When I was a bride planning my own wedding, I had already been photographing weddings for about four years, so I knew exactly what to expect when it came to hiring my wedding photographer. I realize that’s not the case for everyone, so I wanted to write a blog for engaged brides, featuring the best questions to ask your wedding photographer, all from a professional wedding photographer’s standpoint!
Most likely, your wedding photographer will be one of the people you will spend most of your wedding day with. At every wedding we arrive before you’re in your wedding dress, and usually leave after you have your send off. With that being said, it’s always my recommendation to meet in person for a consultation, and if that isn’t possible, Skype or a phone call is always an option! Meeting in person is just a great way to get to know each other better, for the photographer to hear more about the couple’s story and vision for the wedding, and to see if you will work well together. This is the perfect setting to ask clarifying questions that will help narrow down the decision in booking your wedding photographer.
So here we go – 10 questions to ask your photographer before booking!
- “Do you have back up equipment?” You always want them to say yes for this question! Your wedding photos are some of the most important pictures you will ever have, so making sure that your photographer has back-ups for their back-ups (cameras, batteries, memory cards, flashes, etc.) is always important. I understand that some beginner photographers may not have their equipment built up yet, (we all start somewhere), but if that’s the case, just make sure that you’re comfortable with that if they say they don’t have any back-ups yet.
- “Do you shoot in RAW format and manual mode?” If you’re not a photographer, you probably don’t even know what this means, which is totally fine! But if you want to hire a true professional photographer, you want to make sure they know how to shoot in RAW format and manual mode. If they don’t know what you’re talking about when you ask this, or say that they shoot JPG in Auto, you might want to reconsider your photographer.
- “How long have you been photographing weddings/How long have you been a photographer?” I asked this question two ways because some professional photographers don’t start out their business shooting weddings, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a professional photographer so it’s great to hear both answers to get an idea of how and when they started their photography business.
- “Do you have equipment for reception and night photography?” (ie: flashes, stands, etc.) Making sure your photographer has the proper equipment for shooting in a dark reception or outside at night is very crucial.
- “Do you make the timeline for photos or does my coordinator/I need to?” Some photographers are different with this, and it shouldn’t make or break your decision of hiring them if they don’t make the photography timeline, it’s just a good thing to know if they offer that or not! For me, I always make my bride’s photography timelines, and if they have a coordinator, I make sure it flows well with their schedule.
- “How many photos do you typically deliver?” Again, not a breaking point for booking a wedding photographer, but it’s just a good idea to be aware of what to expect when you receive your photos!
- “Do you have a second shooter?” Most photographers I know do include a second shooter in their wedding collections, but I also know some who don’t ever have second shooters.
- “What will happen if you are unable to make it the day of the wedding due to sickness, injury, an emergency etc.?” This is a hard question to think about if you’re a photographer, but it’s an important one. It’s always reassuring to know if your photographer has a back-up plan or someone else that they trust to take over a wedding if they are unable to make it.
- “Do you offer prints or albums?” Having the option to print your wedding photographs through your wedding photographer is so great. As a thank you, every bride and groom receives $100 print credit to use toward prints or albums when they book me as their wedding photographer.
- What is your cancelation policy?” I have had to cancel one wedding when I found out I was pregnant with my first baby because the due date was the same day as the wedding, so it’s always good to know what your photographer has planned in case they need to cancel for any reason.
So, there you have it! The top ten questions I thought of to ask your wedding photographer during a consultation. Hopefully this list will help make your decision in hiring a wedding photographer a little easier!
A little bit more about me- I’m Candice Emerson and I’ve been a family and wedding photographer for over 9 years now! I’m a hybrid photographer, which means I shoot on digital cameras as well as film cameras. My style has been considered “light and airy”, romantic, and timeless. I absolutely love every wedding I have the honor to photograph whether it be an elegant black-tie wedding, beach wedding, barn wedding, destination wedding, elopement, church wedding, or even an intimate woodland wedding. I’m a native to Macon, GA and photograph weddings and families in Macon, Fort Valley, Milledgeville, and Atlanta. I’m always up for an adventure and ready for destination weddings or engagement sessions any day of the year! Contact me for more information on meeting for coffee and booking your wedding! I would love to be your wedding or family photographer!