20 Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer
Planning a wedding can sometimes feel like an endless list with 89136814537 things still left to do. And picking a photographer is often one of the biggies! In a recent post (here’s a handy link!) I talked about finding the perfect wedding photographer for you. In that post, I mentioned about getting in touch with the photographer to make sure they are free for your day, as well as a few things to ask. With this post I wanted to delve a bit deeper into a selection of questions that I think are helpful for both you and your photographer. I’ve seen a lot of similar posts to this, but none from a wedding photographer’s perspective.
Are You Free?
This seems to be quite a common one but it makes sense. Wedding photographers often fill their diaries up years in advance, so it’s important that you find out if they are free!
Tell Us A Bit About Yourself?
Obviously you need to know about your photographer’s experience and a bit about how they shoot. You can usually find a fair amount of information about a photographer from their website but asking a bit about them makes things a lot more personal.
Can We See A Full Wedding Album?
Whilst blogs are great and you should be able to get a strong idea of a photographer’s style from their portfolios and social media channels, it’s always a good idea to ask to see a full wedding album. This will give you a better idea of their style and how they tell the story of your day. Looking through an entire album can be even more beneficial if the photographer has shot at your venue before or in similar venues.
How Long Is Covered?
This is important as sometimes the phrase “full day” can be a bit unclear. Most wedding photographers usually offer 10 hour day coverage but it’s always good to check as it can sometimes be shorter. It’s also good to check if you can add any additional hours on the day, but be aware, on busy weekends some photographers may be travelling for another wedding the next day, so always check that they are willing to stay those extra hours just incase!
Have You Shot At Our Venue Before?
This is a good question as it means you can get a better idea of how your images might look. In similar blogs I’ve seen a lot of people suggesting you ask your photographer to visit the venue prior to the wedding. Personally, I don’t think this matters too much as a professional should be able to tackle most situations, but if you are really concerned about how they plan on shooting your venue then it might be worth an ask.
What Is Your Back Up Plan Incase Of Emergency?
It’s always good to have a backup plan in advance and to be sure that if everything goes Pete Tong, you know what will happen. Most photographers work with a network of other photographers so that in a worst case scenario they can call someone to come and cover your day. Often they’ll shoot in a similar style and then be edited by your original photographer, but it’s good to be sure.
Are You Insured?
Another standard question that is good to tick off the list. Occasionally some venues will require a wedding photographer to send over a copy of their insurance documents which shouldn’t be an issue. Every wedding photographer should be insured!
Do You Have Any Testimonials We Can See?
Whilst most photographers have a testimonials page or reviews posted over their website and social media channels, some don’t and it’s good to see what others have said about that photographer. Other blogs I’ve seen have recommended contacting previous clients but I find this a bit odd. It’s totally up to you but most photographers have testimonials that they will be happy to send over!
What Information Do You Need From Us Before The Wedding?
This is a great question and not one that I see a lot of on other blogs. Often a photographer will need a few bits of information from you whether it be an itinerary of the day or a list of group shots that you’d like. It’s always good ask ahead so that you can get everything ready well ahead of time.
What Are Your Package Prices?
Another obvious one but it’s usually a big one. Try to avoid starting with this as it feels less like your interested in a photographer’s work and more like you’re looking for a cheap deal.
Can We Give You A List Of Shots?
This one can sometimes be a bit of a tricky one. Whilst you’re obviously going to want certain shots on the day, groups, families, etc, you don’t want to go overboard with a list as this can distract a photographer from capturing the day naturally and missing out on important candid shots. Also bear in mind that when sending a list of shots you aren’t going too much against the style of the photographer. For example if they mainly shoot candid, documentary style images, giving them a list of overly posed images edited in colour splash style might not be the best fit for you. You and your photographer should have a shared vision of how the day is captured.
Can We Add A Second Shooter?
A second shooter can be a real benefit to a wedding day and help the main photographer capture a whole host of extra shots that might have gone amiss. Most photographers will happily add a second shooter for an additional cost, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Can We Add Extras?
Same as the question above; maybe there isn’t a package that has everything you are looking for. Asking if you can add on second shooters, extra books or engagement shoots is never a bad idea!
Do We Need To Feed You?
Some photographers have this in their contracts and some don’t (I always have a boot full of quavers so I’m good!) but it’s nice to be asked. If they do need feeding, it’s good to sort out any dietary requirements before the big day.
Do We Have To Come Back To You For Extra Prints Etc?
Whilst it’s easy to assume that once you have the images they are yours to print and share however you like, this isn’t always the case. Most photographers will offer you a print licence, meaning you can print the images how you like, but some might want you to come back to them for extras. It’s always good to see exactly what your photographer’s policy is. It’s also good to ask about things like watermarks and logos appearing on images.
What Happens On The Day?
What time will the photographer arrive? Do they take set breaks? What time do they leave? There’s a thousand little questions you’ll probably have to tick off, but getting a photographer’s general ideas on how the day will run is always good and lets you get a better understanding of how they operate.
How Much Is The Deposit & When Do We Pay The Full Balance?
This differs with most packages, so you may pay a bit more of a deposit for a full day’s coverage opposed to a half day. It’s also important to know when the final balance has to be paid, some photographers ask to be paid prior to the event where as others (like me) require the final payment after the big day!
When Do We Get The Images?
This is usually outlined in the contract but often varies between photographers, so if you are speaking to multiple people always make sure to ask what the turn around time is likely to be. I offer a 6 week turnaround, whereas some others may take a couple of months.
Do You Have A Refund Policy?
Although its probably something you hope you’ll never have to use, it is essential that you know what the refund policy is from your wedding photographer. Most take a non refundable deposit whereas others may offer it back in increments based on the time before the wedding.
Can We Meet Before Booking?
Whether it be face to face, FaceTime or Skype or just a good old fashioned phone call it’s always a good idea to have proper meeting with a photographer that you are keen on! Not everyone has the time to meet up face to face but you should always be able to schedule an online meeting at some point!
So hopefully you’ve been able to take something away from this article and now have a set of questions that will help you when speaking to photographers. A lot of this information should be available on a photographer’s website and social media channels, and you should be able to get a good feel about them from these platforms but it’s always good to have a solid idea of what you are looking for and a good set of questions at the ready!