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What to ask your Wedding Photographer

Monday, March 23, 2015

To make sure you are getting what you want, and help avoid any undesired 'day of' mishaps, or down the road 'surprises'.  Be sure to communicate to your wedding photographer in advance! Communication is key to an effective wedding photography experience.

1. What do your collections include?

This may seem rather obvious, but there may be something you could miss and wish you hadn't.  If it is too vague about what is included ask for further details and be sure to have it in writing.

2. Do I receive the copy right release with my photos?

While as a professional photographer I do not recommend taking your wedding photos to a local grocery store instant kiosk for printing your pictures, as doing so is like serving a gourmet meal on a flimsy paper plate... it is nice to have the digital images at their highest resolution in hand for down the road with whatever you have planned as your photographer may only have your pictures posted for a number of months.  So be sure to see if this is an option.

3. How many photos will be included?

This will vary with the number of hours included.  Bride and Groom portraits should have no less that 30 images, but as the day as a whole, generally speaking 400+ images would be the minimum that is offered.

4. Do you charge travel fees?

This will be an important question to ask, especially if your engagement and bridal sessions or wedding day will take you to more than one location and may possibly be out of the photographers usual travel radius.

5. What is your general approach to photographing a wedding?

Each photographer will have a different approach depending on their style, personality etc.  Will they be able to handle a large wedding party, move efficiently, politely demand attention as needed?  Will they be organized in capturing family pictures?  How will their approach make the day go smoothly? Do they get a good variety of candid and posed shots?  How will they use their approach to fit your unique personalities.  How might they approach photographing a wedding?  Will they be discrete or stand right up front?
6. How long after the wedding will I get to see sneak peeks?  All of my photos?

Ideally wedding day portraits will be posted on Facebook within a few days or a week and the remaining full event within 4-6 weeks.  While true art cannot be rushed, it shouldn't take months either.

7.  What is required as a deposit?  When will the remainder be due?

Will expect all of their payment at once? Do they charge a separate fee for booking the date? 

8. If something in the schedule does not go as planned how might you approach it?

Family showing up late, family drama, the zipper on the dress broke? What situations have they dealt with and helped settle..?

9. How long after the wedding will I have access to my pictures? Can I download them? Will I have access to them?

An easy to share online gallery is an essential for any wedding photography package.  This makes it easy to share with friends and family.  Also be sure to ask whether or not their images will be public or private.

10 .  What if it rains? 

What are some examples of back up plans they have used or propose to use if it rains on your big day? Will they arrange more than one schedule perhaps?  Are they ok in photographing in a little light drizzle?  Are you?

11. Do you have experience shooting in low light conditions?

The answer should be YES! Most indoor venues will at some point have low light conditions.

12. Do you have a second shooter? Assistant?

Consider the size of your wedding and if a second shooter will be necessary.  Does your photographer typically shoot solo, and if so, would they be able or willing to take on a second shooter if needed?  What would this cost you?

13. If I want to change something in a picture from my online gallery, can you make changes?

How much does your photographer let you be involved in what you receive as your final product?  How much editing is done in post?

Will they let you suggest an edit such as cropping a photo?  Perhaps putting one in black and white.

14. Will the digital images I receive be watermarked?

While they may watermark images on Facebook, be sure that the final digital images you receive will be watermark free.

15.  At what resolution will I receive my images?  What size is that?

Ideally professional wedding photography should be provided for at least 16 x 20 prints.

16. Will you let us know when you are leaving?  Will you stay until the end?

A photographer who communicates well and makes sure you are all on the same page is important.

17. What if we go over our arranged time, how do you handle that?

Will they leave just before the cake is going to get cut as their time is up and your arrange schedule just didn't go quite as planned? 

18.  Will you help me with the schedule of the day?  

No matter what, you and your photographer should go over a schedule of the wedding day, but as photography is a large part of the wedding day, they can help you arrange the timing details dependent on the size of your family, wedding party, locations etc.

19. Do you work off a formal shot list?  Can I give you one?

Most experienced wedding photographers will have an engraved shot list built into their photography brain, but if you are looking for something specific, want to share a pinterest board of ideas of your own or whatever if might be be sure to see how open and willing they may be to your involvement.

20. Do you edit all my images?

Will they auto process the bunch or take the time to clean up that skin, trash on the ground, wrinkle in the suit etc?

Ultimately you will have to evaluate your needs, budget and see what you are ok with settling for or what needs to be changed and addressed.  Be sure you are comfortable with your wedding photographer as they are will be capturing one of the most important days of your life and you want to have the real and best version of you in your pictures.

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