Choosing a photographer to capture your wedding day is a huge task – you want to find someone with the relevant skills and experience but you also need to click with them on a personal level as you’ll be spending a lot of time with them on your big day and the more comfortable you are around them, the more natural and authentic your wedding photos will be.
Here are all the questions you need to ask a photographer before you book him/her to capture your big day.
The Basics – Getting To Know The Photographer
Do you have our date available?
How far in advance do we need to book with you?
How long have you been shooting weddings? /How many weddings have you photographed?
*While there’ll be photos and videos from your big day on yours and your nearest and dearest Instagram feeds, you really only have one chance to get amazing wedding photographs so you need to hire a photographer with the relevant experience and knows how to get the shots you want under pressure.
Have you photographed weddings that have a similar size and style to the one we’re planning?
How many weddings do you do in a year?
What’s your favourite part of a wedding day? / What’s your favourite time of year to shoot?
Have you ever photographed a wedding at our ceremony and reception venues? If not, do you plan to visit the venues in advance to create the shot list?
Can we see the full galleries of a few of your recent weddings?
What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?
If we hire you, will we receive a written contract? If so, what does it include?
Do you have a list of references that we can review?
How would you describe your photography style? What would you compare your work to?
What style(s) do you specialise in?
How would you describe your working style? For example, do you prefer to capture more candid moments, or do you take charge to choreograph images?
Will the photos be retouched, and colour balanced? Is that done before we see the proofs?
*Magazine and fashion photographers use these techniques to make images perfect. Most photographers will show you untouched proofs and apply these edits to the images you order for your album.
Do you shoot digitally? With film? Or both?
*While digital has become more popular, some couples prefer the film option so it’s important that the photographer you choose has the relevant experience and skills required to execute your chosen format. And, if you want film, ask if they usually shoot in both colour and black and white, and what percentage of each do they recommend.
Do you bring your own lighting?
*This is important to know in case you need to organise additional lights with the venue.
Pricing & Packages
What is included in your standard package? / What add-ons do the more expensive packages include? / Can I customise a package to fit my needs?
Can we request a list of specific shots we would like?
What is the charge for overtime?
How much of a deposit is required and when is it due?
Do you offer payment plans?
What is your refund/cancellation policy?
Do you charge a travel fee? For what distance? What does that cover?
How long after the wedding will we get the proofs? Will they be viewable online?
How many final images should we expect to receive?
About The Day
Are you the photographer who will shoot our wedding? If so, will you have any assistants with you on the day? / Will you be my actual photographer, or will it be one of your associates? If so, can we meet them before our wedding?
What type of equipment do you use? Do you carry backup equipment?
How will you (and your assistant(s)) dress for the day?
What time will you arrive at the site?
Will you be posting about our wedding on your website or social media? / Will you be submitting our photos to magazines or blogs?
Do you have liability insurance?
Prints & Albums
Can we order prints or albums directly from you?
What type of album do you offer? Do you provide advice selecting images and designing the album?
Are albums or prints included in your packages? How many prints are included? What is the turnaround time?
How long after the wedding will we receive the images? How will they be delivered?
Will we have the rights to the images?
Will we receive the negatives and/or high-resolution digital images? Is there a fee for that?
Will the images be accessible online? If so, for how long?