Choosing your wedding photographer is a big decision! Your photographer is the person you’re going to be spending a LOT of your wedding day with – sometimes as much or more than you do with your new spouse. But making a decision about who to hire isn’t just about who has the prettiest pictures. Today, we’re sharing TEN things to ask your wedding photographer to make sure they’re the right fit for you!
#1: How do you describe your style?
Style seems like such an easy (and maybe silly!) question to ask potential photographers, but it’s arguably the most important. In the photography world, there’re many different styles available to you from moody and dark to light and airy. Style will also vary between film or digital photographers. A photographer’s style should be fairly easy to gather from their online portfolio and galleries, but it’s always a good idea to ask them about it.
#2: Tell us about how you approach photography and work on the wedding day.
Asking a photographer to explain how they achieve their images is important. It’s less about the technical aspects and more about how they’ll be on the wedding day. Are they more hands on or journalistic in nature? Ask if they pose you or use prompts. This response will help you understand what working with them on your wedding day will be like!
#3: Are you insured?
Many wedding photographers are insured and can easily provide you with proof if needed by your venue. It’s also a great time to ask them about a back up plan for images – many photographers use secondary memory cards and external drives to ensure your images are always okay!
#4: What is your turnaround time for delivering our images?
More often than not, wedding photographers will tell you this upfront in your discussion or welcome information. But, if they don’t, be sure to ask! It’s fairly standard to see anywhere from 6-12 weeks for your full gallery to be delivered from a wedding day.
#5: Are our images edited? How many can we expect to receive?
Most professional photographers will only be providing you with edited images in your gallery and printed products. Editing refers to the process of reviewing and adjusting color, exposure and composition. You may want to ask if your images will be retouched if you’re concerned about removing imperfections. Often retouching is an additional fee, so don’t be surprised. As far as how many images you’ll receive, this will vary from photographer to photographer… but you’ll likely see a range of 800-1500 images for an 8 hour wedding.
#6: How often will we communicate during the planning process?
Ask your photographer how often you can expect to hear from them. It’s important to know when you’ll hear from them and what they’ll need from you in the planning process – like family shot lists or other information about your wedding day. Many wedding photographers also have helpful tips for your wedding day that will extend beyond your photography plan, so be sure to ask if you need anything at all!
#7: Have you photographed at our venue?
Truthfully, we have mixed feelings about this question because we NEVER want it to be a dealbreaker if there’s a venue we haven’t worked at before… but as Rhode Island wedding photographers for the last 18 years, that generally isn’t a problem. For other photographers, it is helpful if they’ve worked where you’re getting married because they’ll know the best spots to go, the staff, and how the day generally flows there. But, if they haven’t worked at your venue and you really want to work with them, don’t stress. A good photographer will know how to find the best light and spots for your portraits.
#8: Can we see a full gallery?
It’s always a good idea to ask a photographer to see a full gallery! Many will share blogs and photos on their social media accounts, but those are just highlights from a day. It’s important to see how they capture all of the moments – including family photos and getting ready – so you know what to expect. Just don’t forget – it’s not YOUR wedding day so remember that you’re looking at the overall flow and style – not necessarily the exact posing or decor of the day.
#9: Do we have the rights with our digital images?
These days, it’s pretty common that any digital images you receive will include a print release for your images. This will allow you to print your images, share them online, create prints, products or books and so on.
#10: How do I book you and when are my payments due?
These two questions should be the last you ask before hiring someone! When you know the booking plan and payment policies, you’ll be able to plan accordingly for your big day. Most photographers offer payment plans and final payments will vary, so find out what to expect and plan accordingly. Remember, dates are first come, first serve for most photographers so if you know your date and are ready to book, GO for it before that date is gone!
Like we said, choosing your wedding photographer is no easy task. But, hopefully by knowing a little more about what the process is like with a certain photographer will help you choose with more confidence! Don’t forget to share these 10 things to ask your wedding photographer with someone you love who’s getting married, too!