9 Essential Questions For Your Wedding Photographer

Updated January 18, 2022
9 Essential Questions For Your Wedding Photographer

The couple should ask their potential wedding photographer numerous questions to determine whether they’re the right fit for such a special day.

Interviewing someone isn’t a simple task, and you’ll likely start valuing HR manager labor a bit more after talking to multiple photographers in a row.

Many couples are confused about what to ask the wedding photographer.

Indeed, the subject of questions is more important than their quantity. You must know what matters in a photographer’s work to ask the right things.

First, you should outline details of the basics. This includes your payment options, what’s included in the offer, and how long the editing takes.

Then, it would be best to interview the photographer about their experience in the field and wedding photography in particular.

They must know how to shoot in challenging light settings, indoor and outdoor, and have a distinct style you like.

A wedding photographer should also know how to communicate with the couple and guests to achieve the best results.

Finally, it would help if you found out what your options are in case something goes wrong. Ensure your photographer has a plan for every unpredicted issue, and if they don’t, come up with it together.

1. What’s Included in the Price?

Every photographer charges a different rate and calculates it based on various factors. It would help if you determined how the wedding photoshoot price is calculated and what’s included in it before you sign the contract.

Some photographers charge per hour, others per number of raw or edited pictures. One photographer may offer several packages to choose from.

As weddings take up the entire day, wedding photographers tend to charge an hourly rate and specify the number of edited pictures in the contract.

Any additional edits or even raw files may come at an extra fee. You should also find out the editing details. For example, a photographer may include color grading in the price but not skin retouch.

Will the photographer shoot the entire wedding or only the ceremony? Can they help you with posing tips? Will they have an assistant photographer at your wedding? Do they charge a travel fee? Do they shoot videos, too?

Some photographers may offer you add-ons not directly related to photography, but you must bear in mind these are not mandatory.

Their field of expertise is photography, and their ability to film videos doesn’t indicate anything about their professionalism. However, not having to hire an extra professional may be handy.

2. How Long Does Photo Editing Take?

You’ll likely want to share the happy news along with some pictures on social media. So, it’s worth finding out how long the photo editing takes.

If your photographer can edit and send out a couple of pictures right away, you can do so while the news is still fresh.

Some photographers take months to edit photos. In such a case, you’d likely have to share pictures taken on a phone instead of professional ones. This eliminates the whole purpose of hiring a photographer.

An important note is that dedicating months to editing is standard. Wedding photographers typically shoot throughout the entire day and have hundreds or thousands of pictures to look through and edit.

You don’t want to rush the photographer with editing the whole photo package.

Instead, allow them to edit each photo individually, with attention to detail, rather than simply apply the same preset on all the pictures. But asking to receive a couple of pictures quicker won’t hurt anyone.

3. Do You Carry Different Lenses?

Different circumstances require different equipment. For example, wide-angle lenses aren’t suitable for shooting portraits, while a fixed portrait lens won’t capture a group picture.

Not that it’s impossible, but the photos won’t look as you expect them to.

Your photographer should have at least two lenses. Otherwise, your photos may turn out very alike, and the wedding album may seem dull.

You can also ask whether the photographer holds other equipment such as portable LED lights and a flash.

Its availability will ensure your photoshoot won’t be over when the sun goes down. Plus, color LEDs allow creating some truly artistic pictures.

4. Is a Test Shoot Available?

Checking wedding photographers’ portfolios helps to understand their shooting style and editing skills. But it can’t tell you whether you’ll feel comfortable working with a person on such an important day.

Sometimes, there’s simply no connection between a photographer and a model. So here’s where a test photoshoot comes in handy.

Most photographers wouldn’t mind spending a few hours on a couple photoshoot as long as you pay for it. But naturally, the price should be reasonable.

A regular photoshoot that takes an hour or two shouldn’t cost the same as the entire wedding day.

