10 Things You Should Ask Your Wedding Photographer
Updated: Apr 30
Hiring a photographer can be an overwhelming task! There are so many talented photographers out there. How do you know if you are hiring the right one for you? Here is a checklist of questions you should ask your photographer. Whether or not if you hire me, make sure to ask these important questions.
1. Will you be the photographer for our date?
If the photographer runs their own small business they will most likely be shooting your wedding. If it is a studio or company they have a team of photographers who work for them. It is so important to make sure you have a good connection with your photographer. After all they will be by your side all day. I offer free consultations with all of my packages to ensure we are a good fit! My second shooters are professional photographers who run their own business. I have a list of photographers I have worked with before. If they are unavailable I interview other local professionals. I make sure they have the necessary equipment and experience for the job.
2. Do you have backup equipment? Do you have equipment to handle low light situations?
Some venues and churches can be quite dark. Make sure your photographer has the capabilities to shoot in low light situations. It's a scary thought, but cameras can malfunction. Is your photographer shooting with just one camera? I always make sure to shoot with two cameras. In addition I make sure to shoot with two memory cards. Memory cards can fail. I never want to risk anything happening to your once in a lifetime photos. That is why I always have a backup card.
3. What is included in your package? Is there a charge for downloading the images? Can we order prints through you?
Make sure you know exactly what your package includes. Some companies might charge a rather large fee to download all of the images in order to keep their prices low. They also might restrict you to only order prints through them. That can become pricey. All of my packages include an online gallery with ALL of the edited images and printing rights. This means you can print your photos anywhere but you do have the option to order lab quality prints directly from the gallery. The photos can be instantly downloaded and shared from the gallery. I also do NOT charge a fee for family and friends to download the images. Albums are also available to purchase.
4. Can I see a full gallery from a previous wedding?
This allows you to get an idea of what your coverage would be like. You might notice a photographer has awkward poses that you do not like. Maybe they captured some awesome candid moments that you love! Being able to see a full gallery will help you understand your photographers style. Feel free to check out some of my blog posts to help get an idea of my style here. https://www.composedandexposedphoto.com/blog
5. What is your photography style?
Is it more of a candid or documentary style? Does it include dramatic poses? Are they high energy and very involved, or more of a "fly on the wall?" During certain events such as the ceremony I am absolutely a "fly on the wall". I want to be as discreet and hidden as possible during that time.
I love capturing raw emotion. That cannot always be captured with overly posed and stiff images. Instead I might have you and your partner face each other and hold hands. I would then provide some simple prompts that allow you and your partner to be in the moment and interact. In between I might have you change the position of your arm or chin to produce flattering images but overall I try keep the focus on you two and the emotion you share.
Throughout the day I am always looking for candid moments, or any moment that conveys emotion. I achieve this by being as hidden as possible. However, that style does not work for family photos or wedding party photos. These photos will be more posed. In those moments I am high energy and will give detailed instructions. Even though we are getting posed photos I still look for small candid moments and interactions between shots. If I have a second shooter I make sure they are always looking for those moments as well.
Here are some examples of photos where I am interfering as little as possible and capturing natural moments.
Here are some moments where I am giving detailed instructions and implementing specific poses.
You can view more of my work here. Composedandexposedphoto.com/weddings
6. Have you shot our venue before? If not do you plan to visit the venue?
If your photographer has shot your venue before ask to see some photos of the wedding. It can help you get an idea of how your photos might turn out. If they have not shot at the venue ask if they plan to visit it before your wedding. It is very helpful to know in advanced exactly what the plans are for shooting and the locations you plan to use. I offer free consultations at your venue (depending on how far travel is). This way we can meet up and I can get an idea of which locations are important to you. Here I find out what made you choose the venue to begin with. Is there a certain part of the venue that made you fall in love with it? It is so helpful to be able to see those locations because lighting will play a huge factor into how the photos turn out. I can also make helpful suggestions on locations to use based on lighting. If the venue is too far to travel to I will do some research on the venue. Seeing photos online can give me an understanding of what lighting conditions will be like. I will discuss with you prior to the wedding regarding locations you prefer. If all the events of the wedding are taking place at one location (getting ready, ceremony, reception) I will make sure to arrive early to scout out lighting conditions and locations.
7. Can we request shots?
This is important to ask because some photographers stick to a specific style and do not welcome requests. Other times the photographer might not have the equipment or experience to make that photo work. It is important to know that in advanced. For example. I frequently get requests for "OCF" or "Off Camera Flash" shots. These are night shots that require multiple flashes to work.
I always welcome requests! My way of thinking is that I work for you! I understand that every single wedding is different and if there is a shot that is important to you I will absolutely make sure to include it! I send every client a detailed questionnaire that includes the option to link your Pinterest board or include examples of shots you would like. That being said, make sure to remember you hired your photographer for a reason. If you add way too many requested shots it can take away from the photographers creativity and flow of the day. The questionnaire I send also has the option to include any additional shots of guests or family as well. I want to make sure you have photos that you love and capture your unique day perfectly!
8. Do you offer any other services?
Make sure to ask if the photographer offers any other services such as videography or engagement sessions. I offer engagement sessions for a special rate of $200 if you book any package. I also work with my husband, Daniel, to offer videography. You can view his pricing and work here. https://www.composedandexposedphoto.com/videography
I also offer coverage for other events related to your wedding. Such as bridal showers and bachelorette parties. Prints, products, and cards are available to purchase in your gallery.
9. Do you offer payment plans? Is there a retainer/down payment?
Most established photographers will require a retainer to reserve the date for you. It is helpful to know if they offer a payment plan for the retainer and/or for the full wedding. I require a $500 retainer for wedding photography and an $800 retainer for photo and video packages. I do offer payment plans for the retainers. The remaining balance is due 2 weeks before your wedding date.
10. What's next?
If you decided you found the right photographer it is helpful to know what the process will be for booking. It's also helpful to know what will happen after you book. Will they reach out to you within a certain time? How do they know what you will need covered? My booking process is very easy. I will email over a contract for you to review. You can sign electronically. Payments can be paid online as well. I then send over a detailed questionnaire. This will give me a lot of important information all in one form. If we have not discussed your timeline before booking we will make sure to cover that. Sometimes we wait until the date gets closer to discuss this due to details still being finalized. About a month or so before the wedding I will contact you to set up a meeting, typically at the venue. Here we go over any changes and make sure we have everything in place. I always make myself available to my clients. I am always happy to help with any questions that come up about your wedding, even if it is not directly related to photography. Through the whole time leading up to your wedding I am always available via phone and email.
Whoo Hoo!! That's it! I hope this blog post has been helpful!
If you are interested in booking me you can contact me at https://www.composedandexposedphoto.com/contact-me
text or call- (630) 200 -0111
If you are looking for more information about my services I have reviews, blogs, and pricing, on my website.