Essential Questions To Ask Your Photographer
So you have a potential wedding photographer in mind to capture your special day, fantastic! You’ll want to meet in person ideally, to discuss what you want, find out more about their work and decide whether you gel with them or not. To help, I’ve come up with a list of 20 questions to ask him/her which will determine if they’re right for you before you book.
1. Do you have my date available?
An obvious question you would think, but wedding photographers can get booked up 12-18 months in advance. Ask in your initial enquiry email if the date is available and check with them how far in advance you’d need to secure the date with a deposit.
2. How long have you been working as a wedding photographer?
A photographer needs the necessary experience of working in weddings to have mastered all the standard shots and candid moments you will want to receive, from the bridal preparations, right through to the first dance and beyond. It’s a non-stop event and you will need a photographer who has been shooting for at least a couple of years, who knows where to be and when.
3. How many weddings do you shoot a year?
This can help you to work out whether this is a weekend job or whether it’s their full time business. Don’t dismiss a photographer if it’s not what they do full time, but be aware that editing your photos is a long process, so you might not get back your pictures as quickly as you might like, or they might not be retouched to the level you would want.
That said, an experienced wedding photographer can be more selective with their weddings as they are in a higher demand, but you will have an idea of this from knowing how long they have been in the industry.
4. Can I see some full wedding albums?
You will get a feel for their style by looking through their portfolio on their website but these will only be a highlight reel.
To really see if you like a photographer’s work, they won’t mind you asking to see a couple of full wedding albums. Looking through a full album will tell you if they are able to capture the story of the day, how they handle different lighting conditions and if they are consistent in terms of quality and style.
5. Have you worked at our venue before and if not, will you visit beforehand?
Again it’s not a deal breaker, but if a photographer has worked at your venue before, they will have the experience of the lighting and the layout. They would have already scouted out all the best places to take you for a couple time shoot and the best places to take photos when the evening draws in.
Your photographer should be willing to visit the venue beforehand if they haven’t shot there before and you should be able to arrange this with your venue coordinator.
6. Have you photographed a wedding of a similar size to ours before?
A large guest list means that the action will be split between rooms and your photographer will need the experience of navigating larger events, arranging groups of people and following the action.
Similarly, if you have a guest list of 20, you will need a photographer who understands that they need to be unobtrusive and blend in, or they might disrupt the dynamic of the wedding.
7. What wedding packages do you offer?
The average wedding photographer costs between £1500 – £2000. The general things you will want to know are how many hours of coverage you will get on the day, what photos and in what format, you will get back.
8. Do you have any testimonials we can see?
Your photographer should have a range of testimonials that you can see, either on their website, or across other websites such as Facebook. Check their reviews across all the sites to make sure they are consistent.
9. Will we be able to give you a list of specific shots we would like?
A shot list is a list the couple give their photographer of the absolute must-have shots they would like on their wedding day, like a shot of their grandparents as an example. Most photographers will accept this without a problem but it’s best to keep your list to a minimum, or it can reduce the amount of time spent on candid moments.
10. Do we need to provide you with any food?
It’s completely up to you if you provide your photographer with food or not, but it is a nice thing to do and will be greatly appreciated. Your photographer could be working 10 hours + on the day and will therefore need sustenance.
11. Are travel costs included in the price?
All this information should be included in the details of your contract to avoid any unnecessary charges.
12. Can we pay an extra fee if we would like you to stay longer?
It’s always worth finding out how much it would cost for a bit more of the photographer’s time if your day runs over, or if you suddenly decide on a sparkler send off.
13. What is your back-up plan if you can’t attend on the day?
People get ill and family emergencies happen. Your photographer will likely have a network of fellow wedding photographers they can call upon if circumstances unexpectedly change. Despite the best laid plans, it’s always recommended to purchase wedding insurance to cover any last minute disasters.
14. Do you have back-up equipment?
Sometimes accidents happen or equipment can fail. Ask your photographer what they have to hand in these situations.
15. Do you have insurance?
A professional wedding photographer should have both professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance. Typically, compensation cover will be between £2 million to £5 million and they should be happy to provide the venue with a copy of it if required.
16. Payment – How much is the deposit and when do you need the final payment?
Normally you will need to pay a deposit to secure your photographer for your date. All due dates for payments should be given in writing.
Knowing how many instalments you need to pay and your final deadline for payment can help you budget for your wedding.
17. Will we receive digital copies of the photos and how many will we get?
Most photographers shoot with digital rather than film, so you can expect a full set of edited, digital copies of your photos as standard within your wedding package. It’s a good idea to get in writing the full details of what you will receive, either within the contract terms or within an email.
18. Do you offer a printing and/or album service?
An album of photos might be included in a more expensive package, or available as an add on. Find out how much the albums cost and ask to see samples.
19. Is retouching included within the price?
Basic editing and retouching of your photos is usually included but it’s always worth checking.
20. How long will the pictures take to arrive?
These days, your photos will more than likely arrive within an online gallery within 2-6 weeks of the wedding. Most photographers send selected edited highlights as a preview within a couple of days of the wedding – it’s a really exciting time! You’ll also want unlimited downloads included in your contract so that your loved ones can access them too.
If you are recently engaged and are looking for a wedding photographer in Cornwall to shoot your special day, please feel free to contact me. I am taking bookings for 2021/2022 and would love to hear your wedding day plans 🙂