Deciding on a wedding photographer can be overwhelming. There are so many options out there and each photographer offers a myriad of services so how do you find the best fit for you? Today I’m sharing my top ten questions to ask when hiring your wedding photographer!
1.) What kind of experience do you have?
I recommend asking your photographer to send galleries of real weddings they have photographed. On any given wedding day, your wedding photographer will run into all types of lighting and posing situations and the best way to see those is through a real gallery. Of course, do keep in mind that not every photo will look like it’s been taken from the pages of Martha Stewart Weddings. Some moments might mean something to only the couple and to me, they can be worth keeping around.
2.) Are you comfortable working with all types of light?
I love working with natural light. It’s flattering, it’s whimsical and it’s just all around beautiful. But it can also be easy. What is the real challenge? Understanding how to light subjects in dark spaces. When looking through a potential photographers portfolio, be sure to look for photos taken in lower light situations such as receptions to see how their work measures up when the lights go down.
3.) Do you have any reviews from former clients?
Check to see if your photographer has reviews on places such as The Knot, Wedding Wire, Google and Facebook. If reviews are turned off that might be fishy. Check out my reviews on The Knot here.
4.) How will you approach my wedding day?
This is a fun one and is sure to get a unique response from each photographer you inquire with. Your photographer should have a clear game plan for how to approach each step of your day from photographing your details to how to tackle family formals.
5.) Who will be photographing the wedding?
This might seem obvious, but imagine if the person you thought was going to show up – sent a total stranger instead. This actually happened to friends of mine. Their photographer double booked and sent a series of inexperienced associate shooters in her place without ever warning the bride. Eep! Now, I know plenty of incredible photographers who use associate shooters who are wonderful, but knowing who your photographer will be ahead of time is very important for this reason! Another great question to ask is if they have a second shooter.
6.) What happens after the wedding?
Asking your potential photographer how long it will take to receive your wedding photos following the wedding is pretty standard. However you should also ask how the images will be delivered. I opt to give my clients a full online gallery with high resolution images, but some photographers require you to purchase all prints through them or to purchase a USB. This can change the pricing of course, so be sure you know what to expect up front.
7.) Are you insured?
This is a simple question but an important one. Your photographer should be able to happily provide proof of insurance to your venue prior to the wedding. In fact, some venues won’t let your photographer in without it!
8.) What is your editing style?
This is another question that might seem obvious, as you’ve probably already seen their portfolio and can clearly see their style. However if you would really love a dinosaur to be edited into the back of your groomsmen photos or extensive beauty editing to be done, you might want to ask your potential photographer if this is in the realm of work that they do. Photo editing has endless possibilities but some photographers (like me) opt for a more natural approach.
9.) What is your back up plan in case of emergency?
This can be a scary thought, but the reality is your photographer will be a human. (Unless you have a cool robot photograph your wedding and in that case – awesome!) There is potential for something to happen to them on or before your wedding day. Hopefully it doesn’t, but be sure to ask what their backup plan is in case of emergency. Another thing to ask along these lines is how they plan to keep your images safe. Do they use multiple memory cards?
10.) What is their personality like?
Ok, so you might not actually ASK them that, but this should be in the back of your mind while you’re talking with them. And to be honest, I saved this one for last because I can’t stress enough how important this is. I know.. I know.. you absolutely want to find a talented photographer too, but hear me out on this. Your wedding photographer is going to be with you all day on the day of your wedding. They will be interacting with your friends, family and guests. You want to make sure that you click (pun intended) and that it is someone you trust and have fun with! If your personalities don’t mesh you won’t feel your best and you’ll be able to tell in the photos, I promise.
#4 Image shot for the amazing Roxana Snedeker Photography
About the author: Alison is an Indianapolis based wedding photographer who loves working with joyful couples, celebrating timeless love and helping other small businesses grow.