7 Questions For Wedding Photographers (And 4 Not to Ask)

April 19, 2020 | riley

Image by Nicole Nero. See more of this real wedding here. Read on for our questions for wedding photographers

There are so many exciting things to do and keep track of when planning your wedding, that it can be hard to know what to discuss in each of your vendor meetings. To make wedding planning a breeze, we came up with a list of questions for wedding photographers that you’ll want to ask before booking. And just in case you’re worried about asking the wrong thing, we put together a few questions to steer clear of during your consultation. So grab a pen and jot down a few things that you’d like to discuss with your dream photographer!

7 Questions For Wedding Photographers

1. Can we see a sample of a full wedding gallery?

When first inquiring with a wedding photographer, don’t be afraid to ask to see a previous wedding that they have photographed. Seeing a full gallery will give you an idea of a photographer’s shooting style, a ballpark of how many images you could receive (although this may differ based on the package you choose), and what the photographer’s images look like in all lighting conditions.

2. Does your business have insurance?

Generally, insurance is there to help protect you and others in an emergency situation. Wedding photographers tend to have insurance that is geared towards their business in regards to liability, equipment, injury, and loss of coverage. Knowing your photographer has business insurance assures you that things will be handled properly and professionally during any unforeseen circumstance. For example–if your photographer’s equipment is accidentally broken by one of your guests. With the proper coverage, that incident would be handled by their insurance provider and wouldn’t become a burden to you or your guest.

Image by Paulina Bichara. See more of this real wedding here

3. What happens if you can’t make it to the wedding?

You’ve probably heard the term “expect the worst but hope for the best,” and the same applies to wedding vendors. Although it is 99.99% likely that your photographer will show up on your wedding day, the unexpected happens and there’s nothing you or your photographer can do about it. So, on the rare occasion that your photographer is unable to make it to your wedding, ask them what their backup plan is. Typically they will work with assistants or have a list of photographers they could reach out to and have photograph your day, but don’t be afraid to open up that dialogue and know what their procedure is.

4. How much is an extra hour of coverage?

Whether the party goes longer than intended or your wedding is a little behind schedule, there are times when a photographer will work longer than planned. When this happens, there can be an additional fee that your wedding photographer will bill you after the fact. Before getting stuck with a surprise bill, ask your photographer what they charge for additional hours of photo coverage. It’s best to know ahead of time so there are no surprises.

Image by Heather K Purdy. See more of this real elopement here

5. Does the package I’m purchasing include coverage of the entire day (from getting ready to the send-off)?

Photographers will offer different packages that typically differ based on the number of hours they will cover at your wedding. Before assuming that your photographer will be there from the very beginning of the day to the end of the night, discuss your tentative timeline of wedding day events with your photographer to ensure you choose a package that will work best with what you want photographed.

6. Do you offer album or print sales?

So you’ve invested money into an awesome photographer that you absolutely love and then what? Print those photos for your home or put them together in an album! While this is something you could do yourself, talk to your photographer about whether or not they offer print, canvas, and album sales. If they do provide the service, we highly suggest ordering prints through them. If they don’t, ask them what companies they recommend. After all, you invested in these amazing images, so it would be a shame if the print quality didn’t do the photo justice.

7. How long is the turnaround time to receive our images?

Every photographer’s turnaround time is different–some take a month and others can take up to three. Before signing on the dotted line, ask your photographer how long they typically take to edit and deliver a full wedding gallery. It could vary depending on the season or how many weddings they’ve got booked. So before assuming, talk to your photographer and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Image by Salt Atelier. See more of this real wedding here

4 Questions For Wedding Photographers You Shouldn’t Ask

1. Do you want a shot list?

There are pros and cons to giving your photographer a shot list. When you hire a wedding photographer,  you are showing them that you trust their vision and experience to get all of the necessary shots. So even though you might be tempted to browse Pinterest and make note of specific poses and shots, try to refrain. After all, those are someone else’s photos and every wedding is unique and special in its own way. Trust your photographer to capture your wedding in the most perfect way for your big day.

On the flip side, a list of family dynamics can be helpful if there are any sensitive situations that your photographer should be aware of. Examples of this include divorced parents, blended families, and siblings’ significant others. Making a list of various groups for family photos can lead to a quick and smooth process.

2. My uncle has a nice camera and wants to take pictures too. Is that alright?

This is probably one of the most dreaded questions for a wedding photographer. Although your uncle is probably a wonderful person, your wedding is not the time or place for him (or anyone else really) to practice their photography skills. Your photographer doesn’t need to worry about sharing the aisle with anyone during your first kiss or reaching around someone when you cut the cake. So let your guests be guests and be fully present during your big day!

Image by Amber Vickery Photography. See more of this real elopement here

3. Why are you so expensive?

As you inquire with different photographers, you will quickly learn that there are many different price points based on location, experience, and hours of photo coverage. If you inquire with your dream photographer who has been in the biz for years, don’t be sticker-shocked when they are more expensive than your high school friend who is just starting out. Instead of asking a wedding photographer to price match, photograph for travel expenses, or give you a discount, think about what is important to you and your fiancé.

Is budget driving your decision? Then consider going with someone else. If photography is your number one priority, see if you can make cuts elsewhere in the budget to afford your dream photographer. Whatever it may be, it’s best to respect the quote that a photographer gives to you.

4. Can you give us the unedited photos?

Photographers will take a countless number of photos on your wedding day, but they carefully curate an edited gallery that best showcases the day’s events. It might be tempting to ask your wedding photographer for more photos, even if they’re unedited, but try and shy away from that. The images that your photographer has delivered to you highlight each moment and everything in between–just not the photos with people blinking, lighting test shots, or people with mouthfuls of cake. Remember to trust your photographer in every sense, even when it comes to choosing which images you receive.

Now that you’ve got your questions for wedding photographers down, it’s time to inquire with your dream photographer. We’ve partnered with wedding photographers from all around the world! Check out our recommended lists of wedding photographers right here.

Image by Berivans World. See more of this styled shoot here

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  1. Great tips and suggestions!

  2. There are some fantastic tips here! I always find that the most important aspect of choosing the wedding photographer are dependent on two things, firstly, of course the photos and secondly, how you get along with the photographer, are they easy going and not socially awkward, are you going to be ok being followed by them all day!

  3. I just came across this post. These are some solid tips– especially the point about expense. I always tell people to think of shopping for photography like shopping for a car… You don’t walk in to the Lexus dealer and say “Well, down the street at Hyundai their cars are thousands less, if you expect me to buy from you, you better give me the same price…” … But people do it all the time. In general, people are not good photography shoppers. :-)

  4. Great list one questions! To be honest my favourite part it “WHAT NOT TO ASK” haha solid advice

  5. Great info, thanks

  6. Yeah, that’s on point. These questions always should be asked… But, we as wedding photographers can just tell the couple that thins in our offer.

  7. One more very important question to ask!
    What do they do in inclement weather and in dark venues? Making sure your photographer is competent in using off camera flash if it is necessary at your venue can be a make or break scenario for the final outcome of your images.

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