5 Questions to Ask Your Potential Wedding Photographer

January 1, 2024

Hey there! My name is Samantha and I’m an Ohio wedding and elopement photographer. After photographing tons of weddings, I have realized just how overwhelming the wedding industry can be. Especially if this is your first time getting married, it is hard to know what you should know and the questions you should even be asking your potential vendors! To try and help- I listed out 5 of the most important questions I think you should be asking your potential wedding photographer below.

Before we get to the questions….

Here’s the truth: you have a million options when it comes to choosing someone to photograph your wedding. There are photographers with different price points, different editing styles, different personalities, different levels of experience, and all of the other little traits that sets a photographer apart. A few years ago, I started asking my couples in their contact form to explain what they are looking for in a wedding photographer. I ask this for a very important reason- I am not the photographer for everyone, and that is okay! I’m sure you’re thinking- what? Hang in there with me for a second, I promise it will all make sense. Some folks are looking for posed traditional imagery or someone with a bright and airy editing style, and there is an amazing photographer out there who will check those boxes and is excited to meet them. However, I wouldn’t be able able to check those boxes for them because my shooting style is more documentary with with an editorial feel and my editing style is more true to color.

Before you start your initial search, I urge you to sit down and decide what you and your partner are looking for in a wedding photographer! Make a short list! A few things I would suggest to narrow down first would be: the type of editing you are looking for, what shooting style you are drawn to, what kind of coverage you are looking for, and deciding what your budget for photography is. Once you get that narrowed down and are on the official hunt for your wedding photographer- without further adieu, here are 5 questions I would ask my potential photographer as a wedding photographer myself!

1. Do you shoot on dual card slot cameras?

Weddings come and go in a blink of an eye, which is probably the exact reason you are investing in a wedding photographer. Photos are one of the only tangible memories you get to keep after your day ends, and it is definitely not a day you can recreate. While digital cameras are a great tool for capturing weddings- they too can fail like any other piece of technology. The SD cards where your images are stored on in camera can randomly corrupt (although unlikely). Once these cards corrupt, it is difficult and sometimes impossible to recover those images. Don’t freak out though! To try and combat this problem most professional cameras possess dual card slots. This means that every image is recorded to two cards in the event that one of the two corrupts. For this reason, you should definitely ask if your photographer shoots on dual card cameras. Additionally, it doesn’t hurt to ask them what their backup method is post-wedding. If they don’t have one, that’s a major red flag. Personally, I always shoot on dual card slot cameras and bring back up gear with me to my weddings. After each wedding, every photo is then backed up on two hard drives. For extra security, I do not clear any of my SD cards until after my galleries are completely delivered. This is just an extra step of protection to ensure that your wedding photos are safe.

2. Can we see a full gallery from you?

If you only ask one question from all the ones listed in this post, PLEASE let it be this one. When choosing a wedding photographer, you want to make sure you love their style across various parts of the wedding day. Whenever you are looking through a full wedding gallery you are able to gain insight into how a wedding photographer captures the day from start to finish. You may admire one photographer’s portrait work, but not their ceremony and reception shots, or vice versa. So, it’s important to review a full gallery to get a complete understanding of their shooting and editing style. If you have no idea what styles are out there, check out this article that contains some of the many options out there.

3. What’s your approach to capturing and posing a wedding day?

When it comes to capturing and posing a wedding day, different photographers may have different styles and techniques. Some photographers may take a more traditional approach, posing the couple and guests in a more formal way, while others may focus on a more candid and documentary-style approach, capturing the day as it unfolds naturally.

It’s essential to find a photographer whose style aligns with your preferences and vision for your wedding day. Some photographers may incorporate a mix of both traditional and candid approaches, while others may have a specific style that they specialize in. When you’re considering a photographer, it’s essential to ask about their approach and see examples of their work to ensure that you feel comfortable with their style.

4. What does your booking process/gallery delivery process look like?

Asking about a photographer’s booking and gallery delivery processes is super important! It helps you stay organized and plan your big day with ease. And let’s be real, understanding a photographer’s booking and delivery processes can help you get a sense of their professionalism and reliability. It shows you how organized and communicative they are about their work. So, don’t hesitate to ask this question! If your potential wedding photographer doesn’t offer contracts – that is huge red flag. Every vendor you book should offer a contract with clearly stated services and policies. Additionally, if you are planning on paying your retainer via an online method- you should ensure that they take reliable payment methods. Never pay through Zelle, CashApp, ApplePay, or other friend to friend payment apps because you lose buyer protection. Make sure that your contract outlines your gallery delivery time, method, and other basic details of services.

5. What is your backup plan?

It’s crucial to ask your wedding photographer about their backup plan in case of any unforeseen circumstances that could potentially disrupt your wedding day. Wedding photography is not just about taking beautiful photos, it’s also about being prepared and adaptable to any unexpected situation.

For example, what happens if your photographer gets sick or some other conflict occurs? A professional wedding photographer should have a solid backup plan in place to ensure that in the event of an unforeseen circumstance you can still have the best outcome possible. Knowing that their backup plan is something you’re okay with is an important part of the decision process!

Once You’re Ready to move Forward:

Here are a few more red flags to look out for when you’re in the process of booking a wedding photographer or any other vendor:

  1. Priced Extremely Low: It’s important to keep in mind that photography is an investment, and you often get what you pay for. Experienced photographers have invested time and money into their craft, equipment, and education, and their prices often reflect their expertise. They also carry insurance to protect themselves and their clients in case of accidents or unforeseen circumstances.If you come across a photographer offering prices significantly lower than the average, it’s essential to do your research and ask questions about what is included in their services. It’s also important to read reviews and look at their portfolio to ensure that their work meets your expectations. The average cost for an experienced, legal, and insured photographer can range depending on the area you are in and what kind of coverage you are looking for. Local Wedding photographers prices can range from $2500-$6000 depending on the experience and collections from the photographer.
  2. Lack of Portfolio: If a vendor doesn’t have a portfolio or previous work to show, it can be a red flag. A vendor’s portfolio can give you an idea of their style and expertise, and it’s essential to see if their work aligns with your vision.
  3. Lack of Reviews: Similarly, if a vendor has no reviews or a history of negative reviews, it’s best to steer clear. Reviews from previous clients can give you a glimpse into the vendor’s work ethic, reliability, and overall experience.
  4. Lack of Contracts: A vendor who doesn’t offer a contract can be a red flag. A contract protects both you and the vendor, outlining the scope of work, fees, and other important details.

Overall, it’s essential to trust your instincts when booking a vendor. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s best to move on and find a vendor who meets your needs and aligns with your vision for your special day. Remember, choosing a photographer is a personal decision, and it’s all about finding someone you trust and feel at ease with. Like finding a perfect match, it might take some time, but when you do find that special someone, the results can be pure magic!

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