Okay, there are a billion and a half photographers out there to choose from for your wedding day. You might not even have me in mind to be your photographer or you might not even have a photographer in mind at all! I put together these 5 simple questions that I think everyone should be asking their wedding photographer. I’m guilty, I’ve had couples book me, and I don’t tell them some of this stuff when they inquire. It ends up being brought up later on, either at their initial meeting with me, or even the engagement session! After starting to plan my own wedding, I’ve realized that I kinda get left in the dark on a few things when it comes to hiring vendors. That’s never a good sign, so here’s a few questions you can ask your dream photographer that will help you out in the long run!
1. What is your shooting style?
When it comes to shooting style, this question can go a few different ways. The photographer could talk about whether they like darker more contrasty images, they could also explain how they prefer lighter, brighter images. They could also talk about how they are more of a photo journalistic style photographer, or more of an editorial, fashion focused photographer, but honestly, the list goes on and on!
When it comes to they style, there are a few things to think about. I’m sure you’re drawn to a certain look and have a few options narrowed down, whether that photographer shoots with a brighter look, or a darker look, or even a punchy colorful look. This, I would say, is the easy part. The part where it gets a little tricky is when it comes to how they shoot on the day. You might prefer someone who’s behind the scenes, not really setting up shots, just capturing the day as it goes. Maybe you want someone who’s setting up every shot, a little more editorial style. Not capturing as many candid moments and more than less, posing you as you go! You could want someone who’s in between, like me, giving direction when needed, but also playing a “fly on the wall” role and capturing events as they unfold!
2. What’s your turnaround time?
Holy moly, this is one I’m guilty of not informing clients of right off the bat. Knowing your photographers turnaround time is so critical. It’s pretty important! Every photographers turnaround time is different. Which is not a bad thing, so don’t let this hinder your decision. Just because one photographer takes 2 weeks to deliver your wedding photos and another takes 12 weeks, does not mean one is better than the other. This question is so important to ask so that you’re informed. This is great to know especially if you’re looking to book an engagement session with that photographer. You’ll want to know the turnaround time in advance so that you can plan accordingly and have your images prior to the wedding!
3. Can I see a full wedding gallery?
Ahh! This question…. needs to be asked..sooner rather than later! I’ve heard horror stories of people booking photographers and receiving their wedding images back and they’re NOTHING like what they saw on the photographer’s website. Please, please, please, ask to see a full gallery. I send every couple, AT LEAST, one gallery to view. This is so they can see my photography throughout an entire wedding day. Both outdoors in natural light, and indoors when I’m using flash and artificial light for their reception. Maybe you love a photographer’s work on their instagram, but once you receive a full wedding gallery, you realize you might not like how they light their reception space, or, better yet, you realize that this photographer knows what their doing and shows a wide range of spaces and areas that they work in and that reassures you that you are going with the right photographer for you!
4. What do you do in case of an emergency?
Now this question is a little bit broad. But you can always narrow it down if there’s something that concerns you the most about your wedding day and the photographer you choose. I would say the most common concern would be “What would happen in the case that you can’t make it to our wedding.” You want to make sure that your photographer has a back up plan that you personally feel comfortable with. I hire only second shooters I 100% trust. If something was to happen to me within 24 hours of the wedding day, my second shooter would take over the entire wedding for me and obviously do an amazing job because I fully trust them and know they can handle it.
5. Will you help with a timeline?
Now this is for sure one of the most important questions that I would ask my own wedding photographer. Most of the couples who hire me are not in the wedding industry and don’t know exactly what goes into a full wedding day timeline. Helping out my couple’s with their timeline is something I will never not do. I want my couple to get the best out of their time with me. They’re spending a good chunk of moolah on me, why wouldn’t I want to give them the best possible experience?! Even when my couples have a planner, I double check with them and fine tune the timeline to make sure it’s solid!
I want my couple’s to know that they can reach out to me with any question they may have. I love staying in contact with my couples throughout their entire wedding process. You, on the other hand, might not be into that! You may want to hire a larger company that you know will send out a photographer on the day of and do the job and then you’ll receive the images within the timeframe they have set. Everyone is different and has different needs. These questions will for sure help you find the perfect photographer that fits your needs and wants!
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