1.) How many weddings have you shot before?
This is a great question to ask, because you are then able to understand how long they’ve been in the game for. If they answer from 30-50, they’ve probably been in the wedding game for a year to 2 years. If they answer anywhere from 100-200 weddings, they may have been in the game anywhere from 4-6 years. Hearing how much experience they have will make you more confident in them as your photographer.
2.) How many weddings do you shoot per year?
Knowing how many weddings they shoot per year is also especially important. Why? Because then you know how many weddings they also have to edit + how busy they are going to be alongside with signing on for your wedding as your photographer. The more weddings they have, the less individual attention they are able to give to your wedding.
3.) Will you be the one editing our photos?
This is an extremely important question as editing styles can vary between photographers/associates/shooters. Each photographer may have a different editing style + it is important to know who will be doing your edits for your wedding photos!
4.) Can you show us a full gallery?
Being able to see a full gallery is crucial, especially so you can see how your full gallery will be edited + delivered. Any gallery that they show you is usually a gallery that was delivered to another client, so you can use this to compare if you’d be happy getting this gallery as your wedding photos. You often only get to see snippets of the very best photos from a wedding day on Instagram or Facebook + it’s nice to see a wedding in it’s entirety.
5.) Can you show us an example gallery with the amount of coverage we are choosing?
Not only seeing a full album is important, but you also want to make sure the albums you are being shown aren’t 8-10 hour packages especially if you’re ordering a 3-4 hour package. You want to see packages that are comparable to what you are getting.
6.) Do you include an engagement session in your package?
Know if this is going to be an added cost or an included cost in your package. Many photographers will include this in their package (I Do.) See why I find engagement sessions so important here.
7.) Are you insured?
Knowing if a photographer has insurance has got to be one of the most valuable questions to ask! If something goes wrong, are they covered? You do not want anything coming back on you as a couple if something goes wrong. Also, many venues require that the vendors are insured and if you hire a photographer with no insurance, your venue won’t actually let them shoot at their venue on your wedding day! Uh oh! Could you imagine?
8.) Do you limit the number of photos you take?
Some photographers only take so many photos per hour or only deliver so many photos. By getting clear expectations before you go into your big day, it clears the air for both of you.
9.) Will we have printing rights to our gallery?
Again, you just want to know how much you are going to be spending up front and don’t want any question marks once your day is all over. Some photographers include all printing rights in their packages and others will try to upsell you this after you are able to see your images. By asking this, you will know any costs associated with printing rights before even booking them.
10.) How will the gallery be delivered?
Every wedding photographer is different. Some deliver on a USB and they mail it to your house in a pretty glass box, while others may do a shareable gallery link online for you to share on social media with friends and family. Others may give you a CD (although- this is a little outdated now!) Knowing how your photos are going to be delivered
11.) Do you offer a second photographer?
Knowing if this option is available is something that is good to know if you want the extra coverage. Do you want an extra shooter as you are walking down the aisle? Do you want someone covering the cocktail hour of your guests while you’re getting post ceremony portraits? We personally offer a second photographer with every single package because we find it invaluable, but asking your photographer if they offer this is a helpful thing to know if you decide to upgrade to more coverage!
12.) How do you work with videographers?
Do they prefer working with people they know? Do they reach out to them prior to the wedding? Ask them to describe to you about their experience with working with videographers + you want to make sure they have a completely positive attitude when this question pops up. If you are sensing any negativity towards this, that can be a red flag. Usually photographers should be willing to work with any videographer as long as they are able to work together to accomplish one common goal. If one or the other is more important to you, make that crystal clear to your vendors (because they are there to please you! If you tell me as the photographer that videography is your priority, then as a photographer I would step aside and let the videographer have the main shots. Otherwise, we usually like to work side by side and mirror one another to get the most shots possible.
13.) Can we see your most recent gallery?
This is a great question to ask because you can see when their most recent was (aka how often they’re shooting) + also how you like their most recent editing style as described above. This is just a great question to ask in general as you want someone who’s style consistently matches your vision + expectations of them as your wedding photographer.
14.) How would you describe your photography style?
I love and hate this question. I think it’s a great question to ask but sometimes can also be an insult as some may not understand why you’re asking and have the reaction “well didn’t you look at my page?” Though, I think it can be a great source for what they describe their style as + how they describe it.
15.) what add ons are available?
Many photographers will have extra add on options for your package! It also secretly is asking what is something that’s not included that will cost me money to add? Some examples may be post wedding destination portraits, an extra hour, a boudoir shoot, a second shooter, printing rights, albums, etc.
16.) Will our images be accessible online + how long will they be available?
Before you even get your album back, by asking this, you will know when you’re able to download them and if you have lifetime access or need to download within 30 days before they are gone. Every photographer is different, so make sure you ask how long you’ll have access to your own images. You wouldn’t want to not ask this and then have them deleted before you’re able to download!
17.) What is your deposit to book?
This one is for obvious reasons- you want to know how much money is needed out of pocket up front + how to budget your money between all your vendors.
18.) What is your cancellation/reschedule policy?
It’s a question no one wants to ask but is always good to know. Say there’s another pandemic that hits or even a weather emergency- how will your photographer handle a reschedule? Knowing what they do in the case that you need to move your date puts your mind at ease as you approach possible uncertainty. Some also encounter this with military spouses who many not be able to get enough leave for their wedding date.
