10 Important Questions to Ask Wedding Photographers | Phoenix Wedding Photographers Edition
Stephen & Melissa Photography
So you are in search of your perfect wedding photographer….you love their style, looked over lot’s of their work and they are available for your wedding day! Maybe you are trying to narrow down your list of favorites and maybe you still have questions to ask wedding photographers. Whatever the reason you are reading this, welcome and we hope it helps!
Here are a few things to consider and ensure they have answered, before booking you may want to ask your photographer these things to make sure that everything goes smoothly, and also so you know exactly what to expect and so there are no hidden surprises. Your photographer should hopefully have covered most of this, but just incase they haven’t here are a few things to think about and ask when you meet them.
10 Important Questions to Ask Wedding Photographers
1. DO YOU HAVE INSURANCE?
In today’s world, this is a big one. We carry photography insurance regardless if the wedding venue we are photographing a wedding at requires one or not. When hiring a wedding photographer, ensure they have public liability insurance. This guarantees they are covered incase of an accident, such as bumping into a guest with their lens, or someone tripping over their tripod. A professional wedding photographer should have this as well as equipment insurance. If they are a part time photographer or doing it as a hobby then they may not have insurance to save money so keep that in mind when narrowing down you choices.
So why is this important to you? If your photographer was to lose or damage their camera equipment during their work day, they can claim on their insurance and replace this their equipment, ensuring that they will always be ready for any circumstance.
Some wedding venues actually require all photographers to provide proof of their insurance before working on their premises.
2. WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU ARE ILL, OR THERE IS AN EMERGENCY?
Find out the backup plan. For peace of mind ask them about their back up plan. Photographers with years of experience will have a plan, they may have a little list of trusted photographers they can call upon if they cannot make it for whatever reason, by asking this you will also feel more relaxed! No one likes to think or worry about this, but it’s always best to have a backup plan on such a huge day!
3. CAN I VIEW SOME COMPLETED ALBUMS?
This is something we suggest for every couple looking at wedding photographers. Viewing completed albums allows you to see a full wedding story, instead of seeing one or two ‘wow’ shots.
You want to see consistency, throughout their style within all images. You should be able to feel like you are reliving the wedding, you want it to be an amazing story of the day and not a set of photos. You want to view a wedding photographer’s work as a story of moments throughout the day and ensure each photo it beautifully captured in a way you would love to see used on your own wedding day. Often times, is more about the photographer’s perspective for the wedding day that you are attracted to, than their editing style.
4. WILL YOU STAY ADDITIONAL HOURS & WHAT IS THE COST?
To make sure you are getting everything captured that you want, plan out the day and the timings and ensure your photographer is there to capture it all. Check how many hours is included in a full days coverage. Do you want your photographer to get photos of you and your bridesmaids getting ready? Do you want them to be around to capture your sparkler exit? Think about how many hours you will need and the schedule for your day and ensure your photographer will be there to cover it all.
You may have booked your photographer and agreed everything with them, however you may have changed the timings slightly, the cake cutting has been moved back slightly which has moved your first dance back so it is little later now. Wedding days constantly shift and if timing is tight, ask your photographer what their additional coverage cost is. It maybe better to have your photographer booked to be there a little later so that you don’t feel rushed and stressed on the day to get everything done before your photographer leaves!
5. DO THEY INCLUDE A SECOND WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER?
Since we are husband and wife photography team, all of our packages always include 2 LEAD photographers. We believe that every wedding day should be captured by two photographers. There are just too many big moments that have the chance to be missed if only being captured by a single person. We could go on and on about why every wedding day should be covered by two photographers, but we’ll save that for another day. 😉
6. SHOULD I REQUEST CERTAIN IMAGES TO BE TAKEN?
This is a tough one. While we understand fully you wanting to make sure you big moments aren’t missed, this is why it is so important to talk with your photographer. Have them walk you through their typical wedding timeline and hear about what they capture during each time of the day. If they aren’t able to do that, it should be a red flag warning.
As far as a ‘shots list’ goes, we don’t ask for them and we feel very confident in our ability to capture the moments we know you want. We often joke that are ‘over shooters’ and although our images are intentional, we are quick at being able to capture the moments as they are unfolding. Don’t give your photographer a long list of photos you want taken, such as you and the groom on the steps outside, then on the little bridge in the grounds, and then a large group shot on the stairs. The light is different on every single day and although it’s great if you have a few locations on property that you want to try and use, but sending individual poses will only hinder your photographers natural flow. If you are choosing a wedding photographer that matches your vision, they will be able to capture all those moments you are dreaming up!
