Questions You Should Be Asking Your Wedding Photographer Before Booking Them

Questions You Should Be Asking Your Wedding Photographer Before Booking Them

Questions You Should Be Asking Your Wedding Photographer Before Booking Them

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming. This is probably the first time you’ve ever planned one, am I right? ;) Seriously though, when you’ve never been through the process before, it’s hard to know what to look for and what to ask as you search for all of your wedding vendors. You might leave a consultation with a wedding vendor and suddenly think of five things you wanted to ask them but couldn’t remember at the time. There are so many things to consider as you put together all the details and vendors for your big day. I’ve already talked about the things to consider when searching for your wedding photographer, but I wanted to take it a step further.

Below is a list of questions you should be asking your wedding photographer before booking them.

And by the way, I personally try to answer all of these questions for my clients before they even think to ask them. That’s how seriously I take your need to know these things!

How long have you been a photographer?

First and foremost, know the experience level of the photographer you’re considering hiring! Photographers that fit into a lower budget are going to tend to have less experience, while photographers with years of experience are going to be at a higher price point. Just know what you’re getting into up front. Obviously, I’d personally recommend hiring someone with at least a few years of experience under their belt.

How many weddings have you photographed?

This is related to the question above, but it’s a bit more specific. Weddings are a unique event to photograph because there are so many moving parts—vendors to coordinate with, family members to wrangle for photos, details that must fall into place—and of course, it’s the type of event you don’t get a redo for. Every wedding is a bit different. So the more weddings your photographer has under their belt, the better off you are because you know they’ll be able to handle your own day like a champ.

What kind of equipment do you use?

This question may get a bit technical, and the technical answer may not mean much to you. Really you just want to be sure that your photographer will be using professional equipment, and that they have backup equipment in place as well, just in case anything should happen to break.

Can I see a full gallery from another wedding you’ve done?

Most wedding photographers only post their favorite, best-of-the-best photos on their website. Even their individual blog posts that give a bigger idea of each wedding with 50-100 photos are going to be curated to show only the best photos of the day. If you want a real sense of what your own wedding gallery will look like in the end, given all the tricky situations that might come up, take a look at a couple full galleries. Make sure even the photos that the photographer doesn’t post online are up to a certain quality standard.

What products do you offer?

I personally don’t force any products (i.e. albums and prints) into my wedding collections up front, so that my clients can see their photos when they’re all done first and then decide what they might want to order. But when you’re looking to hire a photographer it’s good to know what products they offer, at what price point, and maybe see some samples in person. Getting professional prints and albums done is a luxury, but when you see the difference between the professional products and those done by places like Walgreens, it’s a no brainer.

Do I need an engagement session?

This is a common add-on to wedding photography collections, and it’s really question to ask both yourself and your photographer. Not everyone needs engagement photos, but I personally highly recommend them! Many couples use them for their save-the-dates, invitations, website registries, guest books, framed prints for their guest table, bar, and their house… and of course Facebook & Instagram! Plus, it’s a great way to get to know your photographer and get a little practice run in front of the camera before the pressure of the wedding day.

Do I need a second photographer?

Another personal call on your part, I believe. Some photographers include a second photographer with all of their packages, while others tend to work best alone. Just know what you’re getting into beforehand. Personally, while I am 100% confident in my ability to capture your day on my own, I think it can sometimes be nice to have that additional perspective. Pro tip: you tend to receive more images in your final gallery with two photographers covering your day!

How far do you travel for weddings? (And what are your travel fees?)

This is a super important question to ask particularly if you’re getting married at a venue that’s a bit off the beaten path, or more than a couple hours away from the photographer’s metro area they serve. Obviously if you are planning a destination wedding, you’re going to want to know the travel fees involved for your photographer as well. If there will be a travel fee, you should understand how it works—is it a flat fee, or is it your responsibility to book their travel? Personally, I will travel anywhere within 2 hours of Colorado Springs, where I am located, at no additional cost. That means most weddings in Colorado Springs, Denver, and the surrounding mountain areas are all included in my base wedding collections. I also tend to waive travel fees for New Mexico weddings because I have family there we like to visit often anyway. When I travel beyond these scopes, I have flat rates depending on the location, and book my own travel. But every photographer will be different.

How many photos do you typically deliver?

Most photographers will be hesitant to give you an exact number, because weddings can really vary in this regard. But you definitely have the right to have a ballpark number. I tell my clients I deliver anywhere between 50-100 photos per hour of coverage, just so that they have an idea of what to expect.

How long does it take to deliver all of the wedding photos?

I know it’s so hard waiting to see all the photos from your wedding day, and it can be difficult to stay patient! The editing process is one that takes time, though, so knowing your photographer’s turnaround time is super important. I guarantee delivery within 4-6 weeks, but I do like to send sneak peeks early on. That way you at least get a little taste of what’s to come.

Do you offer a payment plan?

Wedding photography is a big investment. Breaking that total down into smaller payments can really help a budget. It never hurts to find out what your options are as far as payment plans!

 

Are there any questions I’ve missed? Let me know below, and I hope this helps as you continue to plan the wedding day of your dreams.

