Top 5 Questions you should be asking your wedding photographer before you sign a contract.
Updated: Feb 3
In our 17 years in business, we’ve been asked a ton of questions in regards to the process of how we photograph a wedding. Most of the questions come from lists that are recommended to couples that come from popular wedding directory websites and wedding magazines. Easy questions like “What is your Style” and “How long have you been photographing weddings” are frequently asked.
Most of those questions from those lists are great to ask and most wedding photographers should have a quick answer to them all as well! But when narrowing down your search to your favorite three photographers, I’d like to suggest asking the tougher questions that will most certainly help you ultimately find the best photographer for your wedding.
How many weddings have you photographed? This question is important because you can be a great professional photographer with very little experience photographing weddings which is entirely different from other types of photography. A sports photographer is much different from a portrait photographer who is much different from a landscape photographer and so on. You want someone with a minimum of 40 weddings under the belt to be your primary photographer. In our professional opinion, after photographing 40 weddings, they should have the experience necessary to produce beautiful images consistently. They will have worked in a variety of wedding venues both indoor and outdoor and been exposed to enough challenges to where they feel confident they can handle any situation that may arise. You’d be surprised how many people do this part time or have been doing this for a very short time and call themselves a professional. Please do yourself a favor and read testimonials and client reviews on websites like weddingwire.com and theknot.com which ensure the reviews are verified and authentic.
What was the most challenging experience you’ve had photographing a wedding recently and why? What tips would you suggest to us so that this won’t happen at our wedding? I think this is a great question to ask because no wedding is perfect. They all have problems to overcome. Some really small….some really big.We’ve seen it all over the years. From a missing Best Man who had the rings, to a drunk Groom who was passed out minutes before the ceremony was to begin, to a bride in tears over her hair and makeup before waling down the aisle.. So many more I could write a book. But I won’t!
Have you ever shot a wedding at my venue before? If so, can I see some examples? This is an important question to ask,but there is no right or wrong answer. If your photographer is familiar with your venue then they will know some great spots to take you for photos. Just make sure that your photographer doesn’t fall into the rut of always taking the same set of photos at that venue. If they are new to the venue,ask if they are willing to scout the location ahead of the wedding or if they feel they need to.The truth is, if they are an experienced professional as mentioned above, it won't matter much since a Pro can show up to any location and within minutews know exactly what and where to shoot. Part 2: While you are at it, please make sure to ask to see an entire wedding from start to finish. You will get a great sense of their style and method for how they see the full day.
Are the digital High-Res Negatives included? This is a question that always comes up and every photographer is different. Some photographers are what we refer to as Shoot and Share photographers while others are known as Shoot and Sell Photographers. Shoot and Share most often will include the full set of digital images, but not provide prints or albums. You are on your own for that. Others in the Shoot and Sell market are more full service and offer Prints, Wall Art, and Wedding albums. Some of these photographers will include the digital images in their packages while others charge extra. Some might even try and sell large print packages and the negatives separately to you after the wedding. So make sure you find out before you sign and that you don’t have any surprises.
What is your guarantee? This is perhaps the MOST IMPORTANT question you could ask your wedding photographer and this answer should be the deciding factor on if they are the right fit for you. Unlike other types of photography, there are no second chances to get it right when it comes to capturing a wedding. You should ask what their guarantee is and then ask for a guarantee in writing. My feeling is asking this one question alone will quickly separate the amateurs from the Pro's. Ultimately, your goal is to have confidence in their work and their reputation.
We’d love to answer any questions about your wedding. Please feel free to reach out to us anytime.