How much? Are you available? Typically, those would be the two questions you ask your wedding photographer most often. In a best case scenario, couples would tell me what they like about my work, and where I need to show up for the nuptials. Sometimes they have more questions. Sometimes, they simply don’t know what to ask.
I have, therefore, made a little list of top considerations you need to think about when you meet and choose your wedding photographer. Sometimes what you see on the website might not be accurate and even a little misleading. You might have looked through hundreds of sites and found that everything is blurring together. During client meetings, couples invariably say how difficult it was to make comparisons and round down the choices. I hope this will make your life a little easier!
So here we go:
Your must know questions guide to choose the wedding photographer that is perfect for you!
1. When I will be able to see my wedding photos?
What are the turnaround times for wedding images and albums? Shockingly, I hear a lot of horror stories from brides that haven’t seen images even a year after their wedding!
My turnaround time is 4- 6 weeks for images and a month for the wedding album, depending on when you approve the design. You also need to consider the size of the digital files, will you be able to make prints up to certain size or images will be a full resolution for you to print wall art.
A few days after the wedding I will make a proper blog post with full day photo coverage to showcase the evening/reception images as well.
2. Can you tell me what excites you about photographing weddings?
When selecting a wedding photographer, you are selecting more than just an individual to take pictures of your wedding day. You’re hiring someone who will be an integral part of the entire celebration, with you, your family, and your group all day on your wedding day.
Personality is an important factor in the selection process and should not be overlooked or discounted in any way. I always say in order to create beautiful artwork you need to be able to connect and feel completely at ease with your photographer.
3. Have you photographed a wedding at our venue before?
This is a question that we get asked quite a lot. I have to be honest from my point of view where your wedding is, is your choice and im happy working at all types of venues. As a rule we generally arrive early and scout the location for where we think would work well. There are so many variables on a wedding day, being the the UK and in the North West this tends to be the weather that the main influence. It is sometimes an advantage to not of photographed a wedding at a venue so as to not get a "jaded" view on locations. We know that us having already photographed at your venue it could put your mind at rest. Please rest assure you get our 100% whether we have been to your venue before or not!
4. May I see wedding albums from a complete wedding?
When selecting a wedding photographer, you should look for an album that best represents you and your new family. Wedding albums come in all shapes and sizes. A few questions you should ask your wedding photographer are: How many pages come in the wedding album? How many images will be in the wedding album? What cover options are available?
What do you plan to do with all the images from your wedding photographer? Most photographers will offer packages that include a wedding album. For those couples who are not considering an album as a part of their package, I always ask what they are planning to leave behind for their kids? While digital is convenient, leaving a USB/DVD as a family heirloom just doesn’t cut it.
5. How many hours of photography are included? How much extra hours.
Something often overlooked when selecting a wedding photographer is the number of hours that will be offered for the coverage of your wedding.
Typically, you will want your wedding photographer to be with you to document all of the amazing and quirky moments of your wedding day. After all, thats what you are hiring them for! That being said, typical coverage requirements for your wedding day should be about 8-10 hours to capture the magic from the initial preparations to the party. If you have a small wedding, then maybe hourly coverage is a better option.
6. How many photographers are included in the package?
Small weddings can be covered by one photographer too. Larger 100+ guests need at least two wedding photographers. This ensures that your main wedding photographer is focused on working with your wedding party and directing the day, while the “second shooter” has additional coverage going on at the same time, like photographing the guys during the morning preparations, guests arriving to the church, candid shots, etc.guests weddings sometimes require even 3 or 4 photographers to cover all events throughout the day.
7. Is the pre-wedding tester session included?
While most of the photographer offers this option, very often it is just a simple, quick portrait session in the couples/photographers’ chosen location. For your own peace of mind, there is another option available to you.
All of my wedding couples always go for a pre-wedding session at their chosen wedding venue. Couples LOVE this idea. I would walk you through the photography ideas and we would take test images around various venue locations.
This way on your wedding day you know exactly what options are available, and have discussed the plan with your photographer. If the couple has a locale that is particularly special to them, we can visit this location on the same day as your pre-wedding photos at the venue.
Ask if these portraits are included as part of the wedding package or will be charged separately.
8. Do you have insurance?
Yes we always hope that everything will be perfect on your special day, that the sun will shine, everything will go well.
Well, I have photographed weddings now for past 10 years and have seen lots of mishaps and missteps. You don’t want to underestimate this. Things do happen and I believe that every photographer should have at least liability insurance. For your piece of mind i have both Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurances.
It also straight away distinguishes who is taking wedding photography seriously.
9. What happens if you are ill and can’t cover our wedding?
I don’t want to stress you with this one, but I have already covered twice for other photographers in past. Got a stressed-out phone call from friends photographers who are sick and can’t cover the event. Please ask photographers who would be covering in these kinds of cases. I have a list of photographers who could help me out or my second photographer would step in as the main photographer and then we just need to find a second shooter for candids portraits. I would be the one that would be editing your images so you can rest assure that the final product would be going through the same processes as if id photographed your wedding myself.
10. What is included in our wedding package?
While price is always a factor when selecting your wedding photographer (how can it not be?), it should not be the only thing that matters. All too often we hear horror stories from heartbroken brides who made a decision about their wedding photography based purely on price, and the results have been anywhere from disappointing to disastrous.
When all is said and done, your wedding photography will be all you have to remember your wedding day by and it is something worth investing in. Once you have discovered everything what photographer offers you, it should be clear if this is the best value option for you. Get the answers on questions in this list first and then make a decision.
Make sure the photographer is clear about what is included in the package. The time coverage, products, photographers etc. Lay it out and make sure you get the contract too.
In the UK wedding photography prices can really vary. Staring out photographers would charge around £200 - £400, normally great value and quality photographers would be around £1000 mark and top tier photographers would charge anywhere from £2500 and up for their wedding photography.
Bonus questions could be:
Have you photographed at our wedding venue before? In my case, it is not super important as I always visit the wedding venue beforehand. Especially if we are doing a tester session there.
How will you deliver photos? USB, online gallery?
May I read some reviews from previous couples? Can I talk to them?
Do you do formal group photos?