Important Questions You MUST Ask Before Booking Your Wedding Photographer
Remember those first few dates when you would spend hours asking each other questions because you were so eager to get to know everything about each other? You wanted to know their favorite color, their favorite movie, their best childhood memory… you discussed it all and you probably hung on their every word.
Asking questions is a great way to get to know someone better, and while you probably won’t want to spend hours interviewing each of your wedding vendors, you should definitely be touching base on a few important things before signing that contract. Since I’m a wedding photographer, I will be focusing on that specifically, but you should be doing the same with your other vendors too. It’s important to make sure they can deliver what you want on your big day!
So, without further ado, here are seven questions you should ask your potential wedding photographer before booking them:
1. How much experience do you have?
This is an important question… probably the most important one you’ll be asking. Yes, some photographers are naturals and shoot stunning images right off the bat, but most of us get better with experience. If it’s not clear on their website, ask them how many years they’ve been shooting weddings professionally and ask to see some of their recent work.
2. What is your style and process?
Some wedding photographers specialize in a specific style, like documentary or dramatic, and some do a mix of a few different styles. It’s important to know what you are getting. Similarly, some photographers will pose their subjects to get the perfect shot, and some believe in candid photos only. All styles can result in beautiful photography, but you definitely want to know what to expect before you invest in a photographer.
3. What’s your backup plan?
Unfortunately, things happen. Photographers are human, too and sometimes we get sick or end up in a car accident on the way to your wedding (it has happened… not to me, thank goodness!) You definitely want to know what the backup plan is just in case they can’t be there on your wedding day. Do they have a second shooter? If so, ask to see their work and ask about their experience. No one wants to deal like a surprise like this at the last minute, but being clear on the plan will help you feel more at ease.
4. Do you have insurance?
This might seem like something that’s none of your business at first, but wedding photographers should carry liability and equipment insurance, and it’s okay to ask if your potential photographer has coverage. Not only do some venues require photographers to show proof that they’re covered, this insurance makes sure your photographer can do their job. For example, what if their camera were to break a week or two before your wedding? An insurance policy allows them to replace the equipment quickly so you don’t have to worry about the “what if” scenarios.
5. What’s included in this package?
Just because lots of other wedding photographers offer unlimited downloads at no extra cost doesn’t mean every photographer includes this in their wedding package. Do you know if the engagement session is included? What about a keepsake canvas or album? You don’t want to count on something and then find out later that it’s not included. If something isn’t included that’s on your “must have” list, ask how much extra it will cost.
6. How can I make payments?
It’s important to understand what amount is required by your wedding photographer to hold the date, what’s required when you sign your contract, and whether they accept installment payments. While most vendors want to work with couples as much as possible, they have to make sure they are able to cover their costs.
7. What is the editing process like?
Every photographer is different when it comes to photo editing. You’ll want to make sure you understand what can (or cannot) be edited in your photos. Generally, small blemishes can be edited out, but a tattoo is much more difficult. Ask how long the editing process takes, and whether your photographer offers a “sneak peak” so you have some images to look at and share while you’re waiting for the full gallery to be completed.
It can be tempting to excitedly book a wedding photographer whose work you love, but it’s important to stop and ask questions to make sure it’s really a good match. Your wedding photography is way too important to make a rush decision, and trust me, we anticipate couples having questions about the process and our work. It does not make you a “bridezilla” (or “groomzilla”) to ask questions! If you have anything you want to talk about right now, please feel free to send me a message here or find me on Instagram or Facebook!