20 Questions to Ask A Wedding Photographer Before You Book Them
Updated: Dec 8, 2019
Choosing a wedding photographer can be super stressful! There is literally a million options out there, and everyone has a recommendation. However even if you find a few in your budget, you may have no idea how to narrow down your options further. Hence where this blog post comes in! I compiled a list of questions (in no particular order) you should ask a wedding photographer before you choose to book them. I even added how their answer should sway your decision to a few questions!
1. Will you be the one shooting my wedding?
The answer to this question should be yes! Sometimes photographer's have other photographers that work under them, and they send them to shoot weddings for them. However you should be meeting with the photographer that is going to shoot your wedding.
2. How many other weddings will you photograph that day?
The answer to this question should be none, unless they have other photographers that work for them.
3. How many weddings have you shot?
I prefer this question over how many years. Reason being a wedding photographer who has been in business for 10 years, may have only shot 7 weddings while a wedding photographer who has been in business 3 years may have shoot 70. Years of experience is not as important as how many weddings they shoot. If photography is of total important I recommend you chose a photographer whose answer is over 20, just due to experience.
4. Have you ever shot at my venue before?
This is not a make or break question in my opinion, as I always go to venues before the wedding and scout it if I have not shot there before. Most experienced photographers do, and should! So if they say no, just make sure the photographer is willing to visit before the wedding.
5. Do you charge a travel fee?
Nearly every photographer does if they are traveling outside of a certain radius for a wedding. However you do not want to be blindsided by this fee when you get the invoice so make sure you ask!
6. Will we have rights to print our images?
This answer should always be yes. Otherwise if you want to print your photos you are going to be looking at an additional fee.
7. How long after the wedding will we receive our images?
The average turn around time for wedding photos are 6-8 weeks, however some are more and some are less. I, for example, have photos to you within 2-3 weeks, however I am normally sending out photos within a week. I also know photographers who are 12 weeks+. Something important to consider!
8. How will we receive our images?
Most photographers have moved to online galleries, however some still do USBS. Not a make or break question, but definitely something to ask as you want to know what to expect.
9. Do carry backup equipment?
The answer should always be yes!! If not and their camera fails, you will not receive wedding photos.
10. Do you follow a shot list?
The answer to this question for me is that I have photographed enough weddings to have a mental one, and shoot from there. However if you are hiring a newer photographer, or someone with little experience you may want them to have an actual shot list so they do not miss anything a professional would.
11. What happens if you are sick or an emergency comes up and you can not make it to my wedding?
Make sure your photographer has a backup plan! It is a must! You do not want to be out of luck on your wedding day, and I have known photographers who have left clients high and dry because of illness or an emergency. I have shoot a wedding with a fever, the stomach flu, bronchitis, you name it. I have also shot a wedding the day after I totaled my car, with a few cracked ribs. I do not miss a wedding. However I have backups in place in case I ever were to.
12. Can I see a full album from a wedding?
The answer should be yes. What you see on a photographer's website is just their best, but if you want to get a feel for what your gallery and photos will look like ask to see a full gallery.
13. Will our photos be retouched and color corrected?
The answer should be yes, hands down.
14. Do you have a second shooter?
Again another question I personally think should be yes. If I shot a wedding alone my couples would receive half the images they do, mainly because second shooters provide such a necessary viewpoint. Plus I spend the day focused on the bride and the groom and they are able to gather the background things going on. However most photographer's do charge an additional fee for a second shooter, so keep that in mind. I however do not. All of my packages include second shooters!
15. Do you bring lighting for the reception?
The answer should be yes if you want well lit reception and indoor photos.
16. How many shooting hours do you recommend?
Most photographer's offer multiple packages ranging in hours. While it may be tempting to book the biggest package, or you may think your wedding day can not happen in 6 hours but you don't have the budget for the 8 hour package, your photographer will definitely tell you how many hours are a must.
17. Do you have a backup of our wedding photos?
Again another answer that should be a yes. If not what happens if you loose your usb or your online gallery fails? Your photographer should keep a backup no matter what. I happen to keep 3, but I also rather have too many backups then not enough.
18. What will you wear to our wedding?
I feel like this is an important one mainly because I have seen wedding photographers who shoot in jeans, and look like they rolled out of bed, leaving me saying I would not hire them. Having a wedding photographer who is professionally dressed, and fits in with the wedding guests in a must in my option!
19. How many pictures will I receive?
This is a great question to ask because you want to know that you are not going to hire a wedding photographer for 8 hours and only get 100 photos back. Most photographers will give a range or a minimum, it should be around 50-75 an hour!
20. Do you have liability insurance?
This is another answer that should be a yes and I think it is pretty obvious why!
I hope this list was helpful for all the brides out there deciding what wonderful wedding photographer to book!