When planning your wedding there are things you just won’t know. It’s not like you are a professional event planner or are in the wedding industry. Weddings have a lot of moving parts, so when hiring a professional photographer to your wedding day, there are crucial questions to ask them during the hiring process. This blog post discusses 15 essential questions to ask when hiring a wedding photographer for your wedding day.
I am not going to get into the obvious questions, like whether they are available for your wedding date. If they are responding to your inquiry positively and you gave your date to them when you reached out, I feel like it is safe to say they can capture your wedding. I will also add that when inquiring with the photographer, you need to have already looked at their website, Instagram/Facebook and other social media like Pinterest or TikTok. Why? You need to make sure you like the way they capture weddings and their editing style. You might be seeing their highlight reel, but you have to like what you see before you inquire. Asking a photographer to change how they capture or edit photos should not be on the list of things to ask them.
So what are things you should ask? Here are 15 questions that are essential but ones you might not have thought to ask right away.
15 Essential Questions to ask When Hiring a Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photographer’s Availability
They responded back favorably, so you know they can shoot your wedding but…
1. Will they be the one shooting your wedding? If not, what does this look like for you meeting the photographer who will be capturing it?
2. Will the main photographer be capturing other sessions like your engagement or bridal session?
Most wedding photographers are a one-person show are the person you hire for your wedding. But some wedding photography businesses are larger and have multiple photographers who get commissioned to your wedding. It’s important to know who will be there on your wedding day.
3. How many other weddings will they be capturing that weekend?
4. Will there be any assistants there on our wedding day?
Knowing what the photographers team looks like and their reasoning behind it will give you an idea on how they approach a wedding day. If they don’t bring an assistant and you want one, be prepared for it to cost more.
Experience of the Photographer
Hiring a wedding photographer who has experience is important. Wedding days can go sideways so fast, and having a photographer who can think quickly in the moment is important. That being said, having a photographer who has captured a wedding similar in style and scope is just as important. If the photographer has captured smaller weddings, it might be a challenge for them to capture a wedding double in size. Larger weddings usually have a lot more moving parts, so they might need a larger team than normal but not the experience to know this.
5. How often do you shoot weddings that are in the same size and style that we are doing for our wedding?
6. Can you send me galleries from weddings that are in the same size or style?
A full gallery will give you a better sense of the photographer’s style, as well as their attention to detail. Look to see if the wedding was captured in the last year. Make sure you like what they capture, how they capture it and if you like their editing.
Photographer’s Overall Style
We recently talked about not asking the photographer to change how they capture or edit photos. Each photographer has their unique skills and it’s more about you finding the style you love best and then interviewing your favorites. These questions dig into what it will feel like to be captured by them throughout the coming year.
7. How would you describe your working style? Do you prefer to blend into the background to capture candid moments, or do you like to be more visible and take charge to choreograph images?
8. How do you make your couples feel comfortable in front of the camera?
From here you need to ask yourself whether you and your fiancé will like having little direction from a photographer or more direction. Whether being posed by someone will make you feel awkward or comfortable. And if you don’t know, that’s ok! But talk to your fiancé to see what would make you both feel comfortable.
As well, how the photographer answers this question will tell you about what they are like to work with. Are they fun? Calm? Methodological? Enthusiastic? Flexible? All of this works together in creating images that feel natural.
9. Do you shoot digitally? With film? Or both?
People don’t necessarily know what images have a film look to it, so this is a fair question to ask. Whether or not a photographer captures primarily in one medium or another, does not mean that one is better than the other. It just gives you a good idea as to how your wedding images will look and feel.
Photography Pricing/Packages and More
Just like no two wedding photographers are the same, I have gotten a lot of feedback from couples that no two wedding photographer packages are the same. Some photographers don’t even have packages and you get to build your own coverage from all the things they offer!
10. What is your most popular packages? And why?
11. How many images do you receive for engagement and bridal sessions?
12. Do you cover other events like the rehearsal dinner or trash the dress sessions?
If your photographer has set wedding packages, they may not have information on individual items like rehearsal dinner coverage. They also might not specify how many images you get in the sessions, so it is good to ask.
If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be prepared for anything. In fact I wrote a blog post on how to make your wedding as Covid friendly as you can. The next three questions will get into things that all couples should be asking since nothing is certain anymore!
13. What is your refund and cancellation policy?
14. What is your plan if you are unable to shoot my wedding for an unexpected reason?
15. Do you carry backup equipment?
It’s great to bond with the photographer over the style of their photos and the art they create. But you also need to know what their business practices are like and if they have thought about the things that might go wrong.
I know there are other questions I haven’t included in this blog post. It would be impossible to list them all! But I feel like these are 15 essential questions to ask weddings photographers. They help you get to know them and also help to gage whether they are a fit for you and your fiancé. If you love their answers, their galleries and your gut doesn’t say anything is off, I would hire them!
After reading 15 Essential Questions to ask When Hiring a Wedding Photographer, what questions do you think are most helpful to you?
Want me to Capture your Wedding?
Love my work? Want me to capture you and yours? Let’s talk!! It’s easy, my email address is Christine@swishnclick.com. Let’s have a heart-to-heart, get excited about the possibilities of your wedding or session and come up with a plan that is uniquely you! I want to hear from you!