I have found over the past 5 years as a wedding photographer, I have a series of commonly asked questions, AND questions I don’t frequently get asked but should.
Hiring a photographer for your wedding may be one of the most important decisions of your wedding planning journey. Aside from marrying your best friend (which is pretty awesome!!!) these images will be all that you have as a visual reminder of your day. So with this in mind, i’ve created my top 5 must ask questions for hiring ANY photographer, especially for your wedding.
#1 – Expectations
I can’t say this enough, but truly sharing your expectations with potential photographers is SO IMPORTANT! You may even want to write them down, so you can refer to them in each email or phone conversation. Photographing a wedding isn’t just about me (your photographer) showing up and taking pictures. It’s more complex than that, and the more you share about your expectations, the better job I (again, as your wedding photographer) can create images that blow you away.
What does this mean thought?
Breaking it down
- What events during the day mean the most to you, details, getting ready, portraits of all of your guests, ceremony, whatever you feel is most important. ** side note, we (photographers) often go above and beyond those moments, but this gives us an in site into what we should focus on.
- Within those events, how do you envision those images, are they all candid and care free, or are they more formal and posed.
- What you have in mind for deliverables. Digital galleries, prints, albums, what or how many images you believe you should see, etc. ( Again, your photographer will educate you on what a realistic expectation is for image count, but it opens up the conversation)
- The tone of the event, is it a dry wedding, or are most of your family members big drinkers.
- What you expect to pay. This isn’t the part where you tell a photographer what they “should” charge you. BUT this helps you know right away if they are within your budget.
#2 – How they handle your reception
If you’re getting married indoors, you’ll likely have a dim lit space to party in! A big question to ask your wedding photographer is how they handle lighting your reception or cocktail hour.
** if you’re eloping, and you don’t have a big party to document, this many not apply to you!
A HUGE part of your wedding day is how you celebrate it with your friends and family, and regardless of what the space looks like or feels like, it typically runs into the evening when the lighting isn’t great. Asking your photographer how, or IF they know how to work in low light situations is a good question to ask. You can also ask for some examples of other low light situations they’ve photographed as well.
#3 – Contracts and process
A qualified and experienced photographer will have all of this in place when you inquire. They’ll share all their processes with you, price guides and information. If they don’t, then ask. A contract is especially important. It CLEARLY defines what the scope of the job is, including what your paying, and what the photographer guarantees and doesn’t.
When I receive an inquiry ( i dance around my office first ) then I send a price guide with an outline of what it’s like to work with me, along with CLEAR packages and expectations. When you book with me, you’ll receive a proposal with the information we agreed on, and my contract. Followed up by an excited email that includes my wedding guide!
Ask for any information around what they offer, what the experience might be like, and what they include in their contracts.
Questions to ask a wedding photographer
#4 – Do they like to have fun?
I know this seems like a weird questions, but honestly do you want someone on your day that doesn’t have fun? Your wedding day is going to be full of dancing, drinking, and celebrations. It’s SO IMPORTANT to hire a photographer that can match your vibe. If they’re quiet, and you aren’t, it wont mesh.
You can inquire by looking through their social media highlights, following them online, or even diving deeper into their website to see what they’re all about. OR simply ask.
Side note… I FREAKING LOVE HAVING FUN… just saying…
#5 – Are they inclusive?
No matter your choice in partner, finding someone who’s inclusive really allows you to relax and know that they’re excepting of all people. I included this as my fifth and final question, because it’s truthfully the most important. When you’re inquiring with a photographer they will use inclusive language like “partner” “them/they” “couples” rather than “bride” or “groom”. The industry is becoming more aware of using more neutral language, because we truly want everyone to feel safe and comfortable to enjoy their wedding planning experience.
It breaks my heart to even have to include this, but please know that there are so many amazing photographers ( including myself ) who are accepting of all people, and you should feel safe working with us.
Questions to ask a wedding photographer
Make sure to ask lots of questions when speaking with any vendor, but especially your potential wedding photographer. No question is dumb, or silly, we are truly open books and want to make sure you have the best wedding planning and experience you could ever ask for!!
Hopefully this helps on your wedding planning adventure! I would LOVE to get to know you both, to inquire with me head to my website here.