Questions To Ask Your Photographer
When meeting your photographer, it's always worth asking some questions to discover more about their style, how they work, how long they've been doing it for etc! The more you know, the more comfortable you'll be! Here's 10 helpful questions to ask photographers you'll meet when planning your wedding or even myself if we meet!
1. What is your photography style?
Knowing your photographers style is real important as it needs to suit you as a couple and also your wedding day. Some photographers will have a traditional approach and will shoot a lot of staged shots and family formals, while others will take a photo journalism approach and capture natural moments as they unfold. A lot of my couples book me for my photo journalism approach and are happy with only a handful of family formals as they want to capture the natural moments, but each photographer has their own style so it's important to know what style you want and to ask your photographer of their style so you know what images you'll be receiving and also their approach on the day.
2. How many weddings have you shot? Have any of these been at my venue and are similar to what you have planned?
Knowing how many weddings your photographer has done will let you gauge how experienced they are in their field. Don't get me wrong, everyone has to start somewhere and people took a gamble on me when I was just starting up. It's important to look at a full wedding and not just a 'best of' portfolio so you can see consistently throughout the day and throughout their work, and if you're happy with this and happy with how they are then you're onto a winner! If they've shot at your wedding venue before then that's also handy to know as they'll already have a great idea of how the venue works and the lighting situation they'll be faced with! Hopefully this all adds up to better photos for you!
3. Will I receive a contract to confirm our booking?
Super important to know what you're signing yourself up for with your wedding photographer and super important to read the small print. I can't imagine any wedding photographer will have something in there that's going to screw you over but it's worth knowing the details for if you need to cancel or if they even need to cancel! Most will have a clause to cover them for loss of earnings if you cancel your wedding within a certain time frame as it's very likely that they've had to turn away other couples for your date. Ask about this before hand if possible and even ask to see a sample copy so you can read the terms and conditions before you make your final decision.
4. What happens if you're ill? Do you have a backup plan?
Knowing that your wedding photographer has you covered if they're super ill is read important! I've been in this situation once before when I was in hospital for weeks and had to find a replacement photographer. I'm part of some amazing wedding photography groups even one that is for wedding emergencies only! So if anything was to happen with illness or even something so simple as car trouble, I'd be able to find someone to rush to the wedding and cover me until I arrive! Ask this question as it's better safe than sorry!
5. Do you have insurance? What kind?
Though I'm sure all photographers have insurance it's worth checking what kind they have. Covering your equipment is one thing but what about public liability in case they cause an injury or even damage to the venue? What if they fail to deliver what you've paid for because of equipment failure? It's worth checking to see if they have equipment cover, public liability and professional indemnity to cover all bases in case anything goes wrong.
6. Does the package include an assistant / second shooter?
Some people like to shoot alone while others like to bring someone along to help them out. It's worth asking in case you plan on feeding your photographer, you don't want to plan on one meal and then be surprised that they've brought someone else, and so you're not surprised when an extra body turns up. Ask what it is they help out with also so you know what to expect from them on the day. An assistant might take a few photos during certain parts of the day but is also there to help out with arranging shots, carrying swapping gear and ticking off a check list. A second shooter would cover the grooms morning and would usually shoot more candid shots while family formals and couples shots take place.
7. Do you correct the images?
There are some wedding photographers, usually depending on budget, who will shoot a ton of images and pretty much hand them over instantly without any editing. I personally delete all the photos I don't need (duplicates, eyes closed, out of focus etc) and then get to work on editing every single photo. That way I know the colouring is correct, they're cropped nicely and they have the look I want all my photos to have. I'm pretty sure most wedding photographers will do this but I have seen examples where this is the case and have read plenty of horror stories! It's a quick question to ask and a quick question to answer!
8. What type of equipment do you use? Do you have backup gear?
Now...If they're in the wedding game they're going to have professional equipment! This question could be geared more towards those who use a lot of artificial lighting or those who love to use natural light like myself. This can be important depending on the look you'll want from your photos. 95% of my work is natural light and my flash gun usually only comes out during the cake cut / first dance or if it's to get creative during the winter months when it goes dark later. I shoot with Canon equipment and also have back up cameras, memory cards, batteries, and lenses in case of emergencies!
My gear: Canon 5d mark iii (2 of these), Canon 6d (1 of these that Emma usually uses), Sigma 35mm Art, Sigma 50mm Art, Canon 85mm, Canon 24-70mm & Canon 17-40mm with 4 different flash guns and wireless triggers!
9. What happens if our wedding runs longer than the package we booked? Do you stay longer if required?
A question to ask in case your wedding photographer vanishes at the end of their time and you've no idea where they vanished too. My packages are for 8, 10 or 12 hours coverage with the option to add more time if needed. Before the wedding I talk to my couples about the timeline of their day and ask them to decide when they'd like their chosen coverage to start from. Some couples might extend their time at that point while others will see how the day unfolds and decide on the night. I usually let couples know when their time is up and ask if they'd like me to stay longer or not. If they feel the party hasn't started then they ask me to stay but if they feel they've captured all the moments they'd like then I'm good to go. I'd never vanish before giving you the option and without giving you a hug! Check with your photographer as some might need to be home for family reasons by a certain time.
10. How long will the images take to be returned? Do you post any previews during the editing process?
If you're wedding photographer has a lot of editing to do then this can take a while and will be worth the wait. Most will take between 4-8 weeks to turn around a wedding but can deliver sooner if they have a clear schedule. It's worth asking this so you're not left in the dark wondering where and how long your photos will take. Asking if they post previews is nice also so you know where and when to look out for images. I like to share photos as I'm editing as it helps build the excitement and is always nice to see professional snaps instead of a sea of mobile phone photos. Some photographers like to share, others don't, ask the question so you know what to expect. The more you know the better!
I hope these questions will help you out when you're looking for your wedding photographer! If you have any questions at all for me then just head over to my contact page and give me a shout!