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30 questions to ask wedding photographers before you book

30 questions to ask wedding photographers before you book

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!

Colourful bride and groom photo
Fun bride and groom image
Groom jumping over bride

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

Nan getting hair done on wedding morning

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.

Bride and friends fun group shot

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!

Happy bride and groom photo

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…

Candid fun photo of guests at wedding

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!

Download a free question checklist

Relaxed and fun bride and groom photos

Relaxed and fun bride and groom photos

The other day I had a message from a bride the other day which prompted me to write this blog.  She said “we love your candid and natural photos but do you do bride and groom portraits too?” and I say HELL YEAH I DO!  But I realised that I mostly show in between moments so I really should put something together to show how your couple photos will look too!

So with my style being a fun and natural approach… how do they work?

Do we have to pose for photos?

If you’ve arrived at this page it’s likely that the thought of posing for photos fills you with dread.  And I PROMISE you I get it. So I try REALLY hard to put my couples at ease and have fun during the photo session and hopefully you’ll see that in the photos. I offer pre wedding sessions too which can really help us get to know each other and put your mind at ease about the photos before the wedding day.

So when it comes to posing I’m not the sort that will put you in forced and unnatural positions. I will pick a spot and sometimes I’ll tell you what to do, sometimes I’ll give you something to talk about, or a game to play and what comes out end up being fun and relaxed pictures of the two of you. But always, we will have fun and always, you will look like you

 

Colourful couple’s portraits

I love a bit of colour so if there is colour to be found on your wedding day, you can bet I’m going to get you in front of it! 

Relaxed couple’s shoot

Everyone’s personality is different, you might be energetic, you might be shy, you might like more direction, you might like to MOVE.  I bounce off my couples and respond in ways that fit in with you as a couple and show off your relationship in its most natural way and if you’re a more reserved type I won’t be asking you to do anything too crazy and likewise if you’re energetic bubbly types then I won’t put you into serious romantic clinches! 

Fun couple’s photos

I want you to look back at pictures of the two of you and be taken back to the fun you were having at that minute – not remember the time the photographer told you to look lovingly into the camera lens! You want your photos to bring back those good memories of what it feels like to be you in that moment.

How long do the bride and groom photos take?

I do wholeheartedly believe that your day should be about you and your guests having a great time and I am there to take pictures for the memories.  I don’t want photos to feel like a huge part of your day, but I want them to be something that you treasure after.  That being said of COURSE you need some fun and relaxed bride and groom photos showing you in all that just married glory!  Before the wedding I work through your timeline and pick out spots of time that would work well for photos with the least disruption to your day.  I work with whatever time there is to get the photos that you want, I’ve done that in 5 minutes before but ideally 20-30 mins gets us a good variety.

Where to next?

What the blum is a second shooter? It’s not a cowboy movie!

What the blum is a second shooter? It’s not a cowboy movie!

What the blum is a second shooter?  It’s not a cowboy movie!

 

I hear ya I hear ya, weddings are an expensive business! You’ve got to stick to budget wherever you can and it’s hard to justify costs when things seem unnecessary to you, so it’s up to me to explain the role of the second shooter (don’t worry – no guns involved) and why it might be a good idea for you to book one for your wedding through your main photographer.

 

So what does it mean?

 

Let’s tackle the first question..what the blum is a second shooter? I see the second shooter as an extension of me who can have eyes in an alternative viewpoint. So if I’m busy with the couple, the second shooter will be getting candids, or getting details etc. Having the back up of a second photographer means that your main photographer has more breathing space for making more creative images.

 

I always work with second shooters who are also wedding photographers and have professional grade kit etc so all of your images will be consistent in quality and will have a similar or complimentary style to me – but ALWAYS they will be nice to have around too.

 

The easiest way for me to explain the role of a second shooter is to give some examples of where there might be two things being photographed at the same time.

 

Bridal Prep and Groom Prep

 

 

Coming down the aisle

 

First kiss 

 

Signing the register & guests chilling 

 

Confetti close and wide!

 

Coupley shots and guests milling

 

 

Groups and details

 

First dance and wider first dance!

 

Evening shenanigans

 

Dancefloor

 

Now I know the thought of two cameras on you can seem a bit like you’re being papped – I can assure you we are well skilled at fading into the background ninja style, chatting amongst guests and generally not appearing to be out of place. Having a pre wedding session can also help you get over that feeling.

Obviously it’s physically impossible for ONE PHOTOGRAPHER to be in two places at once, as much as one day I really hope it will be – I will have a permanent place in front of Netflix with limitless cups of tea! So by having a second shooter along it gives you a number of opportunities for additional images that you just wouldn’t get otherwise. And it’s not JUST about additional images as too many images can be overwhelming anyway, it’s about capturing the day and also the reactions of your guests. It’s about having someone capturing Aunty Mavis’s moshing on the dance floor and someone else on reactions. Having those two viewpoints just helps to tell the story of your day that little bit better.

Because after all that is what having photography at your wedding is all about – capturing the story of your day, your love story as it unfolds – however that may be!

 

Is it always better to have a second shooter?

If you have a very small number of guests then obviously a second shooter might not be necessary, likewise if you are not planning on having any group shots or couple photos then that opens up a lot of time for your main photographer to get candid images of your guests and details etc. So they’re not always needed. I always chat to my couples about their wedding and will only recommend a second shooter if I feel that it would be beneficial.

 

It’s your choice.

So the thing for you to do now is to think about what is important to you and your photos and whether that will be possible with one or if a second is a good idea. Or if you want to have a chat about whether you think you need on, give me a tinkle – I SAID TINKLE…. NOT PIDDLE (slight Bottom reference for the die hards)

OK back to Netflix for me, if you have any recommendations by the way – I’m always on the lookout for something new to watch!