When looking for a wedding photographer, there are so many options available that it’s important to know what to ask in order to work out what is the best fit for you and your wedding. You’ll need to consider style, approach to shooting, price and whether you click (no pun intended). The photographer in lots of ways plays one of the biggest roles on the day so it’s important to make sure that the chemistry is right. Here are some questions to ask your wedding photographer .
What sort of style is your wedding photography?
Every photographer is different but for the most part, they will fall into three categories – traditional, contemporary and documentary. Traditional photographers will take lots of staged photos and typically will want lots of looking at the camera style photos. Contemporary photographers will take very stylised photos and there will still be a lot of posing but there will be more emotion in the images. Documentary photographers take very natural photographers with an emphasis on photographing moments rather than poses. Deciding which style fits you best is the first step in being able to narrow down your options.
What are your turn around times?
Once your photographer has taken lots of fabulous photos of your wedding day, they will normally edit them. This can take time and so it’s important to know what your photographers time scales are so that you’re not waiting and wondering afterwards. Both you and your photographer will want your images to be dressed in their Sunday best before they pop into your inbox so it’s normal to wait a little while.
How will we get our images?
The delivery of wedding images has changed so much over the last few decades. The rise of social media and affordable printing has meant that most couples are keen to get their mitts on digital images rather than printed albums. Even the way that digital images are delivered has changed a lot. CD’s were replaced by USB sticks, which have in some cases now been replaced by direct digital downloads. Every photographer should have a price list or brochure that will display what they offer but it’s a good idea to chat this through with them during the consultation process.
How will we organise the group shots?
Wedding group shots can require a little organisation and every photographer will have a different approach to them. The number of groups shots will also differ depending on what style of photography you choose. A traditional photographer will probably take a lot of posed family shots, whereas a documentary photographer will prefer to take less in favour of natural moments. As a documentary photographer, I work with my couples before the day to make sure that I know the shots that that would like. On the day, I turn up with lists and recruit the wedding party to locate family members whilst I get the shots. I work hard to get them done as quickly as possible because I want the guests to go back to mingling.
Do you offer engagement sessions?
If you feel a little nervous about being photographed for the first time on your wedding day, then it might be a good idea to book an engagement session with your wedding photographer. This will give you a sneak preview of what it will feel like to be photographed in a low stress situation and will also give you another collection of images. Lots of photographers offer engagement sessions so it’s worthwhile enquiring about this when you’re making your booking.
Do we need to provide a meal for you?
Wedding photographers can work quite long hours and so it’s a lovely gesture to offer to feed them whilst you eat your wedding breakfast. Being able to eat a proper meal will help them keep up their energy levels for the second part of the day.
Do you charge for travel expenses?
Gone are the days when people book a photographer who is local to their wedding venue. More and more photographers are travelling huge distances to photograph weddings because the couples love their style. Different photographers have different policies about what they will charge for travel so this is an important question to ask.
What happens if we need more coverage than we have originally paid for?
Sometimes weddings can over run for lots of reasons and this can mean that the bits of the day that you want photographing run over the time you have paid for. It’s a good idea to ask your photographer what happens if this happens. I have a set hourly fee that I charge for additional hours, should that happen and its good to know in advance what that will be.
Do you offer a second photographer?
If you would like photos of the guys getting ready in the morning, or if you have invited a lot of guests, then it can be a great idea to ask your photographer whether they ever use a second shooter. This is a person, who is a photographer in their own right, who accompanies the lead photographer and covers things like groom prep but also shoots very naturally through the day.
What is an unplugged wedding?
An unplugged wedding is a wedding where the guests are asked not to take any photos at all. Having guests take photos during the ceremony can be distracting and they may accidentally step in the way of your photographer – particularly during aisle shots. Photographers much prefer unplugged weddings because it means that they are able to work unhindered and also the guests will be fully engaged with the ceremony instead of looking at their phones.
When do we need to pay for our wedding photography?
It is common practice to pay for your wedding photography before the wedding day. I take a deposit to confirm the booking and then final payment on the 1st of the month prior to the date. This will differ depending on what your photographers booking procedure is so it is a good idea to check what the payment schedule is.
Do you have a contract for us to look at?
Every photographer that is worth their salt will have a wedding photography contract. It is really really important that you sign a contract as it will both protect you and your photographer should things go wrong.
If you are looking for a wedding photographer who loves shooting for relaxed couples and who might make you laugh so hard that you snort, then I would love to hear from you.
You can also check out more of my work here: Portfolio
I also have some helpful wedding planning blog posts for you to have a look through here.