Your wedding photographer is such an essential part of your big day. They’re the ones that will capture all the precious moments that you’ll look back on for years to come. It’s so important to find the photographer that’s right for you. One that captures your style as a couple, makes you and your guests feel comfortable, and provides the exact service you’re looking for. Let’s make the search a little easier for you. I’ve put together a list of questions to ask your potential wedding photographer. These questions will help you get to know them and their services better, and ensure you’ve found the perfect match for your special day.
How would you describe your style?
This is such an important question! Everyone is different. Just as each couple has a unique vision for their wedding, every photographer has their own creative style. When searching for the best wedding photographer for your big day you’ll want to make sure you feel comfortable with both their shooting style and editing style.
- Shooting Style: A photographer’s shooting style is showcased onsite while they’re photographing you. It’s how they interact with you, your wedding party and guests, and how they guide and prep you through the process. You want to make sure you’re working with someone who makes you feel comfortable! My personal shooting style is relaxed, natural, romantic and fun.
- Editing Style: A photographer’s editing style is the overall look and feel their photographs have after they’ve applied their color correction and editing preferences to the photos. You can get a really good feel for their editing style by asking to see their full galleries of work (more on this later!), but it’s also helpful to hear them explain the style they are going for in their edits. I like my photos to have a light and airy feel to them that make them look as though they were captured with film.
Is your photographer able to stay longer on the day of the wedding?
Weddings have a lot of moving pieces and even the most well thought out timelines can run a little off track. Maybe catering was running a little late, or a toast ran a little long. Maybe you’re just having a blast on the dance floor and want your photographer to stick around to capture the fun. Whatever the reason, sometimes a little extra time needs to be added to make your night perfect. Wedding photographers understand this, and most offer additional coverage time, I certainly do! But, it’s good to know their policy in advance. Ask up front, so you know exactly how much additional time they allot, and the associated cost, so you can budget accordingly.
What do your packages include?
Most wedding photographers have several different packages at different price points to choose from. It’s a good idea to review all the packages to make sure that you’re selecting one that has everything you want. Looking through various packages may even spark some ideas for keepsakes you hadn’t thought of yet! Here are a few items to consider when reviewing your options:
- High-Resolution Digital Files: Most couples will want to frame prints for their home. If this is the case, look to make sure your photographer includes high-resolution digital files for you to print, and that the package includes a print release for personal use.
- Albums: This may be included in certain packages and come at an additional cost in others.
- Second Photographer: Some packages will include a second photographer. It’s impossible for one photographer to be in two places at once, so having a second shooter comes in handy for getting photos of the bride and groom prepping prior to the ceremony, and also provides you with another view of your wedding throughout the day!
What is required to book with you?
So, you’ve found your dream wedding photographer. First of all, congratulations! Second, let’s make sure you know how to book them for your big day. Start by scheduling a phone call or meeting with them, and if you know you want to book them, ask them what’s required to do so. Some photographers have a first-come-first serve policy for securing a certain date and require a retainer. If this is the case, make sure you know exactly what the retainer is and what the due dates are. Then adhere to those due dates to secure your date on their calendar! Almost all photographers will also require that you sign a contract. This is a good thing, as contracts are used to protect both you, the couple, and the photographer. Read the contract carefully and don’t be afraid to ask your photographer any and all questions that pop up. We’re happy to answer questions, because that means you read the contract and didn’t just sign it!
What happens if you get sick and can’t photograph our day?
This should be laid out in the contract (see above!) but it’s still a great question to ask just to ensure you’re both on the same page and there are no surprises. Every photographer is different, so there are a lot of variations on how this situation may be handled. I personally like to give my couples a few options to choose from in their contract, so they can make the decision they feel most comfortable with. I offer to have my second photographer step in and act as the lead and then secure them a new second photographer, or the couple can have their retainer back and book a new photographer for the day. My second photographers are all professional wedding photographers running their own successful businesses, so I have the utmost trust that they would do a fantastic job filling in for me if needed. With that being said, it’s so important for a photographer’s style to match the couples vision! It’s possible that the second photographer isn’t a perfect fit, which is why I make sure to offer the option to hire a new photographer of their choice.
Can you help me make a timeline?
Chances are this is the first wedding you’re planning, and if you don’t have a wedding planner, you might be overwhelmed by the undertaking of creating a timeline. That’s ok! Wedding photographers have been through all of this before and have a pretty good idea of how long certain things will take throughout the day. We will happily take some of the stress off your shoulders and help you create a timeline for you wedding day!
Can I see a full wedding gallery?
I’m surprised at the number of couples that forget to ask this! Seeing a full wedding gallery is so important as it gives you a better feel for a wedding photographer’s overall style. Of course, you’ve perused their website, but most photographers only display the highlights of their favorite images and moments. Make sure to ask to see a full gallery and review it from start to finish. This will ensure that you love their indoor photography as much as their outdoor portraits, and you love their posed photos as much as their action shots!
I hope this is helpful for you as you search for your dream photographer. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. I’m always happy to help!