Your wedding photographer will serve a very important role for your wedding. The photographs captured by him/her will be a reference point for the start of your lives together. For this reason, you should take extra care to select the best photographer based on your needs and desires.
You should ask certain questions to get a better understanding of a photographer’s services during the wedding photographer selection process. Your potential wedding photographer should be able to fully answer these questions and you should feel comfortable with their responses.
Questions to ask your potential wedding photographer
1. Are you available on my wedding date?
First and foremost, be sure the photographer confirms availability for your wedding date before wasting your time.
2. How long have you been photographing weddings?
Let’s face it, technology is making it easy for anyone to be a photographer. Understanding the potential photographer’s background and years of experience is helpful in making a decision. You will also want to check out their online portfolio of past weddings.
3. Have you ever worked at our venue before?
Having home field advantage is a good thing. Your photographer may know some ins and outs that could add a special touch to your photographs.
4. What is the cost of your packages and what is included?
Cost is an important topic to discuss, especially if you want to stay on budget. You also want to know exactly what you’re getting for the price.
5. How much of a deposit is required to hold the date and what forms of payment do you accept?
Usually, you will have to pay a percentage of the total fee upfront to reserve services. In most cases, it will be 50%. The remaining balance is usually due prior to or on the day of your wedding. You may need to reserve services a year or more in advance so it is critical to keep track of the photographer’s payment due dates and requirements.
6. What is your cancellation and refund policy?
Just in case the unforeseeable happens, you should know what your options are with regards to a cancellation and refund.
7. How are the images delivered and are they all retouched?
New cameras these days take stunning photos but great photographers can retouch any photo and make it much better than the original. Some photographers will only retouch certain photos whereas others may retouch all of your photos. You won’t know until you ask.
8. Do you have a special style(s) that sets you apart from other wedding photographers?
You may want to meet with your photographer before the event to discuss styles and photography ideas. A few popular styles include traditional, photojournalism, illustrative, high fashion, portraiture, and natural light. If you have an idea of the type of style you want, this can help you narrow down the list of photographers that are right for you based on their portfolio.
9. Is an engagement session included in the price?
Some photographer will include the engagement session as part of their package. If it’s included or can be added on, you may want to consider this option.
10. Is a second shooter included in the package I am interested in?
Let’s do the numbers. One photographer and potentially 300+ guests may mean a second shooter is needed. Some photographers work with a team and you should find out what your options are.
11. Do you have insurance?
In case something goes wrong during the wedding day or it is required by the venue, you should know what type of insurance coverage your photographer provides.
12. How long after the event will my photos be ready?
It is important to know how long after your wedding day you will receive your photos. Some photographers state specifically how long this process is but others may work around your schedule.
13. How many other events will you be photographing that weekend?
You may want to know how busy your photographer is during the weekend of your wedding. If there is a need for rehearsal dinner shots or services outside the normal time-frame you should ask about your photographers availability.
14. Should my event last longer than scheduled, will you stay and is there an extra charge?
Just like insurance, you never know what will occur. If the wedding goes longer than expected or if there are delays, what are your options?
15. Can you provide references?
It is reasonable to request references from a potential photographer. In most cases, online reviews will suffice. But, if it will make you feel more comfortable, you can request to speak with past clients about their experience before making a final decision.
Choosing a potential wedding photographer will take some preparation and planning. But, equipped with the right set of starting questions, you’ll be able to fully understand who your photographer is and what you will be getting with his/her work.