What questions should I ask a wedding photographer?
You've chosen your dreamed photographer whose style really moves your emotions and you've decided to contact him. A photographer was nice during a conversation. He sent you his offer and it fits your budget. And now it's time to meet each other face to face or via Skype in case of other locations.
You love your photographer's style, but you have no idea what kind of questions you can ask him, because you are not photography expert and honestly you don't know what you can expect. And even if he tells you that he uses Canon 5D Mark IV it won't tell more than "I shoot with oven. It also makes really tasty cookies". No worries, I really get it. That's why I've prepared the list of questions that you can ask your photographer before booking your wedding. Please know that very often there is no good and bad answers. We photographers are different and we have different approaches, but in many cases it doesn't mean that if someone likes shooting with flash it means that he cannot handle shooting wedding without it.
Ok, let's go!
What style do you specialise in?
You should already now what kind of style your photographer has, as you've reviewed his portfolio and stories, but you can ask additional questions to be sure what kind of photography and moments he likes the most.
Will the photos be retouched and edited?
Honestly, this is the one of the cases where there is only one answer. In my opinion I cannot imagine delivering raw unedited photos.
What's your favorite part of a wedding day and time of year to shoot?
This question gives you opportunity to know your photographer a little bit better. Also, when a photographer will tell you that he loves photographing "getting reading" photos you can expect that he will deliver more pictures from that moment.
How many weddings have you shot? How many weddings do you shoot in a year?
You might be curious how big the photographer's experience is and how busy he is during a year.
Do you shoot in both color and black and white?
Maybe you want to have both versions as you also like moody black and white photos. To be sure you can ask about it. A photographer can deliver e.g. both versions same photos.
What exactly is included in your package?
Before you sign a contract ask about it. Maybe you also want to have a cool pendrive or a photo album?
How many hours do you work? Can you stay longer for additional charge?
You want to be sure how long a photographer will stay with you and if it occurs during a wedding that you want your photographer to stay longer make it clear before signing a contract.
What is the deposit and total fee?
There is usually the deposit which you should pay, as a photographer books a date and time for you.
Do you shoot alone or with the second photographer?
No good and bad answer. Maybe two photographers might give you more shoots with different point of view.
Do you have backup photographers who will shoot the wedding if you're sick?
You want to be sure that in case of a photographer's sickness he has another photographer with the similar style that can be his replacement during the best day in your life.
How long after the wedding do we need to wait to see the photos?
You want to know if you will be waiting 1 or 6 months. Make it clear and put it in a contract.
Do you accept other photographers during a wedding?
Maybe you want to have a second photographer during your wedding or your family member? I get it, but sometimes photographer prefers to work alone and not compete with other photographers and uncles with iPhones.
How many weddings do you do during weekends?
Ok, some tricky question. If you have wedding on Sunday and a photographer will tell that he will have another wedding on Saturday what is the chance that he will be fully energised also on Sunday? I am young and I have a lot of energy, so I can imagine that we can work even 24/7, but...yea...something to consider.
Will you come to my venue before a wedding?
I would say that if a photographer said "no" he might be confident about his skills and he worked before with similar lighting conditions. If he tells "yes" he wants to make few test shoots to adjust his camera to the current situation.
Do you have a shoot list or you "go with flow"?
If a photographer goes with flow and you really want to have detail photos of your beautiful wedding dress make sure to tell him that.
What type of paper will you use while printing our images?
Do you prefer matt pictures? Tell that.
Will you share our photos online?
Most of photographers will share your photos online only for advertisement purposes to promote their business. If you don't want that, you can talk about it with your photographer.
What will you wear?
Quite obvious question, but if you see that your photographer is quite "hipster" person you can ask about it to make sure that he won't wear jeans with holes :)
What camera do you use?
That's something what in my opinion you shouldn't bother. It really doesn't matter if he or she shoots Canon, Nikon, Fuji or Sony. Not camera makes your photos beautiful, but a photographer and a way how he uses his camera. I believe that a good photographer can make beautiful pictures using only iPhone. However, I won't try it ^^
Can we have the wedding photo shoot in different day than during our ceremony?
You will have enough stress and responsibilities during your wedding. It's worth to schedule photo shoot another day to be more relaxed and to not worry that much also about photo shoot.
Do you shoot with or without flash?
There are two different approaches. Your photos will look totally different when a photographer uses flash and when he doesn't. There is no good answer. You need to decide what kind of style moves you more.
Do you have a backup camera?
It is only a camera and it can fails. A photographer needs to have a backup.
Can you work in bad weather conditions?
You have the outdoor wedding, but during the wedding it started raining and your photographer ran away as his stuff cannot get wet. I am joking, it won't happen. A photographer will shoot even if there rains heavily outside.
How many photos will we get?
100, 200, 300, 500, 1000? You want to know how many. Please know, that I really understand that you might think that the more the better, as you want to have documented everything during your most important day in your life, but trust me, you will be more happy to not receive 1000 photos, as you and your family will get bored really quickly. You want to be fascinated while watching the best photos from your wedding.
Can we see all un-edited photos and choose them by ourselves?
It depends on a photographer's style if he wants to share with you all his work. I would say most photographer said: "No". It's his job to make you amazed and not bother you by reviewing 10 000 photos.
Can we receive all photos, also un-edited?
Can we have an engagement photo shoot before a wedding?
It is really a cool idea to meet your photographer before a wedding and to feel more comfortable in front of the camera. Worth to ask.
Basically that's it!
Please know that those questions are only examples what you can ask your photographer before booking your wedding. You don't have to ask about everything to not make this poor guy overwhelmed. What if he ran away and you would need to find another photographer?
I'm joking. We really know that this is really important for you and we understand that. We are always happy to answer on your questions and be your support not only during a wedding, but also before and after.
Ask, Ask, Ask, make everything clear, book this gem and make it awesome together!