Once you have your date, booked your venue, and the rush and excitement of the engagement falls in to the background, organizing and planning your wedding can feel overwhelming. Of all the moving parts that come with planning a wedding and hiring suppliers, consulting a seasoned wedding photographer should be at the top of your list. Your wedding photographer is probably one of the most important suppliers you will book.
Documentation of your special day spans the entire course of the wedding, so enlisting their expertise early, will help you shape the feel, and flow of your wedding. In turn, this will reduce stress and maximise the experience of the day.
Your wedding pictures will be an important part of reminiscing about your day, capturing your history. Freezing that day in time, recalling the love and romance, and family all together, looking their best to celebrate with you. Please invest wisely, as you don’t want your final images to have been based on pricing alone.
Remember your Photographer is like another guest at your wedding!
You want to build rapport with a photographer who understands you and your family, and who you can fully entrust to tell your love story. Ensuring that a professional is invested into the celebration plans isn’t going to happen by simply asking “how much,” but by asking the important questions, and taking the time to learn about them, and the services they offer.
To ensure that you and your photographer are singing from the same hymn sheet, so to speak, consider the most important starting points. Obviously the first question, are they available for your date? Consider your budget, it might be a better option to reduce the cost somewhere else, to enable you to afford the photographer that is best for you. A handful of various questions from this list below, are great to ask over the phone when first looking for your wedding photographer.
Introductory questions to ask Wedding Photographers
- Do you have availability on our wedding day? If not, could you offer recommendations for a trusted colleague with a similar style?
- How far in advance do we need to book you?
- Are the images on your website taken exclusively by you, or does this portfolio include associate work? Can I view a couple of recent galleries of a whole day’s wedding?
- Are we able to meet to discuss our day, and view your work in albums and print?
1.How long have you been working as a wedding photographer?
This will gauge their experience, but don’t worry too much if they have been shooting weddings for a short period of time. They may have covered lots of weddings in one year, or attended weddings as 2nd photographer for several years. Lot’s of photographers decide to change genre, from a portrait, landscape, or commercial photographer perhaps. Photographers are like any other industry, they might require change, or a challenge, or perhaps they prefer to shoot more than just one genre.
2. Can I see your portfolio?
Ensure that you get to see, not just the website images, but a couple of links to all day weddings. I personally think it’s very important. Not only am I proud to show off my work but to show my diversity, experience and consistency of shooting a whole day. It provides the potential buyer with an insight of how your day will flow, and the photographers style. Which is, the story telling of your day.
3. Will I be able to give you a list of specific shots we would like?
Yes, of course! Your photographer will be happy to capture the images that you want. Unless of course it moves completely away from their normal shooting style. I love to engage with Brides and Grooms, to discuss what they require from their day, and happy to capture something special. If I’ve not already captured this type of shot, I’d certainly be looking for the challenge to do so.
If you’re not too sure about what you’d like, lacking ideas, or are a little camera shy, please let your photographer know. I’m more than happy to work with my customers, to ensure that they are comfortable with how their images will be captured.
4. Do you offer engagement shoots as part of the package?
This is not a deal breaker, but it’s a great way to find out more about each other. It can certainly help if you’re feeling nervous and camera shy.
5.Have you worked at our wedding venue before. If not, will you visit beforehand?
If the anwer is no, they’ve not attended the venue previously, don’t get hung up on that fact. A photographer will usually arrange a pre-shoot at the venue if it’s included, or you can book a shoot with them. If not they can visit beforehand alone, or quite easily arrive at the venue early, on the day of your wedding to provide themselves with a full knowledge of the venue. I often speak with the wedding co-ordinator who can help locate the best places to shoot certain images.
Questions about Wedding Photography styles & creative vision
Once you cover the basics, you can get a deeper feel for the photographer’s specific work ethics, both over the phone, and in person. You’ll want to discover if the way they work matches your vision, if their style and approach meets your expectations
- When it comes to the formal guest and family photos, what do you put in place, to ensure that you produce optimal results?
- Can you share a snippet about your post-production process. For example are all images delivered edited. What is the estimated delivery time frame for images?
- What is the best way for us to share images on social media? Are there any restrictions, or copyright infirngements when sharing images online?
- Ask about equipment, bear in mind that make and model is irrelevant. What is paramount, is that the photographer has the necessary equipment to cover your wedding. Do they have the ability to capture images in low light situations, where a flash cannot be used. A double slot memory card for the camera is important just in case one memory card fails. When asked this question your wedding photographer should be fully equipped (pardon the pun) to reply in full, and also expand on things which you may not have thought of already.
- What steps do you take in case of equipment failure or personal emergency. Do you have back up equipment?
- are you available to set time aside to discuss things regarding our wedding that are important to us?
- What are your recommendations for allowing friends and family to take pictures?
- Do you include, or offer the option to purchase image digitals? If so, do they include printing rights?
Questions about Booking, Payment, Policies, and Insurance
After building an idea of how the photographer works, and of their creative vision, discuss how the practicalities are covered. It’s vital that you’re covered in case of sickness, accident, or cancellation. Get the details of packages available to you.
- What is your refund or cancellation policy?
- Do you hold liability/business insurance?
- Do they offer a Bespoke Service to meet your needs?
- Are you available to travel? If so, how far and are there any additional costs? What accommodations do you require?
- Does wedding coverage include a second/associate photographer? If not, is there an option to add a second photographer?
- On average what is the price range for the amount of wedding coverage we would need?
- How much of a deposit do you require?
- Do you have payment plan options?
Questions about Wedding Logistics
When you have much of the basics covered, try to spend some time working with the photographer, focusing on the day of wedding itself. This is when you want to feel the most secure, since you’ll have so many other concerns. The more you work out in advance, the better! Think about each section of the day from start to finish, and how the photographer will work with you to fit into your plans.
- How long before the wedding do you plan to arrive?
- What happens if you are delayed getting to my wedding?
- Do we need to provide you with food?
- If the event runs longer than expected, will you be able to stay? Is
there an additional fee?