Your wedding photographer is an important part of your big day. Not only will they be a huge part of your budget—10-15%, usually—but you’re trusting them with capturing the memories of your wedding day. That’s a huge responsibility, so you need to make sure you have the right photographer in your corner. Here are some questions to make sure to ask when interviewing photographers.
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- How many hours does this package provide? Most photographers have different “packages” they sell that offer things like different amounts of time or printed photos. Make sure you know how many hours you’ll be getting your photographers for. Also, try and front-load your photography hours. You’ll treasure the pictures of you and your girls getting ready, but at the end of the day, you really don’t need tons and tons of drunk-people-dancing photos.
- Have you ever shot at my venue before? If a photographer is familiar with a venue, they may be able to suggest shots you hadn’t previously thought of in different locations. They’ll also already know things like the best angle to shoot the head table from. However, don’t discount your photographer just because they’ve never been to your venue. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can make for awesome photos.
- Do you prefer couples do a first look? Some photographers have strong opinions on timeline; others will be more willing to go with the flow. Either is fine, as long as you’re on the same page. Photographers go to hundreds of weddings every year—they’re wedding experts and can be a valuable resource when it comes to planning out the order of your day.
- What’s your photography style? Do they like to take a lot of traditional portraits? Err more on the photojournalism side? Spend a lot of time on details shots, like of your shoes and dress? Love black-and-whites or cool filters? Different photographers can take vastly different photos; make sure you’re working with one who will be able to produce the product you want.
- How many photographers will be there? Many brides opt for two shooters instead of one. That allows for one photographer to mainly be taking photos of the couple, and the other to shoot fun pictures of guests and décor. It also provides for a variety of angles and viewpoints.
- Will you be my photographer, or would it be one of your associates? You can get along great with a photographer, but it doesn’t matter if they’re not the one who actually shows up for the day. Some larger companies have a wide breadth of photographers they send out, so make sure to ask if that’s what you’re dealing with.
- Do you have a written contract? Never, EVER hire a photographer that doesn’t supply a written contract. Look it over for things like “acts of God” clauses (tornados, etc.) and any hidden fees.
- Will I have the digital rights to my photos? Digital rights will allow you to share any pictures on Facebook or Instagram watermark-free.
- Will I have printing rights to my photos? Educate yourself on copyright in your wedding photography contract and investigate whether or not you’ll be able to send your photos to Shutterfly instead of paying for the photographer to print them.
- How long after the wedding until we receive the photos? You’ll obviously be incredibly excited to check out the pictures, but it can often take weeks or even months. Knowing ahead of time will help you manage your expectations.
- When is the deposit due? It’s important to know when you’ll have to fork over a huge chunk of change. Most photographers will require some kind of deposit to firmly book your date. You should also inquire when the rest of the payment will be due—will you need to be worrying about it on your wedding day, or do you need to pay within the following week?
- Will you be shooting multiple weddings that day? If so, you’ll need to make sure the times you’re asking they be there are set in stone in the contract in case their first wedding starts to run late.