You’ve reached out to potential wedding photographers to make sure they’re available for your date (check!), within your budget (check!), and have a portfolio style you love (check!). Now that you’ve whittled your list of options, it’s time to schedule a meeting with your favorites.
The main goal of these meetings is to make sure your personalities mesh. But it’s also the perfect chance to ask any lingering questions. Not sure what to ask? I’ve got you covered. Keep reading for the 11 important questions you should ask before you book a wedding photographer.
The important questions you should be asking wedding photographers (and why you should ask them):
Will you be the person photographing our wedding?
It is extremely important that you build a connection with your wedding photographer. If the person at your wedding meeting won’t be at your wedding, ask if you can schedule a time to talk to the person who will be.
How many weddings have you photographed?
Experience comes from the number of weddings a photographer has worked, not the number of years they’ve been in business. The more weddings a photographer’s documented, the more they’re able to adapt to any situation thrown at them.
How do you approach a wedding day?
This is the best way to learn more about a wedding photographer’s style. Ask them to elaborate on how they document different parts of the day:
- How do they approach portraits (like wedding party photos or traditional family photos)
- What they look for as they photograph your wedding
Ultimately, this question will determine if a potential photographer is the right fit for your wedding.
Can we see a full wedding gallery to get an idea of what our’s would look like?
Websites and social media are the ‘greatest hits’ of photographers. Ask to see a full gallery (or multiple galleries) to make sure you will be happy with the end product you receive.
This is how you’ll get a first-hand look at:
- How many photos you’ll get
- What their style is (and how it translates at different parts of the day)
- How they edit their images (and if their editing is consistent with their social media + website portfolio)
Pro Tip: Look at the reception photos. Any photographer can take great photos during the day. But most of your wedding events will take place after the sun goes down. Make sure the photographers you chat with know how to take great photos at night and in dark spaces.
If things run late, can you stay? What’s your overtime rate?
Life happens and weddings can run late. When looking at wedding packages (and determining how many hours to book), make sure to factor this in. For example: if your first dance happens at 9 PM, make sure your photographer stays until 10 PM. It gets you great dance floor candids and is a buffer if things run late. Having that extra hour is always cheaper than paying overtime fees.
Have you photographed at our venue or a venue similar to ours?
If your photographer says no, don’t consider it a dealbreaker. A professional photographer will be able to work at any venue, even if they’ve never been there. Instead, ask for examples of work at similar venues. That will help you visualize what your photos will look like, lighting and color-wise.
Is an engagement session included, or is it an extra cost?
I have a soapbox dedicated to engagement sessions. They’re a great way to get comfortable in front of the camera. That’s why most wedding photographers include them in wedding packages. If the package info doesn’t mention an engagement session, ask if it’s included or if it’s an extra fee.
What are your backup plans?
If you’re an anxious enneagram 6 like me, it’s always good to check in and see what a photographer’s backup plan is. Double-check that they have backups when it comes to:
- Their equipment—do they have backups just in case their equipment breaks during your wedding
- An emergency—what’s their plan if they get sick or are unable to make it to your wedding
- Your files—how do they back up your wedding photos after the wedding
Do you have insurance?
Wedding venues usually require that your wedding photographer has liability insurance. Make sure to double-check with potential photographers that they carry it. If not… 🚩🚩🚩.
Do we need to order albums and prints through you?
Most wedding photographers will give you printing rights to your wedding photos. This means you can download the high-resolution files and print them wherever you’d like. On the flip side, there are some photographers who require that you order prints through them. Make sure to ask for more details and keep that pricing in mind when budgeting.
How do we book?
If the photographer’s answers lined up with what you want and you vibed with their personality, ask about the next steps. This should involve signing a contract and paying a retainer. They should also spell out the payment terms. If you have any questions about payment plans, this is the time to bring them up.
There you have it! Those are the questions you should ask when you meet with potential wedding photographers. These questions make sure you’re a perfect fit AND make sure you know what to expect.
Pro Tip: Only ask the questions you actually care about. Wedding blogs like The Knot, Brides, and Style Me Pretty offer a long list of questions you should ask wedding photographers. Some of the questions are extremely helpful… and others are niche questions that you may not care about.
Go with your gut and only ask the questions that feel relevant to you. If you don’t care what I wear to your wedding or whether I’ve worked at your venue before, that’s okay. Don’t feel obligated to ask it. It’ll make the meeting more enjoyable and you’ll get way more out of it.
Want more wedding planning tips?
To quote my girl Viola Hastings, I’ve got a lifetime of knowledge. And, by lifetime, I mean 7 years and over 150 weddings’ worth. So go ahead, command-click these posts & add them to your tab collection: