So you’re ready to book a photographer for your wedding, you’ve got a shortlist of a few that you like, are available on your wedding date and are in or around your budget but you don’t know which one to choose or how to do it. Here’s the ultimate list of questions to ask wedding photographers before you book that might help you make your mind up! OK so there’s more than 30 but I just prefer round numbers!
Questions to ask wedding photographers – about before the wedding
Can we see a full wedding gallery?
I honestly think this is one of the most important questions you can ask. All of us photographers will put our favourites into blogs and portfolios but if you really want to know what a full gallery of images will look like for you, you need to ask your photographer to send you one. Preferably once with similar vibes to the wedding you’re planning, but even if not it will give you the general gist.
Can we see some reviews or testimonials?
Definitely check out your photographer’s testimonials, and if they don’t have any online anywhere, ask if they have any as I didn’t start getting google reviews until I asked for them so they may be in the same boat. Seeing feedback from other couples will give you a good idea of how it was to work with the photographer on the day as well as how they feel about the photos.
What info should we give you before the wedding?
It’s good to know if there’s anything you can provide your photographer before the wedding to make sure their job is as easy as it can be meaning you get photos that you love.
Do you have any advice for our wedding day?
Wedding photographers have been so a lot of weddings and have seen things that work well and don’t so pick their brains!
Do you do pre wedding sessions?
Pre wedding sessions can be a really great way of getting to know your photographer ahead of the day, you get to know how they work, you get to feel what it’s like being in front of the camera so by the wedding day you’re a total pro, they’re really good fun and you get some nice photos out of it! It’s a great opportunity to get some nice photos of the two of you before you’re married in your normal clothes doing your normal thing!
Do you charge for travel & additional costs?
If you book a photographer that lives far from your wedding then chances are they will need you to cover travel and accommodation expenses. This is definitely in your best interests to do as if they live 4 hours away you don’t want them attempting that journey the morning of your wedding and getting stuck in traffic! So if your heart is set on a photographer miles away from you, factor that into your budget.
What’s your booking process?
If after your chat you decide they are the ones for you you’ll need to know the next steps for booking them, review their contract, what the booking fee is and when the final balance will be due.
questions to ask wedding photographers – about on the day
Will it be you on the day or a different photographer?
Some photographers have a team, so it’s important to know who will be turning up on the day as you spend a lot of time with them on the day so you want to know you’ll get on!
What is it like to work with you on the day?
Definitely ask what sort of approach your photographer takes on the day, you need to know that they will fit in well with you and your guests on the day and if you know you’re a rowdy bunch then someone with similar personality would probably work well.
Do you think one photographer is enough to cover our wedding?
A lot of people automatically think 2 photographers is better than one, and it definitely can be, but your photographer has to pay that second photographer so if you’re on a tight budget, have a think about whether you really need one. If you have a lot of guests, you would like both of you getting ready photographed and have a billion group shots then a second shooter would be an advantage, but if you’re planning a small wedding then 2 photographers might not actually be necessary.
What happens if our wedding runs over?
With the best will in the world, very few weddings run on time! It’s good to know how your photographer deals with situations like this as it may mean extra cost to you.
How do you work with videographers?
If you’re having a videographer as well as a photographer then it’s important to know how they will work together. Obviously both will be wanting to do the best job for you, and working together well is super duper important.
Can we ask you to take photos on the day?
If you’re chatting with your old pal who’s travelled all the way from Outer Mongolia and you want to get a pic of you both, then you want to know you can do that!
Can our guests take photos?
Some photographers have a policy where they don’t like anyone else taking photos so if you want your guests to be able to then it’s good to know where they stand on it.
Do you take portraits and group shots?
If you’re on my website you probably prefer the more candid approach to photography, but still would like groups and couple photos taken so if it isn’t obvious from the website that they do them – just ask!
How long will it take to do our couples shoot?
You’ve spent months planning this wedding and are probably looking forward to spending time with your family and friends the most so ask how long your couples photos will take so you can relax and aren’t itching to get back to the party!
What are your start and finish times?
Once you work out what parts of the day you would like covering and how many hours that will be, make sure that the package you are looking at covers that. If it doesn’t, ask if they do extra hours and how much they will charge for that.
What happens if you’re ill?
Obviously it would be mega unfortunate if your photographer fell ill on the day of your wedding but just in case, it’s good to know that there is a back up plan.
Do you have back up equipment?
Obviously at some stage all technology fails and everything crossed and touch all the wood it doesn’t happen at your wedding, but if it DOES, you will want to know that your photographer has it covered with back up equipment.
How do you back up our images?
A professional photographer will have a very slick back up procedure to ensure that there is little to no chance of your images being lost so be sure to ask this question for reassurance!
Do you have insurance?
All professional photographers should have insurance in case their equipment fails or is stolen and can be replaced quickly but also indemnity insurance to cover any other eventualities.
questions to ask wedding photographers – about the photos
How long does it take to edit the photos?
Editing time can range from weeks to months for different photographers so make sure you ask yours how long it will take so you know ahead of time.
How many images will we get?
Obviously it’s impossible to give an exact answer on this and it completely depends on so many different factors but your photographer will likely have a rough idea of how many images would be delivered.
How do we receive the images?
Some deliver on a USB, some on an online gallery, some as prints so ask how you’ll receive yours!
What are our rights to the images?
It’s important to be clear on what you are allowed to do with your images once you have them.
Do you sell prints? Can our friends and family buy prints?
Some photographers work with professional print labs so you can order high quality prints and products through them rather than printing at a more budget retailer. And if they do then you might want to offer that to your friends and family to order their own and save you a job!
Do you sell albums? Do you design the album?
If you would like an album but know you won’t get around to putting it together, ask if your photographer offers that service for you. Don’t forget paper is your first wedding anniversary tradition… just sayin’.
Will you post our wedding on your website and social media or submit to blogs?
All photographers need to show their work to get future bookings, without it you wouldn’t have found them, but if you have privacy concerns then let them know.
What do you want to know about us?
Give your photographer the chance to ask you some questions, see how interested they are in you!
Things to ask yourself
So once you’ve chatted to the wedding photographers on your shortlist, it’s time to ask yourself a few mega important questions.
What is your gut feeling?
Sometimes we just get a feeling don’t we…
Do you get on well? Could you go for a drink with them?
You are going to spend a lot of time with your photographer on the wedding day so knowing they’re not a complete d*ck who’s going to get on your nerves is important!
Did they answer your questions?
You need to be confident that they have answered all of your questions in a way that suits you and your wedding plans.
Does the package include everything we want?
A package might be more your budget but actually might not include the things you want. So if an album is important to you but capturing you getting ready isn’t, look for the package that best reflects your needs.
Are they within budget?
If you have your heart set on a wedding photographer but they are out of budget, think about anything that you could maybe cut back on to make up the shortfall. Obviously as a photographer I feel that having photos from your wedding that you love will mean so much more in 20 years time than whether you had a donut wall or not – although…. mmmmmmm donuts – basically, weigh up what is more important to you.
At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong photographer, we all have different skills, personalities and styles. The task is finding the right one for you! So I hope these questions help you, good luck with your search and if you reckon my relaxed and fun wedding photography style might be a piece of you, then get in touch!