The proper questions to ask wedding photographer will help you make any wedding photoshoot as you dreamt about, because sometimes it is difficult to find a wedding photographer who is able to satisfy all your requests and create a fantastic story of one of the most significant days in your life. In this article I’ve gathered 50 helpful questions for photographers before paying for your wedding photoshoot.
Questions about style:
Questions about services and products:
Contract and policies:
Start by gathering the necessary information about the most popular photographers in your area. Study their portfolio and pricing list and then choose a few people who match your preferences the most. Before you schedule an interview, call or email the photographer and ask if he/she is free on your wedding day. If this photographer is busy, then do not waste time on a personal meeting. After agreeing on the date and time for the interview, prepare your questions to ask a wedding photographer.
1. Are You Free on Our Wedding Day?
If you get a negative answer, there is no reason to ask other questions from your list.
2. What is Your Experience as a Wedding Photographer?
This question will help you find out whether this candidate is a broad specialist or works specifically in the field of wedding photography. The ideal option would be a photographer who works in the style of wedding photography only.
3. Will You Shoot Our Wedding Yourself? If Not, Can We Ask the Photographer Who Will Be on the Venue Some Questions?
If you contact a photographer who runs his/her own business, then naturally he or she will shoot your wedding. However, if you decide to use the services of a large studio or a company where several photographers work, you should definitely clarify who will work at your wedding. So, arrange a meeting with this person and discuss all the questions to ask wedding photographer.
4. Have You Ever Been in Our Venue? If Not, Are You Planning to Come to the Place Some Days Before?
This is one of the basic questions to ask your wedding photographer. Since most of the pictures are planned in advance, he/she should be well oriented in the venue. A detailed study of the room, lighting conditions, and surrounding landscapes will help the photographer think out how to implement certain ideas.
5. Are You Going to Work Alone or with Your Second Shooter?
You must clarify whether your photographer will shoot with an assistant or if he/she plans to handle the shooting on his/her own. This may depend on the scale of your event. For example, an assistant or another photographer is hardly needed for small celebrations, and at the same time, his/her services are irreplaceable for grand ceremonies with a large number of guests. As it influences the cost, you should add this matter to the questions to ask when hiring a photographer.
6. What Style Do You Work in and Can You Show Us Examples?
Each person can understand the concept of wedding photography styles in different ways. Therefore, such words as "traditional", "fashion", and "classic" wedding styles can have different meanings for you and your photographer. Ask them to show you a few examples of wedding packages to make sure that you are talking about the same thing.
A distinctive feature of this style is the shooting of genuine moments during your wedding celebration. Posing, selection of special lighting, and stylization of images are not used in this approach to photography. The main focus is on natural feelings and emotions and not on staged poses. This style resembles the coverage of events by photojournalists. The photographer is a passive participant in the events, a kind of outside observer whose task is to capture as many sincere emotions as possible. If you have other questions on this type of shooting, add them to your wedding photographer checklist.
Using this style, the photographer should be more active in the staging and stylization of the pictures. He/she plans in an advance a list of poses and photos to be taken during the wedding day. The photographer actively suggests what poses to use and leads you in the right direction. This approach to photography provides the opportunity to agree on a list of images in advance. You can also prepare questions to ask your photographer about which poses are best to use, offer your ideas, and discuss the possibility of their implementation.
This technique was taken from the world of fashion and is perfectly applied in wedding photography. Special attention will be paid to fashion, lighting, and dramatic background. To get a certain dramatic accent, the photographer will control your facial expressions, poses, etc. If you have any questions to ask wedding photographer, don’t hesitate and find out everything you want. It is possible to arrange an additional photo session on some other day if you want to get more in-depth picture opps.
The main goal of a photographer working in this style is not just capturing the events of your Great Day, but creating real masterpieces of digital art. Photos imply the creation of certain concepts; therefore, the interference of the photographer and his/her leadership of the process are felt most strongly. This approach is suitable for those who wish to receive wedding photos taken in an artistic and creative manner. If you are not sure if this style matches your ideas, that is the question to ask a photographer.
7. What Type of Camera Do You Use?
Although most photographers now prefer working with digital wedding photography gear, some fans of film models remain loyal to this type. Experts say that small differences between the images still exist. It is said that a film image conveys colors better and more realistically, but as a rule, only professionals notice this. The advantage of using a digital camera is the ability to get a file with ready-made photos that you can print or post on social networks whenever you want.
8. What Is the Style of Your Work?
Some photographers are more active participants in the event and constantly lead the process. Others, on the contrary, prefer to remain almost invisible, only occasionally correcting poses and giving recommendations.