The one list your photographer *should* mention is a family formals list. Trust us when we say, family formals can make or break your photography experience. If your photographer does not have a gameplan for family formal time, it can become quite a spectacle. Ask your wedding photographer what their plan is on a wedding day for family formals and making sure to capture all the ‘must have’ family images!
7. HOW LONG AFTER THE WEDDING WILL I RECEIVE MY WEDDING PHOTOS?
Once your day is over, your wedding photographer will typically walk away with a TON of photos. They will take hundreds of photos of your day and these will need cropping, editing, and some will be removed to ensure that you are left with the best photos that tell the perfect story of your wedding day. This can take anywhere between 2-8 weeks, but ask your photographer, at peak season it may take longer. Most Phoenix Wedding Photographers that we know provide a sneak peek a few days after the wedding or engagement. We know how eager our couples are to see their photos and that’s why we always send a sneak peek gallery a few days after the
Each wedding photographer varies in the time it takes to produce and deliver your pictures. We have developed a consistent production schedule in order to deliver an amazing product in an exceptionally quick manner. A typical schedule would be:
- 2-3 Weeks for Engagement/Anniversary/Couples Photography Sessions.
- 30 Days for Weddings
8. HOW WILL I RECEIVE MY IMAGES?
Prints? Download them? Disc? USB? One of the questions to ask wedding photographers is about how you will get your photos. The standard way used to be on a USB pen just a few years ago. However that has since become like the dawn of the dinosaurs. Most photographers use an online delivery system that allows you to instantly download you pictures. How does it sound always having your wedding photos at the tip of your fingers?
Bonus: IS AN ALBUM INCLUDED? Every photographer will offer a variety of packages and some may include prints, canvases or albums. (Our personal favorite are our custom heirloom wedding albums.) What better way to see your wedding photos than in a beautifully presented wedding album that tells the story of your wedding day.
9. WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU NEED FROM ME BEFORE THE WEDDING DAY?
Give your photographer all the information they need prior to the day so they can be left to do what they do best! They will want to know the exact locations of the ceremony, reception and party, as well as the exact times of the day, where you will be getting ready, what time you will be leaving to go to the church, what time you plan to cut the cake, this ensures your photographer knows where to be at the right time.
This is why hiring a professional wedding photography is so important, the have experience of knowing where to be at the right time, where to get the best shots, how to avoid bad light and be ready for events that will unfold at certain times. We send out multiple questionnaires throughout the engagement process together to make sure we are capturing everything important about your big day.
10. HOW MUCH OF A DEPOSIT DO YOU REQUIRE AND WHEN IS IT DUE?
Find out the payment terms and how much you require to pay to book them. Wedding photographers can be booked up to 2 years in advance, so ensure you get your photographer booked as soon as you can! We are always so heartbroken when we have to send that dreaded “we’re booked” email.
BONUS : HAVE YOU EVER SHOT AT MY WEDDING VENUE? If they have then they may have wedding albums they can show you of photos taken there. This will get an idea of the sort and style of photos you will have, it also makes it a little easier as your photographer will already know those great little spots for this beautiful couple shots. If they haven’t then there is no need to feel like you can’t choose that photographer. A great photographer will know how to use light and have no trouble. We always location scout every wedding venue and location prior to the wedding day!
Go with your gut and think about your important questions to ask wedding photographers. Maybe you already feel at ease and reading this will reaffirm your choice! You may feel bad letting a photographer down, but if you just aren’t feeling like they are the right fit, that’s okay. The photographer should make you feel at ease, no question is silly. Hopefully by the time you get to ‘do you have any questions’ …you draw a blank and feel confident in them because they have already answered all your big questions!
Questions to ask YOURSELF When Looking For A Wedding Photographer:
- Do I feel a positive connection with this photographer and their work?
- What am I looking for most in my wedding photos?
- Am I comfortable and confident with this person’s work?
- Has this photographer listened well and addressed all my concerns?
- Do I trust this wedding photographer to capture in huge moment in my life?
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