Getting ready to hire a wedding photographer for your special day? That’s wonderful! Here are 5 questions to ask your wedding photographer that will guide you in making the right decision for this once-in-a-lifetime event!
Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most exciting elements of planning your dream wedding. It is such an honor to be entrusted with capturing a couple’s big day. The importance never wears off on me. What a privilege it is to get to capture these memories that will be treasured for a lifetime.
There is no “one-style fits all” solution to finding the right photographer for you. The process of finding someone to work with can be lengthy for many brides and grooms. I want to make that process a little easier, by equipping you with 5 essential questions to ask your wedding photographer, in order to guarantee that you’ve covered all the ground you need to know before you book someone for your celebration.
The Key 5 Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer
1. Can I see your full portfolio?
One of the most common places that brides and grooms source their wedding vendors is through social media. Since 40 Million people use Pinterest every year to plan their wedding, this is easy to believe! But if you are sourcing a wedding photographer through Pinterest or Instagram, the chances are that you are only seeing a small glimpse of their work.
There are so many reasons to request to see a full portfolio for your prospective photographers.
- Firstly, you want to see how they shoot every detail of a wedding. Most photographers only showcase their highlight photographs on their social channels. You want to see a full sweep of an entire celebration, from getting ready to the farewell. That way you can gauge how their photography style flows through the various elements of the wedding day. You want to make sure that you like their tablescape photographs just as much as you like their couples portraits: after all, you are trusting them to capture every memory from the day in its entirety.
- Secondly, you want to ensure that their quality is consistent wedding-to-wedding. Consider their Instagram as a highlight reel, not necessarily demonstrative of their work in its entirety.
- Another reason to request a viewing of their full portfolio is that it gives you access to their full creative spectrum. You might find a particular wedding in their repertoire that you LOVE and ask them to try and capture the same style for your wedding day. Remember, you are asking your wedding photographer these questions in order to find a fit that works for you!
2. Ask whether they shoot film, digital, or both!
Choosing between a film or digital photographer is a huge decision! You might want to read my blog ‘What Is Film Photography’ to better understand the former.
What kind of photo quality are you envisioning for your wedding day?
Nostalgic and whimsical? Or crisp and modern?
Once you settle on a look and feel that suits your wedding aesthetic then you’ll be able to sit with your photographer and show them example images that inspire you!
3. Ask them whether they have photographed at your venue before.
This isn’t a make or break, but often it helps for your photographer to be familiar with the space. If they’ve shot a wedding there before, you might request to see those photographs in order to ensure that you like the coverage that they were getting.
If not, you might want to request for them to have a walkthrough before the wedding day, in order for them to get a lay of the land and talk to your wedding coordinator about any logistics that might impact them. Ask the right questions to your venue hosts – such as inquiring about a space for your photographer to store their laptop and hard drive, and available access to power, in case they should need to charge any batteries on sight.
Viewing the space in person will also allow the photographer to get their head around the available natural and electric light. This might impact whether they choose to shoot with flash, or even to rent any free-standing lights – making it one of the most crucial questions to ask your wedding photographer.
4. Ask them what comes in their photography package.
Some photographers might offer different rates for package deals. Ask them whether they have experience shooting engagement or anniversary photographs. You might be able to work with them to create a bespoke price package that suits your needs.
Some photographers might offer tiered-price packages depending on the length of the day or the immediacy of their deliverables turn around. Some photographers like to work with a second shooter on site, which might cost more for you. If you are working on a more restrictive budget then having these questions might be a huge help in creating a deal that suits your needs and honors your financial situation.
5. Ask them about their deliverables package.
Work with your photographer to establish your deliverables expectations. Think about these questions to ask your wedding photographer:
- How quickly do you want them to turn around the photographs and deliver them to you?
- How many photographs are you expecting them to deliver? And what elements of the day are of the highest priority for you to capture.
- You might want to run them through a specific tiered breakdown of how many photographs you’d like to receive of each specific element of the wedding day – from the ceremony, through to the portraiture sessions, through to dinner and the reception.
- How do you expect the photographs to be delivered?
- Are you looking to receive a USB, a CD, or a digital download of the digital files?
- Would you like to receive any specific prints from the day?
- Would you want your photographer to build out a photo-book or album presentation of your photographs?
Now You Know What Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer!
Having these questions to ask your wedding photographer at the forefront of your mind is going to be important as you start to make your decisions.
My best advice to couples is that they’ll want to choose a photographer who has a style AND personality they love. After all, your photographer is going to be a pivotal part of your big day. Knowing that you like and trust them to be a calm and encouraging presence at your wedding is vital. You’re going to be coordinating closely with them on numerous details, so you want to ensure that you are booking someone who is a pleasure to work with!