Planning a wedding can be a wonderful and exhilarating experience. However, as with any important life event, preparing for your wedding day will have a lot of moving parts. One of the most important choices you will make in the course of planning your special day will be which wedding photographer you choose to capture the day’s events.
There are so many things to take into consideration when choosing a wedding photographer and preparing for your wedding day in general, so we will hopefully make the process a little easier for you by narrowing down the list of questions to ask your photography professional pre-wedding.
Below are the Best Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer Before Hiring Them:
1. Is my wedding date available?
This is an obvious question to get out of the way, but also the most important one to ask. Be sure to ask this question first to avoid wasting your time or the wedding photographer’s.
2. How many weddings have you photographed before?
You’ll want to ask this question, as well as review the portfolio of your potential wedding photographer. Also, be sure to look at their online reviews from prior clients. Asking for references can’t hurt either.
3. Will you be photographing our wedding by yourself or will you have a second photographer assisting?
This is good to know. The wedding photographer will likely need more detail of what shots you want or if there is anything extraordinary before being able to judge if a second photographer will be needed.
4. How much of a deposit is needed and when is the balance due?
This is important to know so everyone is on the same page as to what is due and when.
5. Are wedding packages available?
Wedding photography packages can be a great way to save money, especially if you want professional photos of multiple events. You can get 8-10 hours of wedding day photography and combine it with options such as professional photography of the rehearsal dinner, bride and groom shots pre-wedding, etc. You should also see if custom packages are available based on your specific needs for the events surrounding the wedding itself.
6. What time will you arrive on the wedding day and how many hours will you shoot?
The more precise details you have on everything surrounding the wedding day, the better off you’ll be. You definitely don’t want any surprises on your special day, so make sure you clarify all the details with the photographer so there are no misunderstandings or confusion. Just make sure your wedding photographer will arrive on time and stay as long as you need them to. If you think the wedding reception may go longer than expected, be sure to bring this up with your wedding photography professional and ask what the extra cost will be if it goes a bit longer than expected.
7. After the wedding, what can I expect to receive based on the quoted price?
After the wedding, you want to ensure that you will receive what you expected to receive before the wedding. So, clarify what hard copy photos you will receive post-wedding, what digital photo’s you will receive, etc. Most photographers will have different packages available, or will provide a customized quote for your wedding based on your specific needs.
8. How long after the wedding can I expect to receive my photos?
This is another area where you want to be as precise as possible. Don’t accept “a few weeks” as an answer; a few weeks can easily turn into much longer. Most photographers will give you a range, but at least get a range so you have a pretty good idea of when you expect your photos.
9. Do you provide retouching services and are they included in the cost?
If you are wanting this service, it’s always good to ask if it’s something that’s included in the price.
10. Do you have a policy on other guests taking photos?
Most wedding photographers won’t mind if other guests take shots of the big day. It’s always good to ask though, since most people have cameras on their phone and will likely want to take a few pictures of their own to remember the special day. Most importantly, if you notice family members or friends getting in the way of the photographer you may want to ask them to shoot their photos after or from behind the photographer.
11. Can we provide you with a list of specific photographs we would like taken on the big day?
This should not be an issue as your wedding photographers should want to work along with you to make sure they give you the exact shots that you expect. Be sure to think of all the details you want to make sure are captured – flowers, toasts, and anything else you feel would be special to capture.
12. How will you (and your assistants) be dressed?
Most likely this will not be something to worry about, but it doesn’t hurt to ask, especially if you want your photographer to really blend in with the guests.
13. What type of paper do you use for the album?
Make sure your wedding photography paper is acid free and of archival quality to ensure your photographs last a long time.
14. Are there any restrictions for sharing photographs online or in a publication?
This is another area that shouldn’t be an issue, but you still want to ask to make sure.
15. Will you bring your own lighting?
The wedding venue may supply adequate lighting, or your photographer will bring adequate lighting, or both. Just clarify who’s doing what in this regard; your photographer will likely ask about the venue in the course of doing their due diligence but make sure this area is covered.
16. Can you do wedding videography?
Videography is another area that is becoming more and more popular. If videography is something you’d like to be included, be sure and ask if this is a service your wedding photographers can perform. As always, see what their experience is in this area as well.
17. Can we have a few photos taken in black and white?
Are you going to want some black and white photos of the wedding? Then be sure to consult your photographer about approximately how many you want, what you want them of, etc.
18. Can you be available to shoot after-event photos if needed?
If you need any post-wedding photos, be sure and let your wedding photographer know so they can incorporate this into the cost. Post wedding events such as “trash the dress” are gaining in popularity. Sometimes there may be a post-wedding brunch the day after the wedding for immediate family members that you may want to have captured. It’s something to think about and is better to bring this up before your photographer provides you with a quote rather than after.
19. Do you offer a photo booth?
A photo booth is a fun way to capture your loved ones at the wedding reception. If this is something you may want, be sure to bring it up in your planning sessions with your wedding photographer.
20. Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding?
You’ll want to clarify this beforehand. If he or she will not be the actual photographer at your wedding, you should ask who will be, possible meet that person, and review their experience and qualifications.
21. Have you shot a wedding before at my wedding and reception venues?
If not, this is ok, but you may follow up by asking if your photographer plans to visit the locations of the shoot before the day of the event.
22. How would you describe your working style?
Does your photographer like to blend into the event background naturally, or is he or she more “take charge” in terms of having a more visible presence and choreographing the photos?
23. Do you include engagement photos in your packages and can you create a slideshow of the engagement session that we can show during cocktail hour?
This is always something to think about if you want some high quality professional photography of the engagement session as well. Many wedding photographers will also include engagement photos as part of your package.
24. Do you have liability insurance?
It’s best to ensure that your wedding photographer has liability insurance just in case.
25. Do you or my scheduled photographer have a backup plan in place in the unlikely event you are unable to shoot my wedding for some reason?
Just to be sure!
The above questions are not by any means an all inclusive list of questions to ask your wedding photographer. However, we hope they point you in the right direction of things to think about before the big day. The takeaway is that you really want to put a lot of thought into what type of photographer and what types of photography you want for your wedding. You also want to do your very best to “cover all the bases” so there are no surprises. The more you think about this before even engaging wedding photographers, the more time you will save everyone involved and the better off you’ll be.
Have questions about your wedding photography or anything we can help with or provide advice on? Please let us know in the comments section below; we would love to hear from you! Please also free to Contact Us Here or at 847-687-2336!