I thought I would take some time to create 10 questions to ask your wedding photographer so that you feel totally prepared and confident when booking someone for your big day!
1 – How many years of experience do they have in the wedding industry?
This is an important question to ask your photographer because this tells you how much experience they have! Take some time & browse their blog posts & check out all of the different weddings they have shot. Found a photographer you love that doesn’t have very much experience? That is totally fine! If you love their work & have faith in their abilities, follow your heart & book with them. Just make sure to ask them all of the following questions to ensure that you & the photographer are on the same page!
2 – Can you see a full wedding gallery?
Photographers websites are typically curated with their best work, because duh, we want you to see our absolute best! Sometimes images from the receptions such as speeches, or the getting ready photos, don’t make it onto the blogs but you still want to see them! Ask the photographer if they are able to send you a full wedding gallery so that you can get to see all of the images, not just the curated ones!
3 – Do they have a contract?
Contracts are SO IMPORTANT! Signing a contract not only protects the photographer if something were to happen, but it also protects you as the client! This is a written agreement that goes over specifics such as finalized pricing, cancellations, artistic rights, copyright & reproductions, and printing rights. Make sure to take the time to carefully and thoughtfully read through the entire contract with your partner & ask your photographer if you have any questions!
4 – Is their travel & accommodation included in their packages, or do they charge on top of their packages?
Ever heard that saying that when you “assume” something, it makes an ass out of you & me? Never assume that anything is included in the packages if it is not specifically listed. If your photographer is travelling a fair distance they will typically book accommodation for the night before & the night after your wedding. This ensures that weather will not prohibit them from making sure they get their at their start time, and we are typically dead by the end of the day so having a nice comfy bed to crash in that night is important as well! I wouldn’t want you to be getting a surprise invoice in the mail, so make sure you ask how travel & accommodation is considered!
5 – What is included, what is not included?
Similar to the previous question, it is key to discuss what is included in their packages & what is not. The cool thing about this job is that we as photographers get to create packages that we think suits our ideal clients best, so you will find that different photographers will have different aspects included in their packages! Some things to ask about would be if prints or albums would be included, an engagement shoot, a second shooter, the cost of extra hours for their wedding day if needed, etc.
6 – How long after the wedding will I wait to receive my images?
Every photographer has a different amount of work they take on & a different timeline for getting their images delivered back to their clients! This can depend on many things such as if they have another job, their personal lives, etc. This question links back to the contract – this information should be clearly defined in the contract to ensure that there is no misunderstandings! We all understand that sometimes life can happen & something can come up & maybe the photographer needs a little extra time, but this too should be clearly defined in the contract!
7 – How will we communicate?
COMMUNICATION IS KEY! I think I am going to repeat that. COMMUNICATION IS FREAKIN KEY. Imagine you are planning your wedding timeline & you want to ask your photographer a question about how long to leave for bridal party portraits. Do you text them, do you send them an insta message, or what about a facebook message, or maybe you have to go on their website & use their contact form? All photographers will have a different way of communicating with you but it is so important to ask them which way they prefer! Maybe you send them an insta message, but they never check their Instagram. Aside from answering any questions you might have, your photographer should always let you know what the next steps in the process are, or when they will be contacting you next. You should NEVER feel like you are in the dark.
8 – How many times will you meet or get to chat face to face with them before the wedding day?
I totally understand that getting your photographs taken can be a nerve wracking experience, especially if you have never had it done before. Pair that with planning an entire wedding & being nervouscited (nervous + excited) for your big day – you should know what to expect & be able to put some of that worry aside! Even if you don’t live in the same area, or your schedules are always busy, technology is our friend. Set up a Skype or Facetime date! If your package includes an engagement session, this is the PERFECT time to get comfortable in front of the camera & to get to know your photographer. I mean, you are going to be hanging out with this person for 8+ hours on the day of your wedding, so I think that you should like them & WANT to hang out with them, don’t you?
9 – How far in advance do you need to book?
Depending on the photographer & their schedule, you should typically be booking your photographer a year to a year & a half in advance. If you have found a photographer that you love but your wedding is still two years out, send them a message! Some photographers will book that far in advance & if you love them you want to make sure that you snag them!
10 – When you book with them, do they require a retainer?
To ensure that you secure your date with the photographer, they will typically ask for a non-refundable or part-refundable retainer. This could range from 20-50% of the overall cost. If you are wanting to book with your photographer but you do not have the full retainer saved up, still chat with them & see if you can come to an agreement!
You are not only booking a photographer to take beautiful pictures on your wedding day. They should be able to lead you through an experience that is straightforward and helpful! Like I said earlier, you should never be in the dark & you should never have questions so make sure to communicate with your photographer & to ask all of these important questions! I hope that you enjoyed these questions to ask your wedding photographer!
Thanks for hanging out! If this article has been helpful to you, or you know someone planning a wedding, leave a comment below or share this link! If you would like more information on my wedding packages, please check out this page and contact me here! If you would like to get to know me better, check out this short video introduction!