Shopping for a wedding photographer can easily become one of the most intimidating and scary part of planning a wedding, besides deciding who to sit next to the crazy aunt/uncle. So I hope to outline some questions that I feel, coming from the other side of the deal, will help you interview and inspect the massive amount of photographers you come across as potential stewards of your big day.
Now, I’m not writing this for the brides who have already picked me but for those who are shopping around, who hope to one day be married, and even for those who have not picked me to photograph their wedding. My suggestion is you save this as a word file customized with your personal information such as wedding venue(s), times, and most importantly the date. And when you find a photographer who’s style you love or is recommended to you just copy and paste from your word file in to an email and send it their way.
Here are 25 questions to ask potential wedding photographers.
- Where can I see your work and read reviews from past customers?
- Website / blog:
- Facebook page:
- How long have you done photography in general, how long for wedding photography, and how long have you done it professionally?
- How many weddings have you photographed?
- Do you have any way for me to view an entire wedding you’ve done recently?
- I’m interested in __ hours of coverage for my wedding day, how much is your package that covers that and what is included?
- Do you do studio or outside photography for portraits such as engagements or bridals?
- Do you have backup equipment in case a camera, a lens, or a flash breaks or malfunctions?
- Do you have off camera lighting?
- Can you photograph in low lighting?
- Do you have the option of a 2nd photographer, if so how much extra does that cost?
- What fee do you charge for travel/mileage to my venue of _______
- How many digital images will I receive?
- How do you deliver digital images to your client?
- To what extent do you edit the images?
- What am I allowed and not allowed to do with the digital images?
- What do you do with my wedding pictures afterward?
- Do you offer print products, albums, and canvases?
- What about engagement portraits and bridal portraits?
- Are my images backed up in anyway and for how long?
- If I loose my images or computer in the future can I ask for my images again?
- What was the most difficult wedding you’ve ever photographed?
- What was the easiest or most satisfying wedding you’ve ever photographed?
- Do you require a deposit in order to reserve my wedding date? And is it refundable in case something happens?
- Do you have a replacement photographer that could take your place in case you have an emergency or accident?
- Would we be signing a contract with you, if so may I see a copy?
As you may be thinking – there is a lot more to picking a wedding photographer than whether or not they “cost too much”. Wedding photography is a tough job and getting the job done excellently depends on a lot of factors (some of which are listed above). So don’t let money be the one thing limiting you from getting the perfect wedding photographer for you. Often a difference of only $1,000 will decide if you get images you’ll cherish and display proudly for the rest of your life and images you’ll keep put away and not care to think about.
I actually did a poll on facebook asking my friends if they could change 1 thing about their wedding day what would it be? And nearly all of them said they wish they could go back and choose a professional photographer. Because this is one of the few things that actually lasts forever from your wedding day. Still to this day many regret not taking the leap from cheap-beginner to established-professional.
So, do your homework look in to creative ways to raise money if that’s an issue and hire the right person to capture your happiest day ever.