You have placed allot of time, effort and yes, money, into planning your wedding you'll want every special moment captured by a professional photographer. Which one of the often 30 plus photographers you see online is the one for you? You need to do your homework because you don't want any unpleasant surprises later on.
Here are a few questions you should ask those photographers who've made your short list, to ensure that the one you ultimately choose is a
good fit for you and your wedding budget.
1. Do you have my date available?
This is a go/ no go question...if its not available then there is no reason to go any further.
2. Is this your full time job?
Very Important to ask, anyone can own a camera but not everyone can capture an image
that will never come around again. This has been my full time job for the last 5 years. I do
not own a studio to reduce my over head cost so I can be competitive, I also offer on
location portrait photography and albums. A good solid professional photographer should
ask you several questions (see below) to help set them apart from hobbyist.
3. Do you have time limits? What time will you arrive at the site and for
how long will you shoot? If my event lasts longer than expected, will you stay? Is there an additional charge?
No, I don't have any time limits on your wedding day. I will show up to where the bride is 2
hours before the wedding and I don't stop shooting until the newlyweds say good bye from
4. Do I get print rights or the copyrights or do you retain them?
You will own the copyrights to your images. This is, in my opinion, the most important
question you may ask. If you do not have the ability to print your wedding images on your
own then you will be forced to pay the photographer his/her rates for each print forever.
Ask to see the photographers reprint price list to see how expensive this can get.
5. Do you provide retouching, color adjustment or other corrective services?
Yes, your images will go through three levels of corrections to ensure their quality. All
digital images need to be corrected to ensure color, white balance and exposure is correct.
6. How much is your deposit? Is it applied to my ending balance? When is the remaining balance due? What is your refund/cancellation policy?
$400 down to lock the date, this can be split into 2 payments. This is applied to your ending balance, no other payment is due until you pick up your images. I do offer an "Act of God"
and "Non Act of God" refund policy we will go over during the consult.
7. How long after the wedding will I get the proofs? Will they be viewable online?
Typically it takes me 2 to 3 weeks for turn around. They will not be viewable online since you will receive a CD and a DVD with all of the images for friend and family.
8. When will I receive a written contract?
I would not recommend booking a photographer or any vendor who won't provide a written contract. You will receive my contract when you are ready to lock the date.
9. Are you licensed and insured?
The Best Questions
1. How long have you been in business?
I been in business for over 7 years.
2. How many weddings have you shot? Have you done many that were similar to mine in size and style?
I have shot over 300 weddings varying from 40 to 300 guests
3. How would you describe your photography style (e.g. traditional, photojournalistic, creative)?
I combine photojournalistic, traditional and creative. Its important to know when to let a moment happen and when to step in a make it happen.
4. Do you have a portfolio I can review? Are all of the images yours, and is the work recent?
Yes, during the consult you will review images from 7 years ago to ones 7 days ago. All of them will be my work.
5. What type of equipment do you use? Do you have backup equipment? How much?
This will set a beginning (hobby) photographer apart from a professional. I use Digital
Nikon and will bring two main cameras, 7 external flashes, multiple power sources,
multiple lenses and CFC's. Over 20 thousand dollars in equipment will be at hand to
help ensure nothing goes wrong.
6. How far in advance do I need to book with you?
Most dates will book a year to 8 months in advance, no date is locked until a deposit is
7. Can I give you a list of specific shots we would like?
Yes, in fact I will give you a check off sheet that will allow you to select and add any shots
you may want.
8. May I have a list of references?
Yes, the photographer should not hesitate to provide this and should not be a friend or
9. Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding?
Yes, make sure the photographer you meet is the one who will be on the contract for your wedding.
10. Are you photographing other events on the same day as mine?
No, your event is the only one allowed on that specific date.
11. How will you (and your assistants) be dressed?
Professionally should be the answer, I will wear a long sleeved white button up shirt,
black dress pants, black photographers vest and dress shoes.
12. Is it okay if other people take photos while you're taking photos?
13. What type of album designs do you offer? Do you provide any
assistance in creating an album?
I have several albums to choose from if you would like to purchase them. I do provide
assistance in creation and do all the work myself.
Questions to Ask Yourself
1. Do I feel a connection with this photographer as well as his/her photographs?
2. Are our personalities a good match? Or will I be climbing the walls at
3. Has this photographer listened well and addressed all my concerns?
Or is it his/her way or highway?
4. Do they fit our budget? If not, don't assume they will cut their rates
or settle after for less money.
Questions the Photographer May Ask You
I mentioned earlier that a photographer should ask you several questions. Anyone who has done lots of weddings knows everyone is different and
will have many challenges. Everything form time, location, weather, family structure and lighting can affect the photography.
The last thing you want is "uncle bob" who has never done a wedding not knowing what to do when any number of challenges can arise.
The Photographers Questions
1. Where is the wedding? Where is the reception?
I need to know if they are in two different locations for commute time and if I will be given
other opportunities for more backgrounds later at the reception. Also helps if I have been
to any of the locations before.
2. What are the church or ceremony location rules for photographers?
This usually only affects photography during the ceremony and at churches. Most locations
do not want the photographer climbing over guests or the officiate to get a picture. I will take photographs the entire time as long as I am allowed but usually from the back of the church.
I will move to other locations if the rules allow. Simply put, no matter what you may want most photographers including myself will not break the rules to get it. I have to return to many of
these locations later for other weddings and events and can not risk
being banned from them.
3. Is the ceremony or reception outside?
Critical, any professional can tell you this makes a huge difference. In fact some will not
arrive if it is outside and raining to avoid damaging their equipment. You need to ask if they
will still show up and if not do you get a refund? I will show up no matter what the weather.
Every bride has that dream of walking down the isle on lush green grass, with no wind, no
rain and the temperature at 75 degree's. I always ask my bides are you prepared for rain,
30 mph wind and 45 degrees or 110 degrees. If not then I need to be. This is not to curse
your special day but to ensure I take any possible action to ensure I get everything you
need in photography.
4 .Do you have an hors d'oeuvre hour between the ceremony and reception?
This helps with guests because usually the photography after the ceremony can take
45 minutes to an hour. If not I may try and move around some photography to get you to
the reception sooner.