19.) Do you carry backup equipment?
There is always a likelihood of equipment failing (it happens to the best of us) and knowing what their backup plan is if their equipment fails will also put your mind at ease. Do they come with extra cameras/ batteries, etc.? What happens if they are 1/2 way through parent dances and their flash blows? What is their backup plan?
20.) What is your emergency plan if you are not able to make it to my wedding day?
This goes without saying, but there are too many horror stories of photographers just not showing up on wedding day. Knowing before booking what your photographer does in case of a family emergency or even maybe roadside emergency is always good to know.
21.) What is the turnaround time for our wedding gallery? How soon will we get our photos back?
Every photographer is different and some may turn around the wedding in a month, while others may have more editing on their plate and deliver your gallery in 2-3 months after your date.
22.) Have you shot weddings of our size before?
If an intimate wedding photographer had never shot a large scale 250 person wedding and yours will be their first, this would be something good to know. They will more than likely do a fantastic job, but just remember those who are used to intimate weddings are not used to the larger scale photos + capturing all the extra family and friends. (and vis versa). A large scale wedding photographer that doesn’t normally capture intimate elopements or weddings may not be as familiar with how to capture small details and intimate moments. Making sure that they are comfortable with your size wedding + talking about their experience with that will ease not only your mind, but also your photographers.
23.) Can I see a wedding you’ve shot that’s similar to our venue location? (barn, coastal wedding, modern hotel, etc.)
If they haven’t shot at your location it’s really not a deal breaker, because there are SO many venues and locations to shoot at. It would be an unrealistic expectation to expect your photographer to have shot at a certain venue. Instead, ask them if they can show you barn weddings or vineyard weddings they’ve shot so you can understand how your wedding would be similar to that album.
24.) How long have you been in business?
Knowing how long they’ve been in business adds a personal touch to getting to know your photographer and also just shows interest in them as a person rather than just a vendor. It’s always nice to know the backstory about how they got into photography and why they chose to shoot weddings.
25.) How invasive would you describe yourself during the ceremony?
Everyone has different expectations and it’s great to lay out those expectations in the beginning. Your photographer may be used to getting very close during the ceremony when you prefer further away (or vis versa). You may wonder if they even got the shot since they didn’t go close to you during the ceremony. Discussing invasiveness during your initial consult will help your photographer construct your vision + how they can accommodate you.
26.) Can you describe your working style throughout the day?
Do they get there early? Do they spend time with a lot of the bridal party or go shoot the details at the reception first? This question also asks how they approach their workflow and
27.) Can we give suggestions on shots we would like to be taken?
28.) If I decide to book you for longer on my day of, is this possible? Will you be able to stay longer?
29.) Do you book any other events on my day?
30.) What time do you plan to arrive?
31.) Do you charge a travel fee? How much does the travel fee cover?
32.) Do you offer any sneak peeks?
33.) How soon after the wedding will we get a sneak peek?
34.) Are you able to help us in creating/designing an album?
35.) Do you have a preferred vendor list?
36.) Do you do any photoshop editing? What does your editing include?
Again, here we are with setting expectations. Some photographers dont use photoshop at all while others may completely photoshop everything and fine tune every photo. Some are just adjusting the colors + highlights/shadows while others dive a lot deeper. Asking about their editing process may help understand what your photos will look like + what they are capable of doing.
37.) What does your booking process look like?
Knowing what their booking process is just sets the expectations from the beginning. Can you tell we’re setting a theme about expectations? (;
38.) What can I expect after my wedding day?
Once your day is all said and done, when will your album be delivered? How much contact will they have after that? Knowing the post wedding day process will become vital once your day is all over and you’re eagerly waiting for those photographs.
39.) What are your values + philosophy as a photographer?
This may not be a MUST ask question, but it sure is good to know. They may talk about being an all inclusive photographer or someone who values honest photographs and genuine moments. It let’s you get to know their character a little more than the other questions!
40.) why are we a good fit for you?
This may put the photographer on their toes a bit! Asking them why they’re a good fit for the photographer may indirectly be asking how they fit into the brand, values and philosophy of the photographer! How they answer this question will be crucial! They may also hit on why personality fit is such an important thing on your wedding day. Personally, I like to emphasize to my couples that I want them to feel SUPER comfortable with me on their wedding day, like I’m just another one of their friends. So if someone asked me this question, I’d say because you explained that’s the feeling you want to have with your photographer + I feel that I’m that fit.
41.) Can I see your reviews?
Being able to see past clients reviews of the photographer may set your heart at ease and be able to validate your feelings about this person if you’re this far along in the process. Also- let’s be honest. This is a big financial decision and you want to make sure that they are looked highly upon by others who have already used them.
I know- tons of questions to remember, but don’t worry, we got you! Here’s our printable version of “Questions to ask your wedding photographer”
If you enjoyed our list, here are some other lists to check out from reputable sites.
I’m Lexi! I am passionate about documenting eloping couples all over the globe, in a place that’s special to you. My approach to your day is as honest as you experience it + less of the stiff stuff. I’d love to hear what you’re dreaming up for your wedding day!