A test shoot is necessary not only to ensure a photographer is a nice person. It’s also essential to check how they handle specific environmental conditions. Thus, a test shoot should happen at your chosen wedding venue or a similar place.

Shooting at the venue will allow all of you to get familiar with the location and come up with more exciting picture ideas on the wedding day.

5. Do You Have Experience Shooting Outdoors/At a Venue?

Like any other professional, a photographer doesn’t necessarily know all the techniques in the industry or has experience in every aspect of the profession. Some photographers shoot solely in studios, while others prefer outdoor shoots.

Being experienced in shooting only in specific conditions is normal for a regular photo shoot.

But a wedding typically involves multiple locations with completely different lighting. Thus, a wedding photographer must know how to handle both dull artificial light and bright sun.

The photographer must not only know how to deal with different lighting conditions theoretically. In addition, they must hold the necessary equipment. Ideally, their knowledge can be proven by examples of other works at venues or outdoors.

Not every venue is the same either. Some may have a unique interior or lighting that offers freedom of experiment but also requires experience. So again, it’s best if a photographer has worked in similar venues before.

6. Can We See Your Wedding Portfolio?

The most critical word in this question is “wedding.” Wedding photography is complex, and not any professional can handle it properly.

They must have specific experience and a distinct style that suits you. Thus, requesting a wedding photography portfolio is a must.

Requesting to see a photographer’s work examples is easy. But how to evaluate a wedding photographer portfolio?

Please pay attention to whether it features different shots such as portrait, couple, and group, both at a venue and outdoors. A diverse portfolio showcases all photographer’s skills and saves you time on asking additional questions.

Don’t judge the photographer’s work based on details that they do not influence.

For instance, the bride’s makeup or dress doesn’t tell you anything about the photographer’s professionalism. Instead, look at technical factors, such as the perspective, editing, and angles.

Lastly, learn about wedding photography styles and make sure the photographer’s vision aligns with yours.

For example, they may be a great professional but shoot traditional pictures while you prefer creativity, or their photos may be too posed while you prefer natural.

7. What’s Your Working Style?

Photographer’s work involves more than shooting and editing pictures. They must communicate with the client to understand their preferences and achieve results that will satisfy both parties.

In other words, you must feel comfortable working with a photographer, and knowing their working style helps a lot.

Some wedding photographers silently walk around guests, not drawing attention but also not helping with posing and such. This helps to take more natural pictures.

Others, on the opposite, prefer to command guests and the couple to bring their ideas to life. There’s no right or wrong. Choose the style you personally see as more appropriate for your event.

8. What Are the Contract Conditions?

A contract is mandatory when you hire any professional, and photographers are no exception. It’s necessary both for you and them.

A wedding photographer contract usually outlines the contact information of both parties, package details, payment, and copyright rules.

It should also specify your options in the case of force majeure, such as the photographer’s illness or wedding rescheduling.

You may dislike your wedding pictures. This is more common than you think, and the photographer should be willing to accommodate your amendments if they’re not crossing the line.

Check whether the contract allows you to request additional editing, unedited photo samples, or request money back.

If you’re skeptical about any conditions stated in the contract, ask the photographer to amend it for you. If they disagree, don’t risk it.

A contract is a legally binding agreement that imposes a degree of responsibility on both parties. Therefore, you should feel that it’s just as beneficial for you as for the photographer.

9. What’s Your Backup Plan in The Case Of a Force Majeure?

Unpredicted circumstances that put the event at risk may occur to any couple. For example, you may get sick, or something may happen to the wedding venue. Force majeure can happen from the photographer’s side, too.

Your photographer must be willing to resolve such issues in a professional manner and in a way that’s favorable for both of you, following the contract agreement.

Some photographers refuse to pay back the deposit if you need to reschedule, and the deposit sometimes equals half or more of the final payment.

Others see no issue in rescheduling and carrying over the deposit, provided they have an available date.

Your photographer should have a backup plan in case they are unable to attend. Ask them whether they can quickly find a worthy replacement.

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