 

Here are some other blog posts you may find helpful:

5 Reasons to Have a First Look

How to Deal with Rain on Your Wedding Day

Questions You Should Be Asking Your Wedding Photographer Before Booking Them

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming. This is probably the first time you’ve ever planned one, am I right? ;) Seriously though, when you’ve never been through the process before, it’s hard to know what to look for and what to ask as you search for all of your wedding vendors. You might leave a consultation with a wedding vendor and suddenly think of five things you wanted to ask them but couldn’t remember at the time. There are so many things to consider as you put together all the details and vendors for your big day. I’ve already talked about the things to consider when searching for your wedding photographer, but I wanted to take it a step further.

Below is a list of questions you should be asking your wedding photographer before booking them.

And by the way, I personally try to answer all of these questions for my clients before they even think to ask them. That’s how seriously I take your need to know these things!

How long have you been a photographer?

First and foremost, know the experience level of the photographer you’re considering hiring! Photographers that fit into a lower budget are going to tend to have less experience, while photographers with years of experience are going to be at a higher price point. Just know what you’re getting into up front. Obviously, I’d personally recommend hiring someone with at least a few years of experience under their belt.

How many weddings have you photographed?

This is related to the question above, but it’s a bit more specific. Weddings are a unique event to photograph because there are so many moving parts—vendors to coordinate with, family members to wrangle for photos, details that must fall into place—and of course, it’s the type of event you don’t get a redo for. Every wedding is a bit different. So the more weddings your photographer has under their belt, the better off you are because you know they’ll be able to handle your own day like a champ.

What kind of equipment do you use?

This question may get a bit technical, and the technical answer may not mean much to you. Really you just want to be sure that your photographer will be using professional equipment, and that they have backup equipment in place as well, just in case anything should happen to break.

Can I see a full gallery from another wedding you’ve done?

Most wedding photographers only post their favorite, best-of-the-best photos on their website. Even their individual blog posts that give a bigger idea of each wedding with 50-100 photos are going to be curated to show only the best photos of the day. If you want a real sense of what your own wedding gallery will look like in the end, given all the tricky situations that might come up, take a look at a couple full galleries. Make sure even the photos that the photographer doesn’t post online are up to a certain quality standard.

What products do you offer?

I personally don’t force any products (i.e. albums and prints) into my wedding collections up front, so that my clients can see their photos when they’re all done first and then decide what they might want to order. But when you’re looking to hire a photographer it’s good to know what products they offer, at what price point, and maybe see some samples in person. Getting professional prints and albums done is a luxury, but when you see the difference between the professional products and those done by places like Walgreens, it’s a no brainer.

Do I need an engagement session?

This is a common add-on to wedding photography collections, and it’s really question to ask both yourself and your photographer. Not everyone needs engagement photos, but I personally highly recommend them! Many couples use them for their save-the-dates, invitations, website registries, guest books, framed prints for their guest table, bar, and their house… and of course Facebook & Instagram! Plus, it’s a great way to get to know your photographer and get a little practice run in front of the camera before the pressure of the wedding day.

Do I need a second photographer?

Another personal call on your part, I believe. Some photographers include a second photographer with all of their packages, while others tend to work best alone. Just know what you’re getting into beforehand. Personally, while I am 100% confident in my ability to capture your day on my own, I think it can sometimes be nice to have that additional perspective. Pro tip: you tend to receive more images in your final gallery with two photographers covering your day!

How far do you travel for weddings? (And what are your travel fees?)

This is a super important question to ask particularly if you’re getting married at a venue that’s a bit off the beaten path, or more than a couple hours away from the photographer’s metro area they serve. Obviously if you are planning a destination wedding, you’re going to want to know the travel fees involved for your photographer as well. If there will be a travel fee, you should understand how it works—is it a flat fee, or is it your responsibility to book their travel? Personally, I will travel anywhere within 2 hours of Colorado Springs, where I am located, at no additional cost. That means most weddings in Colorado Springs, Denver, and the surrounding mountain areas are all included in my base wedding collections. I also tend to waive travel fees for New Mexico weddings because I have family there we like to visit often anyway. When I travel beyond these scopes, I have flat rates depending on the location, and book my own travel. But every photographer will be different.

How many photos do you typically deliver?

Most photographers will be hesitant to give you an exact number, because weddings can really vary in this regard. But you definitely have the right to have a ballpark number. I tell my clients I deliver anywhere between 50-100 photos per hour of coverage, just so that they have an idea of what to expect.

How long does it take to deliver all of the wedding photos?

I know it’s so hard waiting to see all the photos from your wedding day, and it can be difficult to stay patient! The editing process is one that takes time, though, so knowing your photographer’s turnaround time is super important. I guarantee delivery within 4-6 weeks, but I do like to send sneak peeks early on. That way you at least get a little taste of what’s to come.

Do you offer a payment plan?

Wedding photography is a big investment. Breaking that total down into smaller payments can really help a budget. It never hurts to find out what your options are as far as payment plans!

 

Are there any questions I’ve missed? Let me know below, and I hope this helps as you continue to plan the wedding day of your dreams.

 

Here are some other blog posts you may find helpful:

5 Reasons to Have a First Look

How to Deal with Rain on Your Wedding Day

Questions You Should Be Asking Your Wedding Photographer Before Booking Them

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