9. Could We Read Reviews About You Somewhere? How Can We View Your Works?
Other popular questions for wedding photographer concern the customers’ reviews from previous wedding shootings. Since most photographers value the privacy of their clients and understand that they are not entitled to require any advertising of their services, it is better to ask for links to the reviews on the websites and so on. Even if one of the photographers gives you the contacts of previous clients, these will be the people who will undoubtedly give positive feedback. I recommend searching for your photographer using Google. In this way, you can find real feedback, both positive and negative, especially if someone is not satisfied with his/her work.
10. Do You Take Color or Black and White Photos?
Having printed pictures on special paper, you can enjoy B&W for decades. Color images are significantly inferior in their life duration. Having captured the sentimental moments of the wedding ceremony, tears in the parents’ eyes, happy smiles of children in B&W, you will get incredible memories that you will cherish for many years.
11. What about Your Equipment? Is There Backup Equipment in Your Kit?
Thanks to modern technologies, even small cameras can give great pictures without taking up much space. Videographers are frequently using tiny wireless microphones that make it possible to use fly-on-the-wall shooting techniques. Many photographers offer drone wedding photography services and take a drone; ask about this service.
12. Should We Provide You Our List of Must-Have Photos or Do You Use Only Yours?
Undoubtedly, all professional photographers have their own wedding photography checklist. You do not need to remind them of this. However, you probably have people that you want to see in your wedding album. They may be grandparents, your childhood best friend, or a favorite aunt. You might also want to capture some of the traditions or your own ideas. This issue should be on your list of questions to ask during a wedding photography consultation.
13. Could You Recommend Us Any New Wedding Photography Trends?
The photography industry is constantly evolving, so new trends, approaches, and technologies appear regularly. Nowadays, one of the most popular things used by wedding photographers is a drone. These incredibly small machines take amazing shots from the air that a photographer cannot capture on the ground. You can also ask them to make a short video for you that can be posted on social networks. Learn more about the possibilities of engaging your guests in a photography process. This is another popular wedding trend. A photographer cannot be in several places at the same time, so your guests can take a lot of interesting and most often lively pictures for you. Suggest your friends install The Guest application to be able to access these pictures and not have to look for them on social networks.
14. What Part of the Wedding Day Do You Like Most of All?
It will help you understand him/her better. You will find out if it is easy to communicate with your tog.
15. How Much Effects Do You Use?
As a rule, photographers need effects to hide some flaws and to make photos look better. But if they overdo it, the pictures can seem artificial or a bit dated. If you look at the portfolio and you notice that he/she is too keen on various filters, find out whether it is possible to use them moderately in your wedding package. Also, ask about the delivery of the finished album. If it is too fast, then you'd better not book this photographer. Remember, high-quality photo retouching takes about 6 to 9 weeks.
16. What Is Your Timetable for Our Special Day?
Organizational skills are very important for a wedding photographer. The ability to plan the order of shots is the key to a successful photo session. Ask about the schedule and possibility of making changes to it according to your wishes, and do not forget to discuss it.
17. Do You Need Any Information Before the Big Day?
In addition to the celebration schedule, it is important for the photographer to know how many guests will be at the celebration, which relatives will be present, etc. All this information is necessary for the photographer to know how to distribute his/her working time and what to pay attention to. It is also important to know about the peculiarities of the ceremony, aspects of decorating the hall, etc. If you don’t know what to tell your wedding photographer, ask what information is required and he/she will ask you all the questions that interest him/her.
18. Do You Have Any Experience Working with Our Coordinator, Florist, etc.?
If your service providers have already worked together successfully, then this is surely an additional advantage.
19. What Clothes Will You and Your Assistant Wear?
The clothing of your photographer is also an important issue. It should not attract much attention or violate any cultural or religious traditions and rules. The ideal option is black pants with a classic shirt or polo shirt of the same color. It is better to discuss this matter in advance, so put this item in the list of questions to ask wedding photographer.
20. Would You Prefer the Bride and the Groom to do a First Look?
Some photographers prefer to strictly adhere to the schedule, while others are more flexible and adapt to what is happening. Any option is good if you agree on this issue. In any case, they have significant experience in planning a wedding day, so do not be afraid to have questions for photographers.
21. How Are You Going to Coordinate with the Videographer?
It is one of the questions to ask your wedding photographer after booking. These two professionals must work together during the whole celebration and not interfere with each other. Therefore, the ideal option would be if they had already worked together before.
22. What Does Your Package Consist of?
One of the most important questions to ask your wedding photographer concerns the services included in the package and their wedding photography prices. Planning a budget will be easier if you know whether a photographer is willing to add or remove some services from a package.
