Things to ask & not to ask your wedding photographer

January 11, 2020

As you google this particular topic and read some of the articles you will find, you will see a lot of questions that are a bit pointless as well as outdated. Here are some questions that will help make your decision easier when it comes to picking your wedding photographer as well as some questions you shouldn’t ask. Granted some of the answers for these would already be in the contract, but if you are not a terms and conditions reader like me, you can always ask. I promise you it won’t bother us at all! So keep reading…


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What to ask

  • Can we see a full wedding gallery? Seeing a full gallery or two will give you an idea of the photographer’s shooting style, the approximate number of images you would receive as well as what the photographer’s images would look like in all lighting conditions.

  • Will there be a second shooter included in my package? There is a common misconception that you need a second shooter if you are having a big wedding or that you would get more photos if you have a second shooter but in truth most professional photographers can shoot the entire wedding day by themselves. Having a second shooter is totally dependent on what your timeline looks like. If your timeline requires the photographer to be at two places at the same time or in other words if you have a tight timeline, it is wise to have a second shooter so that the photographers can cover all aspects.


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  • Does my wedding package include an engagement session? If not, then how much additional is it for an engagement session? An Engagement session is a great way for you to work with your photographer before your wedding and get comfortable with them as well as to get to know each other. Most photographers include engagement sessions in their packages but some do not in which case it is better to find out in advance and also the additional charge for the sessions.

  • Do you offer prints and albums? If you are interested in printing your images, it is advisable to do it through your photographer because they have access to the professional labs that are so much better than any of the prints you would get at Walgreens or canvas.com. It may cost a bit more than a chain store but your memories on gorgeous print from a professional labs are very much worth it!

  • What happens if you are unable to shoot my wedding? Things happen. That is life. But it’s good to have a plan for that. In case of an emergency where you photographer can’t make it, ask them if they have a plan for that. Most photographers will hire associates that they trust to shoot the wedding for them. You wouldn’t be paying anything extra for it, it just won’t be the person that you have met and connected with. But they will still handle all the post processing.


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  • How much is it for an extra hour of coverage? If you are thinking about a smaller package but are unsure about your wedding ending within those hours, it’s good to know the price of the hourly coverage.

  • How long is the turn around time for our wedding images? Do you do sneak peeks? Find out when you will be getting your entire gallery. The industry standard is 6 to 8 weeks. Also, ask your photographers if they do sneak peeks of some of your photos so you can have a few to tie you over until your full gallery gets in so the anticipation doesn’t kill you but also so that you can send out those Thank You cards. Do keep in mind that some photographers may not do sneak peeks which is totally okay because all that wait will be so worth it.

  • Will my images be an online gallery or a flash drive? Some photographers offer a flash drive and some don’t. Online galleries will contain high resolution photos as well, but make sure to ask them how long the gallery remains active so you can save the pictures before it gets deleted.

  • Can we request few specific shots? There is no way to specify every single image you’d like to take through out the day but most photographers will take all the important shots and family portraits. If there are any surprises happening during the day, be sure to let them know so they don’t miss it.

  • Do you charge a travel fee? Some photographers charge a travel fee if your venue fall outside of a certain mile radius that they choose to work at.


What NOT to ask your wedding photographer

 


 

  • Can you provide some references of previous clients? You are looking for a wedding photographer and not a babysitter, so there is no reason to call a photographer’s past clients. If you would like, you can go on social media or google and read all the reviews from their past clients. And you can ask them to share wedding galleries with you. A photographer won’t be offended if you want to see more than just one gallery.

  • Can I give you a shot list? When you hire a wedding photographer, you are giving them creative control and trusting their vision and know that an experienced photographer will get all the important shots. So even though you might be tempted to go on Pinterest and make a detailed list of shots you want or you may want to hand your photographer the three page list that “the Knot” says are all the shots you “should” take during your wedding day, try to refrain. Every wedding is unique and every couple is different, therefore your photos may not look like theirs. Trust your photographer to capture your day in all it’s uniqueness.

    But as far as family shots go, your photographer should get a list from you before your wedding day which has various groups of family photos so that the process can go smoothly. Didn’t get a list from your photographer? Here is where you can mine.


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  • My friend is trying to get into wedding photography. She did our engagement photos but I don’t feel right telling her she can’t shoot my wedding. Can she come and shoot the wedding alongside you? Or I really love the style of another photographer as well and I want to hire them? Can they work with you? Your wedding isn’t the day for your friend to be practicing their wedding photography skills because that’s something you cannot redo. Most photographers have a policy and a clause in the contract that their company will be the sole photography company and there is a reason for that. All photographers have a other photographer friends and colleagues that they work with and trust, that compliment their working style. Working with someone new can cause many issues such as the other person, not knowing what to do, can interfere your photographer’s very important shots or if the other photographer wants to take control of a certain part of your day then it could cause a difference in opinion and maybe even hostility (believe me that has happened to me before lol). Your photographer will have second shooters that they work with and if you would like you can ask them for a list of people that would be possibly shooting your wedding with them so that you can get a feel for their work.

  • Can you give us the all unedited photos even if they are blurry and such, I would like to keep them just to look at them later? Firstly, the photos that your photographer took that day are in the RAW format and you won’t be able to open them with a normal gallery viewer unless you are paying for professional editing software. If you want those photos for the purpose of reediting them then there are couple reasons you shouldn’t.

    » Copyright because the work belongs to your photographer

    » Because when you edit your photographers work, you are misrepresenting their business. Photographers get their business by people viewing their photos and hiring them, but if you edit your photographers work or put filters on them and someone else likes your representation of their work, it can negatively affect their business since their name is associated with that photo.

    Also, photographers take 1000s of photos during the day and a lot of them are repeats but they carefully curate your gallery to showcase the best images from your wedding day. So trust your photographer to delver the best of the best images in your wedding gallery. I promise they are not trying to cheat you out of pictures but they are just making sure you don’t get anything less than perfect.

  • If I don’t really like the way you edit my pictures, can you re-edit them for us? Asking a photographer to change their style is a huge nope. Assuming that you are hiring them for their style and all their work is consistent, there should be no problems later on at all. But if you think that you may want your photos edited differently, then you are not talking to the right photographer and must find yourself one whose work you truly love! A lot of photographers are not okay with altering their editing style. They have developed their unique style over the years because it represents them and their business.

  • Can you please not post my photos on social media? Photographers get more business by sharing the photos they take from weddings on their social media. By asking your photographer to not post your photos online, you are asking them to give up on a marketing opportunity. Some photographers charge an extra certain amount to keep your gallery private as they are giving up an opportunity to book more weddings that they could have, had they been able to post your images online especially the ones that would get married at the same venue as yours.


There is tons of advice on the internet but here is just some basic stuff they will get your ball rolling in the direction of you finding your perfect photographer.

Happy Planning!

Xoxo,          Ruzin

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