10 Questions You Need To Ask Your Wedding Photographer Before Hiring Them
Every once in a while, I’ll have a potential client come to a consultation or send me an email with a pre-made list of questions that they found on the Knot or somewhere else on the internet. While I’m always happy to answer any questions that my clients may have, I don’t think most of these lists serve the client well or get them the information they need. And at the same time, I hardly ever have anyone asking me the REALLY important questions. So today, I’m sharing my own version of the 10 most important questions you need to ask your wedding photographer before deciding to hire them.
Do you have liability insurance?
Besides just being a good idea for the photographer’s business, most venues will require all of your wedding vendors to have liability insurance before they will even let the vendors step foot through the door.
Do you have backup equipment?
I cannot stress enough how important this is. Yet I’ve NEVER been asked this question by a potential client. In my opinion, every professional wedding photographer needs to have at least two full frame cameras with dual memory card slots. The dual memory card slots is important! Technology fails sometimes. Even brand new technology, and a wedding photographer needs to be prepared for anything to happen without it affecting their client’s images. I wrote a whole blog post about the equipment I use here.
Can I see a full wedding gallery?
Again, this one is SO important. I have been asked this multiple times, and I’m always happy to share a few full wedding galleries. It’s so easy for photographers to pick and choose a few good images from each wedding to put in their portfolio, but what do the non-ideal parts of the day look like? How much variety in posing are they able to achieve? Are the family photos the same quality as the bridal party photos? Are the indoor reception shots just as good at the natural light portraits?
What is the turnaround time for delivering the photos?
I can’t tell you how many horror stories I’ve heard about brides not getting their wedding photos back for six months or even longer! So many photographers have super long turn around times that their clients aren’t aware of ahead of time. My turn around time for engagement sessions is one week and for weddings is 30 days. However, I’ve never taken longer than two weeks to deliver a wedding gallery. Your photos are just as important to me as they are to you, and I’m just as excited to get them to you as you are to have them!
Do you have a contract?
Every professional needs to have a contract in place! It protects both the vendor and the client and outlines the agreement in writing.
Why do you love photographing weddings?
This question may not seem as important as the others, but it totally is! It can really help you get a feel for whether the photographer actually loves photographing weddings or not. Sadly, in every profession, some people just do it for the money. Some photographers specialize in a different type of photography that they really love, and only do weddings to make a living. This is so sad to me, and it’s why I always recomend finding a photographer who SPECIALIZES in what you’re wanting to hire them for. Personally, I ONLY shoot weddings and couples, because it’s what I love! I could go on and on for days about why photographing weddings specifically is my life calling (maybe this will be my next blog post). You deserve a wedding photographer who’s excited to be there on your wedding day, not one who just wants to get it over with.
Why should I hire you?
This question gives the photographer the opportunity to tell you what makes them unique compared to other photographers in the local area. Personally, I love to talk about the unique experience I can offer to my clients.
What is your approach to shooting a wedding?
I pose and direct my clients during portrait time, and getting ready, but during the ceremony and reception, I try to be a ninja. I get lots of awesome candid photos without being too intrusive. It’s important to know whether your photographer will pose you or just let you do your own thing, and how they approach the ceremony and reception photos.
What kind of lighting do you use throughout the wedding day?
This goes along with seeing a full wedding gallery. While natural light images are so beautiful, it’s important to know that your photographer is prepared for your ceremony if it’s in a dark church and your reception if it’s happening during the evening in low light. How do they plan to light those images, so they will still be the same quality as the rest of the day? Do you they use off camera flash?
Will I be able to share and print my images?
Imagine how sad you would be if you finally see your wedding photos, but you find out you’re only allowed to print through your photographer, and you don’t actually receive any of the digital files to share online. Not every photographer gives you all of the images for the same price you paid for them to shoot the wedding. Personally, when clients invest with me, ALL of the edited digital images are included. They can print through my professional lab if they want to, but they also have the option of printing wherever they would like, and they are free to share their images.
I hope these questions help you get all of the information you really need during your consultation with your wedding photographer!