23. Can a Package Be Modified According to My Preferences?
If you need additional services, for instance, engagement or album photo sessions, a lot of photographers will meet your needs.
24. Are Engagement or Other Pre-Wedding Photoshoots Included in Your Package?
It is a very frequent question to ask a photographer. Even though an engagement has nothing to do with a wedding itself, this event is worth capturing. It is a great opportunity for both a photographer and a couple to get well acquainted with each other. A photographer will be able to see the way the couple behaves and to think of the most favorable poses. During an engagement photo session, a couple will gain experience of posing in front of a camera and will get used to a photographer's working style.
More and more photographers add an engagement photoshoot to a wedding photographer checklist, to the package, or just make it a customizable option. If you include engagement photos in the price, more clients will be interested in such a photo session prior to their wedding day.
25. How Many Hours Does the Package Comprise?
Questions to ask wedding photographer related to timing are very crucial. In case you see that the number of hours in the package aren’t enough for you, you should ask a photographer to prolong the time. You may need preparation images or photos of the guests dancing after dinner.
26. If a Wedding Lasts Longer Than Planned, Will You Leave? If You Stay, Do We Pay Additional Money?
Questions to ask your photographer that concern his/her overtime policy are of great importance. They will help you avoid unpredictable situations. You would be unpleasantly surprised if a wedding photographer takes off when his/her time is over or if he/she asks for extra payment for additional pictures.
27. Are Photo Post-Production and Image Retouching Included? Do We Have to Pay Extra for That?
Don't forget to ask about a number of edited photos. All these peculiarities affect the price per package if you purchase it. Be careful studying the contract, as some photographers ask for additional payment for photo post-processing. Be sure to discuss all these details in advance.
28. Do We Pay Travel Costs? What Do These Costs Include? What Is the Distance?
Questions to ask wedding photographer connected with travel costs matter a lot. Many photographers have a certain area outside of which clients are required to pay for transportation. You might also need to pay for a photographer's accommodation in case a wedding is organized over a particular distance.
29. When and in What Way Will I Receive the Photos?
One of the main questions to ask a wedding photographer concerns the approximate period of time in which you will get finished images. Usually, it takes a photographer from three to four weeks to process pictures and send them to you. Besides this, ask about the way you'll receive the shots. Either you get them from an online gallery which offers printing services or get a CD and print photos yourself. Photography studios usually have their own timelines when it comes to delivering wedding shots. Some studios which don't provide image editing services might promise you that they will finish picture post-processing in a week or a day. Don't trust such studios, as getting finished photos is a long process which may take the entire 6 months or just 2 weeks.
30. Will There Be a Contract of the Services? If Yes, Will I Receive a Copy?
The first aspect that should be taken into account is his/her attitude towards a wedding photography contract. It is better not to get involved with those photographers who believe that making a contract is unnecessary. An agreement guarantees your and a photographer's protection. It should feature the prices, delivering terms, the services provided, etc.
31. Are There Any Restrictions for Posting Images Online? Do You Own the Copyright to the Shots?
I recommend you pay attention to questions to ask wedding photographer which regard the copyright. He/she may prohibit posting wedding pictures on social media, so you'd better be aware of it.
32. What Will Happen If the Photographer Is Sick?
There is always a possibility that a photographer is ill; therefore, he/she won't be able to come to a wedding. In this case, it is a responsibility of a photography studio to solve this problem.
33. When Will It Be Possible to Book the Photographer?
When you have decided on a date, you need to be sure that it is 100% confirmed. Sometimes you can be asked to pay a deposit for booking. The important questions to ask wedding photographer also concern the cancellation policy.
34. Do You Have Payment Terms?
If you are on a tight budget and you don't know what to ask wedding photographer, this question should be on top of your list. When you hire a photographer and plan out the wedding budget, take into consideration the fact that engagement photo sessions are rather pricey.
35. When Is the Due Date to Pay a Deposit?
Frequently asked questions for wedding photographers also include the one that is connected with the date when the whole sum should be paid. The majority of photographers demand a deposit for total assurance. Don't forget to clarify whether you will need to pay the rest of the money on the wedding day or in a matter of the following week.
36. Will I Have to Pay an Overtime Cost?
In order to avoid unforeseen expenses, your questions for wedding photographer should feature the ones connected with the overtime rules. A wedding schedule may be slightly changed, so you have to think over different scenarios.
37. Are There Any Wedding Details You Would Like to Discuss?
As a matter of fact, a bride and groom-to-be, first of all, are responsible for the effective work of a photographer. You should listen carefully to the photographer's requirements and express your wishes and suggestions as well. Efficient interaction with a wedding shooter will lead to plenty of mesmerizing and captivating shots. These questions to ask wedding photographer are of utmost importance.
