Do you know the 5 most important questions to ask a wedding photographer to make sure you find the best possible fit for your wedding day?
Firstly, we get it. With the sea of photographers flooding the internet these days, we know how difficult it can be to navigate the waters and catch a few gooders—the ones whose style fits your vibe and whose photos grow your heart three sizes with all the emotions they evoke.
Once you’ve narrowed it down, it’s time to dig into the details of the day and make sure nothing is left unexplained or glossed over. You may LOVE someone’s work, but if you don’t know the right questions to ask a wedding photographer, you may choose one that doesn’t click with you as well as they could.
Before that, though, we highly recommend that you meet with all of your prospective wedding photographers—either in person, via video chat, or on the phone. You can tell a lot about a person from their voice and their personality and, if you try to book someone completely online, you will never know if your personalities will click. It would add some serious stress to your day if you find out, too late, that your wedding photographer is not your kind of person. Imagine spending your entire wedding day clashing with your wedding photographer!
Once you get together with them, we advise you to ask your wedding photographer these five important questions before you decide to sign on the dotted line:
Can we see one or two complete wedding galleries (full days) from your portfolio?
Why? It’s important to find a shooter who knows their way around shooting in all sorts of conditions, lighting situations, and places, so you know they will be able to handle anything that may pop up during your day and still deliver the quality of photos that caught your eye in the first place. If they can show you one or two full galleries that cover a wide range of locations, lighting, and challenges and you can see that their style and skill is consistent throughout, chances are they will be able to handle your day with ease as well.
What does your Wedding Photography Contract cover?
Why? A wedding contract is essential to cover both parties in case something comes up or goes awry during the wedding day or after, during processing. It’s SO important that you and your photographer have a contract that details everything about your wedding day and the post-processing plan!
At the very least, a contract should cover the following basics:
- Date of Wedding
- Names and addresses and contact info of all involved parties
- Time and duration of expected photographic coverage
- Amount owing for deposit, date it is due, AND if it is fully or partially refundable (and the conditions in which that is possible)
- Amount owing on balance and date it is due
- All coverage, products and services being promised by the photographer (including estimated Turn-Around time to get your finalized photographs)
- Any extra fees, such as travel or per diem food allowance, the photographer is asking you for
- What happens if something prevents you from getting married and how the photographer will be compensated
- What happens if something prevents the photographer from shooting your wedding and how you will be compensated (or the back-up plan if there is one)
- A cap on how much the photographer will owe you if something goes wrong and you decide you want to sue him or her (the normal cap is the price of the package you are purchasing, no more)
- Anything else that is pertinent to you and the photographer being covered in all areas.
Do you have Insurance?
Why? This covers the photographer(s) and clients while shooting and covers everybody if something happens to the equipment or your photos. Sometimes things happen that nobody has control over and it’s a good thing to have all of those potential situations covered.
Do you have any special requests for us or is there anything you are not comfortable doing?
Why? Some photographers insist on certain must haves during a wedding day to ensure the best quality of work possible. For example, some request that guests stay in their seats during the ceremony or stay seated while they are taking photographs. It reduces the risk of a guest standing up in front of the photographer and blocking their shot during important moments—such as the first kiss or ring exchange—but still allows guests to take photos too.
Can you give us an example of a wedding day that went sideways and tell us how you handled it?
Why? This is an excellent way to gauge the photographer’s adaptability and confidence in their own skills. A seasoned photographer will have a long list of wedding days that didn’t go as planned (because wedding days are notorious for that kind of thing) and needed fast-thinking adjustments and changes to make it work!
We could probably list a lot more questions that we would expect to be asked by prospective clients, but those five are, by far, the most important questions to ask a wedding photographer to make sure you hire the right one for you. Also, to be fair, most seasoned pros will cover all of this, and a whole lot more, without any questions at all, but if you feel like you need to bring something with you, this list is a good place to start. Here’s more questions if you feel that you need to cover more areas.
Good luck with your search and we hope you find the perfect wedding photographer for your big day! We’d love to connect with you to discuss your upcoming wedding and answer any questions you may have about our services.