You only get one shot at your wedding photos, so you need to make sure you have the best photographer you can find. So what are the most important questions you should ask a wedding photographer? Ask these 20 questions and you should be on the right track…
1. How do you bill?
Some wedding photographers charge by the hour and some charge by the day. You also don’t want to be worrying about incurring extra charges come midnight, when the party’s just getting started. Also most photographers require a deposit on booking and the balance paid one month before the wedding day.
2. What photography training have you had?
It is also worth asking about membership of unions or trade bodies, this will reassure you that you are dealing with a professional.
3. How many weddings have you worked?
Experience is no barometer of talent, but it helps if they have ‘been there, done that’ a few times.
4. Do you work alone or with an assistant?
If a second photographer is at hand, find out if that means an extra charge.
5. What is your availability?
It is not uncommon for photographers to be booked up up to 2 years in advance.
6. Can you provide your own transport?
This is important if you want your photographer to scoot between the bride and groom on the morning of the wedding to take ‘getting ready’ shots.
7. Which photographers do you admire?
This will give you an idea of their preferred aesthetic.
8. How would you deal with exterior photos in bad weather?
For UK weddings, this is particularly important!
9. How do you get children to pay attention during the shots?
This could be a deal breaker if you’re expecting a few kids at your wedding.
10. What is your favourite type of wedding photo?
For instance, black and white, close up, silhouette, if your photographer has a passion for a particular style, it will come across in the final work.
11. In your opinion, what is the most important photo of the day?
Don’t be afraid to make specific requests.
12. How many photos do you expect to take during a typical wedding?
A few hundred should be the minimum.
13. Are you insured?
This is easily overlooked but potentially crucial. At a minimum, your photographer should have public liability and professional indemnity coverage, and they should take full responsibility for any damage to expensive equipment.
14. Do you have a back-up plan in case you are ill or otherwise unavailable on the day?
If the back-up plan is another photographer, ask to see their work as well.
15. How long will all the group photos take?
It is important to have an idea of this so that you can plan the reception accordingly.
16. How long will it take before the photos are ready?
A good photographer will spend at least one week developing and retouching them.
17. What sort of retouching software do you use?
You need to make sure that you are comfortable with any photoshopping.
18. Can I get digital images of the photos as well as prints?
If this is a problem for the photographer, walk away!
19. Will you be using our wedding photos in any marketing/online material?
Remember, you are fully entitled to say ‘no’ if you wish.
20. Do you offer any extras?
This can include free engagement photos, themed shots or a photo booth for the reception.