38. Do You Have a Lot of Experience Filming Weddings? How Many Weddings do You Usually Film Per Year?
Watching a wedding video after many years is surely the best way to refresh happy memories of a special day. That's why you need to hire a professional videographer with an excellent eye for details.
39. Are There Any Other People in The Sphere You Enjoy Working With?
Very often professional videographers collaborate with photographers for more efficient work. Before hiring both of them, I advise you to look up whether they are award-winning professionals acknowledged by famous associations.
40. What Is the Specificity of Your Style — Cinematic, Documentary, or Do You Mix Them?
It is one of the most essential questions to ask videographer before hiring, as your and his/her visions of a video concept should coincide. For instance, if you ask for a romantic video and your videographer doesn't have any understanding of this genre, you won't be satisfied with the result. Look at the work samples of a videographer to figure out his/her personal style and professional level.
41. What Is Our Contribution to a Video? Are There Any Decisions That Have to Be Made Only by You?
Questions to ask videographer regarding the small details of a video are quite significant. The majority of videographers have their own artistic vision; they may view a video as a piece of art and not as a story of a special day. Your and videographer's opinions on various aspects, for example, a song, may differ considerably. It won't cause any problems if you are confident in your videographer. In case you have a particular concept of your wedding video, you have to discuss it with a photographer in advance.
42. In What Way Do Your Prices Work?
A uniform rate of videographers usually depends on the work time. Some videographers have preset packages that feature extra services, such as an additional shooter or an instant edit. Look through all the constituents of a package even if you purchase a standard one. In case you have any extra requirements, like a memory drive with RAW footage or a short video trailer, they should be mentioned in a contract.
43. Have You Ever Heard About My Photographer? Do You Have Experience Working with Him/Her?
Their efficient collaboration is key to memorable and remarkable pictures and videos. If they have met and worked before, they will definitely get along. In case they haven't, it is recommended to arrange their meeting prior to a wedding day in order to establish necessary details.
44. Have You Ever Filmed at My Ceremony or Reception Venue?
Professional videographers can find angles and lighting sources in a room without any problems, but if they have already visited your venue, the process will be easier. A videographer will quickly place a tripod and choose favorable angles.
45. Do You Have Any Other Weddings Planned on the Same Weekend? Are You the Person That Will Be Shooting an Event?
Interview questions to ask a videographer should feature the ones concerning his/her plans. In case a videographer is scheduled to work at another event as well, you need to be sure that he/she will have enough time to film everything during your wedding. Of course, a videographer is supposed to work with you for the whole day. But frequently studios arrange numerous events within a weekend. Keep in mind that a person you have an arrangement with might not be your actual videographer. In such a situation, meet with an appointed videographer to finalize necessary details.
46. What Is Your Equipment?
Thankfully, heavy and bulky video cameras aren't used anymore. In most cases, cameras of both a photographer and videographer are of the same size. It can't hurt to ask about it. Inquire about a type of a microphone used – a clip-on or a handheld one.
47. Will We Have a Second Videographer? Will a Stationary Camera or Any Extra Cameras Be Used?
If a videographer doesn't have a backup in the form of a second shooter or an extra camera, all of the meaningful wedding moments might not be captured. Usually, a second videographer is included in the package. Still, ask about it to be on the safe side.
48. Do We Need to Expect Extra Costs?
Unplanned expenses may appear if you don't include certain questions to ask videographer. A wedding is an unpredictable event, and you never know if everything will go according to the timeline. A videographer may need to move from one location to another within a day. In this situation, you should know how much he/she could charge. In addition to that, don't forget to inquire about the cost of additional image editing. All these details should be clarified beforehand.
49. Do You Have Cancellation and Refund Policy?
Weddings are full of unexpected situations, and you never know what is about to happen. There may be a necessity to cancel services. Questions to ask wedding videographer should feature the ones regarding the cases of contract cancellation – whether you will be able to get at least some money back.
50. When Will Our Video Be Ready?
Editing a wedding video requires a lot of time and effort, and that's why you should ask about the time frames right away. The amount of time you will have to wait to watch a video depends on the level of popularity of a selected video company – it might take a couple of weeks or months.
You may receive a short trailer of a video or an instant edit in a matter of days. The editing process is a long one, and that's why you need to ask about the approximate dates of getting a finished result.
Experienced videographers can determine exactly the amount of time it will take them to complete a video, so they may give you a precise date.
The aim of wedding photography is to properly reflect and transfer the emotions of true joy and happiness in the images. When you prepare the right questions to ask wedding photographer, the success of your special day will be ensured. If you manage to find a real professional, holiday cards, invitations, and thank you notes will be professionally taken care of.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.