15 Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer
When a bride and groom hire a wedding photographer, they are choosing something much bigger than just another wedding vendor. They are choosing someone to capture their wedding day and produce memories that stay alive and are enjoyable to look back on. So how do you know which photographer to pick?
There are an infinite amount of articles written about the questions to ask your wedding photographer. There are so many from these lists of stock questions, that don’t need to be asked. And a lot of omitted questions that do need to be asked.
What could be better than a list of questions to ask your wedding photographer written by a wedding photographer who also personally went through the search for a photographer when planning her recent wedding? So I decided to compile a list of questions that are worth asking when finding your wedding photographer.
Also — I listed a few questions that don’t need to be asked and why. Keep in mind, I suggest asking these questions after you have it narrowed down to a few photographers that you are interested in and have your wedding date available!
15 Great Questions To Ask A Wedding Photographer + Why:
1. How long have you been in business? / How many weddings have you photographed?
Why … It is important that you hire a photographer with experience.
2. Is the work in your portfolio recent and true to your current style?
Why … You should be educated of the current style and quality that the photographer is producing.
3. Can you show me examples of a full gallery of images that you deliver to clients?
Why … Most photographers only display their best work in their portfolio. It is important that you see what an entire wedding day looks like from your photographer.
4. How do you make sure my images are protected?
Why … As awesome as technology can be, it can betray us at the worst times. Your photographer should have a method for backing up your files during your wedding day, and after your wedding day also. Whether it be making a memory card with a second copy of every image on your wedding day or making sure that their computer/external hard drive is backed up at home, do your part to make sure your photos are protected.
5. When can I expect to have my final images?
Why … It is important to have a clear understanding and expectations with your wedding photographer. This detail should also be outlined in the contract that you sign.
6. Can we review your contract for your wedding photography services?
Why … It safeguards you and your wedding photographer and outlines clear expectations of what will be happening.
7. Do you have back-up equipment?
Why … What happens if they drop their camera? Or what if something malfunctions? Every wedding photographer should have back up equipment within arm’s reach at all times throughout a wedding day.
8. How do you choose between delivering a photo in color vs black and white? Do you deliver all images in both options?
Why … You should understand their artistic style. Hopefully, your photographer is making a decision to switch from color to black and white to enhance the image, based on the amount of contrast, and not “just because”.
9. How many images can I expect to receive?
Why … Some photographers will say I deliver “X” number of photos and other photographers will say on average I deliver between X-Y photos. And my personal answer to this question is that I deliver anywhere from 50-100 photos per hour of wedding coverage. Every photographer is different. Just make sure you have a clear understanding.
10. Do you help create a photo timeline for the day?
Why … People will not magically corral themselves for formal family photos. Make sure that your photographer at least gives you a general timeline for your day. Trust me, it relieves a lot of stress for you.
11. What do you typically wear when you photography a wedding?
Why … Your photographer should be dressed professionally for any event. How tacky would it be if they showed up in shorts to a black-tie wedding?
12. Do you mind if my aunt/brother/mother/uncle takes a few photos too?
Why … You may or may not like the answer you get to this question. Your photographer will work super hard to arrange, pose, style, etc during your wedding day, and may or may not be offended if they have a tag along the entire day — or even worse — a camera sticking out in the aisle that prevents them from getting a great, professional image of you.
13. Am I responsible for feeding you throughout the day?
Why … Nothing is worse than a hungry photographer! Make sure you understand if they will be taking lunch/dinner breaks or if you should include them in meals. (Hint: Make sure you ask this for all of your wedding vendors that will be there throughout the day — and don’t forget to include that number when you finalize plans with your caterer!)
14. What happens if there is an emergency and can’t make it to my wedding?
Why … No one plans on an emergency. Every photographer should have a back-up plan in the event that they cannot make it to your wedding and fulfill their end of your contract.
15. What happens if the event runs longer than expected? Will you stay? What will the overtime charge be?
Why … Wedding days don’t always stay on schedule. Be sure you know if you photographer is willing to stay longer and at what cost. Just a little heads up — this isn’t an issue if you book an “all-day” package!
2 Questions that DO NOT Need to be Asked + Why:
1. How far in advance do I need to book with you?
Why … Almost all photographers work on a first come, first serve basis. If someone else inquires about your wedding date and are ready to book, the chances are they will book with them. Bottom line? Book your photographer as soon as you have made a decision!
2. What kind of equipment do you use?
Why … Unless you have an in-depth understanding of different camera and lighting equipment, this question can be semi-offensive. Yes, there are articles online that say “don’t hire a photographer unless they are using at least (list equipment here)“, but the reality is that if you have checked out their portfolio and verified that it is their current work and style, it shouldn’t matter what equipment they are using. The photographer has shown that they can produce a quality result with whatever equipment they have. Photographers like Bryan Adams and Kimmy Kim, have photographed entire weddings with only a few iPhones!