10 Questions to ask your Photographer
Wedding planning; it’s scary af.
Who are the best vendors? How can I trust them? Why should I trust them? You know what’s scarier? Hiring a photographer that’s going to create the only tangible products you’ll have after everything is said and done. How do you know you chose a good one? Ask them these questions.
Can I see a Full Wedding Gallery?
This CRUCIAL to knowing whether you’re going to love your wedding photos or be surprised. Instagram and Facebook pages are completely curated. Take it from a photographer herself - I don’t usually post getting ready photos or reception photos. Why? Because they’re not “pretty” - they’re not the “banger” shots I want to display. Not that those photos aren’t great, they just don’t get the traction needed for advertising and marketing - as much as that sucks.
You need to be able to see the entire wedding day, not just the “banger” photos. Look at the getting ready photos, those sweet moments that aren’t in the spotlight enough. You should love all of your wedding photos, not just the staged ones. When you ask for a full wedding gallery, ask for several. Especially galleries that are going to be in the style of your wedding. Having a barn wedding? Ask them for a barn wedding gallery. Eloping in the mountains? Ask for a mountain elopement gallery. They shouldn’t hesitate. If they do, RUN.
2. How will you deliver our images?
Some deliver via USB drive, some deliver via online gallery. They need to be clear about this. A great follow up question would be “will the online gallery come with free downloads?” Will you get your online gallery and have to pay for downloads? Will you have access to a print lab? Will they let you order prints through your lab of choice? So many things that revolve around delivery, make sure that is sorted out so you’re no in the dark.
3. Are you trained in all types of lighting?
Remember earlier when I asked you to look at entire wedding galleries? These questions go hand in hand. Your wedding photographer should be trained in all types of lighting including:
Off Camera Flash
Make them prove this to you through their work. A photographer that is confident and trained in all types of lighting will be able to send you several examples of this.
SPOILER ALERT: ya girl is trained in allllll types.
4. What’s your booking process like?
Is the booking process helpful? Do they hold your hand through the process? Are they organized? All of these aspects can result in a good or a bad experience. Is it a booking process you want to be part of? Some prefer booking a photographer that’s super hands on, who will guide them through the wedding planning process. Some prefer to book a photographer they won’t even meet before the wedding. Make sure you’re comfortable with the process because you’ll be going through it for almost a year!
5. What’s your emergency plan?
Photographers are still human. Emergencies do happen and your wedding can’t be rescheduled. Ask them for specific details of their emergency plan and what it involves. If they don’t have one, run.
6. How many cameras do you have?
Okay, okay, this might seem weird, BUT professionals will have at least 2 cameras they work with. They might not work with two cameras at a time but they will have a backup camera. This is for those “just-in-case” situations.
7. Is your pricing all inclusive?
In other words - “will I get an invoice with unmentioned fees attached?” Fees can be anything from travel to taxes that are thrown on at the end. Sometimes vendors like to add this on at the end. I have no idea why, I think it seems shady. Make sure to ask about this before finalizing the deal.
8. How do you back up my photos?
There are so many different options for photo back up that I can’t possible list them all here. Every photographer does it differently. What I can tell you is that they should have multiple places they’re storing your precious photos.
9. Will you actually be shooting my wedding or do you have associates?
Yep, this is an actual thing. There are photographers that have associate photographers. They’re essentially employees that shoot for them when the main photographer is unavailable or cannot meet your budget. Sometimes the photographers that have associate photographers fail to mention they themselves won’t actually be shooting the wedding - it’ll be one of their associates. I do not have associate photographers. I shoot every single wedding I am hired for. But I have had friends hire photographers like this and someone totally different showed up for their wedding WITHOUT WARNING. I can’t make this shit up. Make sure you know who is shooting your wedding photos.
10. What is the turn around time on our images?
Whether it’s 2 weeks or 4 months before you get to see your photos, make sure you know. Then head to the contract and make sure that turn around time is stated! This is so crucial to hold your photographer accountable. I’ve heard horror stories of photographers going MIA after the wedding and not returning photos for about 8 months. There wasn’t a contract so their clients could not do anything about it. Every turnaround time is different and subjective to photographer.