Having been a Manchester Wedding photographer for over ten years, I’ve met hundreds of couples and have answered every variety of question possible. Finding the right wedding photographer is a crucial element of planning your big day, you want to make sure you have confidence in the photographer’s ability, reliability and communication. It is traditional to meet with your prospective wedding photographer before agreement so that you can get a chance to ask questions, see if you get on with them and look through past work.
The face-to-face session is really important for you to find out more about the wedding photographer’s work as well as give him or her a chance to ask you questions about what you want. With this in mind, I’ve put together a handy list of questions you should ask your prospective wedding photographer:
Are you available on our wedding date?
This sounds obvious but asking this first might save you and the photographer a lot of time if they are unable to accommodate your date.
Have you ever done a shoot at our wedding venue? If so can you provide an example portfolio?
Asking for past experience at your venue not only potentially allows you to see how the photographer shot the venue last time, but it also may be useful to ask the photographer what his/her thoughts on the venue are and whether there are any good suppliers he/she can recommend as well.
What style of wedding photography do you recommend for our venue?
If the photographer has worked at the venue before then they may be able to best recommend a style of photography to suit the venue. For example, if the venue is small or difficult to work in, an overly elaborate photographic style may be too time consuming unrealistic.
How do you work on the day?
Ask your wedding photographer about what style they use on the day, will they come to wherever you’re leaving from? Will they demand several hours to take photos or will they likely take a step back from to try capture natural photos as they happen. Most wedding photographers are flexible in their style, but if there is a certain way of working you’d prefer then be sure to ask the photographer if they can oblige.
Will you be the wedding photographer who will be there on the day?
Don’t be disappointed on the day to find out the wedding photographer sent isn’t the same you talked to (who you may have had a lot of confidence in or a good rapport). Confirm what photographer will be there on the day.
Will you be assisted by any other photographers on the day?
Finding out if there will be more than one photographer is important as it may mean that you can capture pre-wedding moments with both the bride and the groom as they are getting ready. It may also impact cost so it’s always a good question to ask.
Have you worked with our florist / DJ / wedding planner / videographer before?
It is always worth finding out if your wedding photographer has experience with your other suppliers. If they already know each other and speak highly of each another then your day will likely go smoother. If say your photographer hasn’t worked with the videographer before, it may be worth suggesting they both get in touch to decide how they can stay out of each another’s way without disrupting the wedding.
What time will you be available from and for how long?
Though an obvious question, you need to be clear about exactly what you want. If you want photos of the bridal party getting ready then your photographer may need to arrive significantly earlier than usual. If you want photos of your first dance, then the photographer may need to stay a little longer. Be clear about what photos you want and ask the wedding photographer how much time they need.
Do we need to provide a meal during the reception?
Wedding photographers eat as well! It can be a long day for us so many weddings and venues offer “crew” meals at a reduced rate so that the wedding photographer doesn’t need to “nip out” to grab something to eat and potentially miss a great moment. Some photographers are happy to bring their own packed lunch, others may ask for a meal during the wedding breakfast.
Would you need access to our wedding venue in advance?
If the wedding photographer has never shot at the venue then they may want to scope out the building and surrounding area for potential shoot positions and plan. The last thing you want is your photographer demanding to be allowed access to the church at 6am on the morning when it’s all closed up!
Are you insured?
Sometimes you just can’t plan for everything and unfortunately accidents and problems do happen. Make sure that your photographer is issued for Public Liability and Professional Indemnity. Some venues may not let them shoot without it.
How will you be dressed throughout the day?
There’s nothing wrong asking how the photographer will be dressed for the day. Most wedding photographers worth their salt will be professionally dressed. If you’re wanting something different, then make sure you speak to your wedding photographer in advance.
Is it ok if other people take photos during the wedding / reception?
It’s always worth discussing with your photographer if you want other photos to be taken. They may advise that photos with flash could spoil your professional wedding photos or distract family members when being photographed. Some couples make it clear they don’t want photos taken from anyone else because they don’t want photos shared across social media on their wedding day. Equally, some couples may want to welcome as many photos as they can. It’s always best to ask the question early on to avoid any awkwardness on the day.
What information do you need before the wedding day?
To avoid stress and any last minute issues, always make sure to ask your wedding photographer if they require anything else from you before the wedding day. Sometimes this may be a list of people you specifically want photos with, an itinerary of the day or contact details of the wedding party. This will help avoid surprises and last minute requests from both sides.
How many photos should I expect to get from my wedding?
This is always a hard one to answer exactly as there are so many different variables at play but your wedding photographer should be able to estimate the volume of photos you can expect.
How long will it take until I can see my wedding photos?
Ensure clarity right at the start about deadlines for your wedding photos. This will allow you and the photographer to set realistic expectations.
How will I receive my wedding photos?
It is important to ask in order to understand what to expect. Many photographers use USB devices or Cloud file storage that can be accessed online. Some may decide to store the photos on a DVD or CD.
Will I own the copyright on my wedding photos?
This sometimes depends on the costing of the wedding photography package. Some wedding photographers don’t actually provide the copyright which means if you want to print your own photos you won’t be able to. Find out if this is included in your cost.
How much will my wedding photography cost?
Most wedding photographers will present you with a quote and a number of packages in regards to cost. Some will include extras like a printed album, an extra USB device or additional professionally processed photos.
Is a printed album included in the cost?
Many couples automatically expect an album in the cost but this isn’t necessarily always so. Production and printing of a professional wedding album takes hours to get perfect, so many wedding photographers will charge an extra cost for this.
How much of a deposit do you require to secure a booking?
If you’re happy with the photographer and the answers you’ve heard, it might be time to talk about booking. Most wedding photographers expect a deposit to secure the booking in advance, so find out how much this is before agreeing.