Okay, friends, it’s time for a new blog series! For lack of a more creative name, we’ll just call it Wedding Planning 101 (if any of you are more creative, leave some fun ideas in the comments!). My goal for this series is to elaborate on some of the many topics that arise as you plan for your big day. I’ll have some experts – who may or may not be some of my favorite vendors – dropping in for guest posts to help me out with some of the topics. If there’s anything you want to hear more about, leave a comment below!
Today, we’re starting with 5 questions to ask your wedding photographer. Your wedding vendors are so important because they will make or break your big day. You want people who are professional, experienced, but also easy for you and your fiancé to work with. These are just some questions that you can start with, but there’s probably a lot more information that you’ll need to make sure your photographer is a great fit. You can head over to The Knot for a longer list of questions that may be helpful to ask your photographer. For this post, I’ve specifically picked questions that I thought were important but also my most frequently asked questions from potential brides.
1) What’s your “style” for a wedding day?
I’ve learned that this question rarely refers to my actual shooting and editing style because they can already see that in the photos on my website. It usually means something along the lines of, “how do you photograph a wedding day?” You most likely contacted a photographer because you liked something about their images, so find out how they got those final shots. Do they take a hands-on approach for certain parts of the day or do they let things flow and capturing candid images? Will they have a ton of lighting and equipment or be a fly on the wall? The right and wrong answers will vary for each couple, so think about the type of interaction you’d like to have for your day.
2) Contract questions
This one is more general and I’m going to keep this advice short since I’m far from being a lawyer (I’m in a Comm Law class right now, does that count?!). You want to make sure your contract outlines everything from payments to delivery of final images to liability information and much more. If there is ever anything that doesn’t make sense in the contract, have the photographer or even a lawyer explain it. Sometimes, my couples just don’t understand why my contract includes something, but once I explain the need for the clause, they’re more likely to understand its importance. You want to make sure that everyone is on the same page before you sign anything.
3) How do I decide how much time I need?
This question is important because you’re probably booking your photographer well before you’re creating a wedding day timeline. A lot of couples struggle with figuring out which package is best for them, and they go with the lower time by default. Ask your photographer to describe why there is a difference in their packages and how that will factor into the moments they capture from your day. Ask about the policy and cost of adding additional coverage at a later date!
4) How long have you been shooting weddings? Can I see a full wedding?
Most brides ask how long I’ve been doing this because I seem a bit…young. Understandable! It’s a great question to know the answer to, but you don’t necessarily need to base your decision off of the number of years your photographer has been in the industry. I shot over a dozen weddings as a second before I was ever a lead photographer. Although the positions are different, I still had a ton of experience under my belt because of that. Keep in mind that people learn in different ways and everyone’s business model is different. Ask questions that help you learn more about your photographer and their experience. A lot of couples do this by asking for a full gallery; this also helps you envision how your decor and festivities would look when photographed by that particular photographer.
5) What equipment do you have?
This isn’t necessarily a question that you need to ask, but it is one that I get often. It’s a great question! However, there’s a chance that you’ll just be confused by the photographer’s response because you won’t know much about the technical information of their gear. A different topic that may be better or more important to ask about is backup gear and procedures that your photographer has in place to ensure your day goes smoothly in the event of technology malfunctions.
Keep in mind that you’ll be spending A LOT of time with your photographer on your wedding day. They don’t necessarily need to become your best friend, but it’s important to hire someone that you’re willing to work with and enjoy being around. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions that will ease your mind and help you make the best decision for such an important day of your life.