helps them relax and for me to get the best possible pictures of them.
How did you choose your wedding photographer?
As a plus to these questions, I’ve asked some of my past brides how they choose their wedding photographer.
How did you choose your wedding photographer?
- Recommendations and photographer’s portfolio
- The price was right, she was incredibly easy to work with, and her photos are beautiful!
- Based on how many of her photos we liked on Instagram!
- I was referred to my wedding photographer by a friend.
- We vibed with our photographer off the bat. She was very easy to talk with and have fun. We felt like she could give us all the things we wanted for our wedding.
If you are still thinking about whether you should send these ‘9 questions to ask your wedding photographer’ I would say just go for it!