7 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer
It’s finally time to start planning your wedding and it’s a super exciting time. There are so many decisions to be made and you probably have a ton of questions. When it comes to your pictures, you may be wondering, are there any questions to ask your wedding photographer to make sure you are picking the right one?
I am here to tell you YES! You should absolutely ask your wedding photographer questions to make sure you are comfortable with them and their process. Out of all of your vendors, you’ll be spending almost the entire day with your wedding photographer. So it’s really important that you not only love their work, but that you vibe with them as a person and trust their guidance throughout the entire process. Now, you shouldn’t use this as a chance to interrogate a photographer, but there are some questions you should definitely know the answers to before booking. I personally take all my potential clients through a consultation call, zoom or in-person meeting before booking. The initial consultation is a great time to ask these questions.
Here are my top questions to ask your wedding photographer!
1. Explain your style.
The assumption here is that you’ve already done your homework. You’ve stalked their website, their Instagram, and you love what you see. From there, in a consult or call, ask them to explain their style and how they work to you. This is a chance to make sure that what you want out of your photography aligns with your photographer’s style and goals. You’ll gain insight on the process and how they get the results they do.
You may be thinking, well can’t they just do it this way for one wedding? But, you have to remember that photography is an art. You wouldn’t ask a painter to make a sculpture because that’s what you want. You want to find someone who’s eye and photographic style speaks to you.
2. Are you insured?
This is a question that not many people would think to ask, but it is super important. Firstly, you want to make sure that your photographer is covered. Most photographers will have some sort of general liability insurance, and you won’t have to worry about paying anything extra for it. This is just to protect both of you, should say, your friend Bob, have one too many drinks, trips over your photographer's light stand during the reception and breaks his wrist. A lot of venues require photographers and other vendors at your wedding to show proof that they have insurance in order to be at their venue. The last thing you want is an issue with your venue or unforeseen charges due to your photographer not having insurance. It’s also just smart business and will keep both of you protected.
3. What backup systems do you have in case of tech issues?
Technology is great and allows us to do so many things, but unfortunately, it can also fail us sometimes. You want to make sure that in the off chance some technological issues arise with your wedding photographer, that your wedding photos are not in jeopardy.
There are two sides of this that you can talk about with your photographer too. First, you can ask about backup systems or plans if something goes wrong with their equipment on the day of. For example, do they have alternate cameras they bring and can use if something malfunctions with their camera itself?
There is also the post-wedding side. Once your wedding is over, you can’t just go back and do it over again if you lose the pictures. So you can talk to your photographer and see what their process is for keeping your photos safe. Do they store them all in one place or do they back them up in multiple places so if something happens to one copy, they still have others that they can use? Who is responsible for the long term storage of the final digital images?
Your photographer should have a system in place to ensure that everything is safe, but it is good to ask to make sure you are protected if the worst case scenario happens.
4. What size digital images do we get?
Now, every wedding package will be a little different, meaning that what you actually get will vary from photographer to photographer. However, if you are getting digital versions of your images, one of the best questions to ask your wedding photographer is what sizes of those digital images are you going to get. It’s important to know this beforehand, though, to make sure you know exactly what you are going to get from your wedding, especially if you are planning on printing out some of your wedding photos after the fact. The last thing you want is pixelated photos when you print them because the resolution is too small, and now you have to buy the larger file size too.
5. What is the process leading up to and after the wedding? Are you hands on at all with the planning and timeline for the wedding day?
This is definitely one of the top questions to ask your wedding photographer! Just like every photographer’s style is going to be different, each photographer’s process is going to be different. Some photographers will be a little more hands-on, offering more advice and guidance in the planning, while others will sit back and follow your lead. It is important, though, to know their individual process so that you have an idea of what to expect. And this doesn’t just mean on the day of your wedding (although that is important too!).
There is so much more that goes into your wedding. For example, once you book your photographer, is there anything that you need to do before the wedding? Are there any calls that you have to talk about your wedding and what you want? Do they need to know what your wedding colors are, how big your wedding is, etc.? Is there anything additional included in the package (like an engagement photo session) that happens before the wedding?
When it comes to your wedding day, how early do they get there? Do they have a set schedule you need to keep to get all the pictures or do they just work around you to capture everything? Do they only shoot for a set amount of hours or do they stay for your entire wedding?
What happens after the wedding? How long until you get your photos or anything else that is included in your package (like albums, prints, etc.)? Do you get any preview galleries or do you just see the final product? Do you have to choose which photos you want or do you get all of them?
There is a ton that goes into your wedding that you may not necessarily think about at first. Knowing all of this beforehand will not only ensure that you are prepared for everything, but it will also ensure nothing surprises you or causes you unnecessary stress.
6. If you are traveling, what do you do to ensure that you and all of your equipment get there on time?
Destination weddings are some of my favorite weddings to shoot and they can be so magical. But, they are not immune to some of the issues you see every day when traveling. It’s important to talk to your photographer about how they handle the logistics of traveling for the wedding.
This can be questions like how do they make sure they are at the location on time? Do they plan to arrive the day before the wedding, or do they plan to get there a few days before your wedding so they have time if something goes wrong with their original travel plans? How do they make sure all of their equipment makes it to your wedding? This is especially important if your photographer is flying to your wedding. We have all heard the horror stories of airlines losing passengers' luggage and the last thing you want is for their equipment to get lost on the way to your wedding. (Personally, if I am flying somewhere, I will purchase extra carry on bags to ensure that all of my equipment stays with me the whole time. But every photographer will have their own process).
While you may not be able to change a photographer’s mind or make them change their process for your wedding, it is important to ask these questions so you have peace of mind and know that your photographer is doing everything they can to avoid any issues on your wedding day.
7. What is your favorite part of photographing a wedding?
While most of the questions on this list are more logistical, this is more so just a fun question to ask your photographer to get to know them better. Odds are, your wedding photographer has shot a ton of weddings and has seen every which way the day can go. Asking them this can help create a more personal relationship with your photographer and can even open you up to doing things at your wedding that you hadn’t even thought of doing!
There you have it. My top questions to ask your wedding photographer. There are so many more questions you can ask but these 7 are some of the most important to help you choose a wedding photographer that’s a perfect fit for you personally and operates a legitimate and reliable business.
But, at the end of the day, just remember this is your wedding and you want to make sure that you are comfortable and confident in the person that is going to capture such an important day for you and your partner.
Still looking for that perfect person? My name’s Emily and I’m the lead photographer and owner of Emily Kyle Photography. I’m a Detroit-based wedding and elopement photographer, but I’ll travel just about anywhere for a good love story. My team and I believe in preserving moments, not poses. From the engagement session to the wedding day, you should be able to relive the heartbeat and the happily unplanned with your future family, over and over. Our goal? To capture your love exquisitely, candidly, and genuinely, leaving you actually having fun instead of holding a cheesy smile.
I know wedding planning can be a lot, so if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, be sure to snag my free wedding guide below! This guide is 52 pages of tips and insights, example timelines, checklists and more, all to help you plan your wedding in a way that allows for the most successful photography.