You’ve never done this before and that’s ok. You’ve probably never picked out all these different vendors that are supposed to make your dreams come true. So, when picking out a wedding photographer here are 21 questions you should ask them to help you decide if you’re ready to book? If they know what the heck they’re doing then their site should pretty much answer these for you before you even fill out their contact page but if these answers are nowhere to be found then better safe than sorry!
- Do you have my date available?
It seems so simple but can easily be forgotten or change depending on venues or availability. Most photographers have a space on their contact form but if you just straight-up email a photographer or slide into their dms we seriously need the date.
2. How long have you been shooting weddings?
Don’t be afraid to ask! I do think it’s important to keep in mind that often times newer photographers second shoot until they feel comfortable taking on a wedding by themselves. And sometimes they can’t always use the images that they shoot because they technically belong to another photographer. There also isn’t an exact time length you should be looking for. Some people are fast learners and hustle and shoot 50 weddings their first year. Let their work speak for themselves.
3. Can we see a full wedding gallery?
This goes back to second shooting. Sometimes a photographer has helped shoot a decent amount of weddings but they can’t always show them because of contacts and such. However, the should have something unless they just started like a month ago.
4. What types of packages do you offer?
Are their packages by time? Are there different tiers? How do they offer their wedding services? For example, my packages are by hours needed 6, 8, and 10.
5. Do your packages come with an engagement session?
For me personally, I have different packages and they all include an engagement session. It’s clearly stated but some photographers may not have it that way and it never hurts to ask.
6. Will you have any assistants or second shooters?
Again, some packages come with second shooters and some don’t. It’s good to ask and also ask about an assistant on the day of the wedding if you don’t opt to have a second shooter. This makes things like wedding party portraits and family portraits go so much smoother.
7. Would you coordinate with my videographer?
This is a lot less common now. I think. I hope. But, some photographers just cannot work with videographers and are super inconsiderate. So, if you plan on having a videographer don’t be afraid to ask this question.
8. How many pictures do you tend to deliver?
This goes back to packages. Typically depending on the amount of coverage, the number of photos will vary. Meaning in short more coverage more photos.
9. Do you offer retouching or any corrective services?
If you’re paying for a photographer. Your photos should be color corrected, straightened, cropped, etc. to a certain degree.
10. By when and how will we receive our photos?
On a flash drive or an online gallery? And how soon after the wedding will you receive them? 30 days, 4-6 weeks, you should note the industry standard is 8-12 weeks.
11. What’s the backup plan in case of an emergency if you can’t be there?
You should know that if something happens to your photographer and they are unable to photograph your wedding they have you covered and aren’t going to leave you out to dry.
12. Should I order prints or albums through you?
Do they offer them? How does this part process work? For instance, I have my images delivered in an online gallery that connects to a shop where you can order prints and albums.
13. Can I see a sample album?
If you are interested in buying an album ask to see a sample album. Believe me, they are gorgeous.
14. What’s your refund or cancellation policy?
You should know what happens should worst-case scenario. A global pandemic or maybe something else and you have to postpone or cancel your wedding. That is to say, prepare for the worst and expect the best.
15. Do you have back up equipment?
SUPER IMPORTANT. The last thing you want is to pay some a lot of money only to have nothing to show for it because they had faulty equipment.
16. Are you fully insured with liability insurance?
If they are a legit business and they should be they will have insurance. And many venues even require this of vendors. So in short, they should have insurance but still, ask.
17. Do you have a back-up process for our photos?
Your photos should be kept safe until they are delivered back to you and your photographer should have a process for that.
18. What does it cost to book you?
Some photographers require 50% to book some 30% it all depends so ask!
19 Do you offer payment plans?
You could be absolutely in love with a photographer but are a little expensive ask if you can do smaller payments. Some will for an added fee.
20. Do you have any travel fees?
If a photographer is leaving a certain radius or maybe they are traveling further. Ask if there’s a travel fee or cent per mile that you’ll have to pay. Some include it all in the price some don’t. If you’re unsure just ask!
21. Is tax in the price?
This is super state-dependent. It depends on what’s included in the packages are there any physical goods etc. In California, we don’t have to charge sales tax unless there are physical goods included. I include tax in the price to make it easier. While in Arizona it doesn’t matter what you charge or what’s included you have to pay tax on top of that price.
These are all super important and helpful questions to ask your wedding photographer to help you make a decision. In other words, your gut will tell you who’s right for you. Likewise, let their work speak for itself, and if you have any questions that aren’t on this list ask them! Never be to shy or afraid.