You want to make sure that the wedding vendors you book will be everything that you dream them to be. You’ll be spending a large majority of your day with your photographer you choose, so not only should you love their style, you should know whether or not you’ll be happy with them around. Here are a few great questions that you should make sure to ask your potential wedding photographer.
1. Are you available for my date?
One of the most important first questions. You’ll want your photographer fully focused on your wedding day and that they aren’t busy doing other sessions or jobs.
As a wedding photographer, I make sure I never schedule any other jobs or things on your date. I want to give you my full attention and commitment on that day.
2. How far in advance should I book?
Whether you have a short engagement or a long one, some photographers will book up quickly. I always highly recommend to book your photographer at least 6-9 months before your wedding date. That way that date is secured with them.
3. How many weddings have you shot?
You want to be confident that your photographer can handle what a wedding day brings. Time management for the day of and knowing what shots are the most important are things your wedding photographer should have a hold on.
4. Have you you shot a similar wedding to my style?
Knowing and loving a photographer’s style is important, but you should also ensure that they have photographed a wedding day that will be similar to yours. If your wedding day involves being indoors the entire time, you should make sure that they are capable of photographing that with their style.
5. How would you describe your photography?
Do you like a journalistic approach to photography (documenting the day with little to no poses) or more unique and quirky posed photography (setting up a running shot for the photographer to edit in a dinosaur in the background)? Whatever you would describe the photography you want, make sure your photographer can align with those visions.
6. Will you give a contract for the services?
No matter what type of services you are requesting from your photographer (or any vendor, for that matter), always make sure they provide you with a contract that both of you will sign. A contract is created for your protection and the photographer’s protection. It outlines what the expectations are, costs and fees, services being provided, etc. Be wary of any photographers that won’t create or provide a contract.
I always provide my couples a contract for them. I also make sure that I walk through all the details listed in there.
7. What type of equipment do you use?
If you’re a camera nerd, maybe you’d really like to know if your photographer is Canon or Nikon. But, more importantly, the type of equipment will be important for how they photograph your wedding day. If you know your wedding is outdoors, will they utilize the natural light? If your wedding is mostly indoors, will they have lighting equipment to capture it well?
I personally would say that 90% of my photography is utilizing the natural light and the other 10% using lighting for the reception parts. I don’t like harsh shadows from flash on my subjects, but that is my style.
8. Are you the one shooting the wedding?
Some photographers may sub-out their photography or have a handful of photographers that work for them. You have the right to know who will be at your wedding if it’s not them. Maybe you click with the head photographer, but they are having an associate photographer document your wedding. Make sure you can meet with this associate if that’s the case.
Unless I suddenly come down with the flu the day before your wedding, I will always be photographing your big day.
9. Do you have backup equipment or a plan if you can’t be there?
Most photographers have backup and additional equipment on hand in case something happens, but you’ll want to ensure they can provide that confidence to you. Life happens, so also make sure your photographer has a plan in case they end up ill or suddenly cannot photograph your event.
10. Travel fees?
If your wedding is outside the area where the photographer is from, they may tack on travel fees to cover the extra mileage. Depending on how far or late the wedding may go, you may also have to provide lodging, so just double check!
Need a few more? Here are some other questions that would be good to find out:
- How much is the deposit and when is it due? Payment plan?
- If the wedding goes longer than scheduled, will you stay? Extra charge?
- What is included in your packages?
- How many hours of coverage?
- Do you have a second shooter?
- Do you include engagement photos in your packages?
- Do you offer albums or album design/ordering?
- How long until I see the photos
- Do you have liability insurance?
“Professional wedding photographers should have the proper insurance for their business. Insurance protects the photographer against equipment theft, but more importantly, it provides liability protection in case Great Aunt Sophie trips over the photographer’s bag and breaks her leg. If a wedding photographer does not have insurance, chances are they are new to the industry or are not taking their business seriously.” - www.linandjirsa.com
Christy Dawn Photography has general business, equipment, and liability insurance.