When you’re planning your wedding there can seem like countless decisions to make and so many things to organise. It’s likely that finding a wedding photographer is near the top of your to-do list, but it can seem like quite a daunting task as wedding photography is such an important part of your day. Not only will your wedding photographer be there with you during one of the most special days of your life, but the photographs from the day will be the memories that last for a lifetime long after your wedding day has passed, so of course you want them to be perfect.
In order to find out whether a wedding photographer is the right choice for you, there are some questions you can ask during your first chat which should help make everything clearer and ensure that your wedding photography is everything you’ve hoped for and more…
1. Are you available on my wedding date?
A pretty important one to start with! Remember that most professional wedding photographers can get booked up 12-18 months in advance, so if you’ve found a photographer that you’re really keen on it’s good to try and get them booked up as quickly as possible. Ask in your initial enquiry email if the date is available, and check with the photographer how far in advance you’d need to pay a deposit to secure your date.
2. How long have you been a wedding photographer for?
In the age of smartphones, it’s all too easy for everyone to suddenly think they’re a photographer. But being a professional wedding photographer actually takes years of training and practice: not only to shoot and edit beautiful images, but also to deal with a busy event such as a wedding.
Having an experienced wedding photographer on board can make all the difference to the success of your day, and the outcome of your photos. A professional wedding photographer will have mastered how to capture all the shots and candid moments you’ll want to see throughout the day, from bridal prep and during the ceremony, to the drinks reception, wedding breakfast, speeches, and first dance. For a photographer, a wedding is a non-stop event and can be hectic, but an experienced wedding photographer will be calm, organised, and know exactly what to do to get the job done well and put you and your guests at ease.
3. What is your wedding photography style?
Professional wedding photographers all tend to have their own unique photography style, and the style of photography you want is purely down to personal choice. Some wedding photographers specialise in stylised, posed, glamorous shots. Others are experienced in shooting lots of formal group shots. Some wedding photographers capture documentary-style wedding photography- sometimes known as reportage. A documentary style wedding photographer will capture the genuine events and emotions of your wedding day as they play out, giving a very natural feel to your photographs. Some photographers are also very good at devising creative shots which really make your photographs stand out from the crowd.
Do your research and check out a few styles of wedding photography in order to decide which suits you best as a couple, and best fits with the theme of your day.
4. Can I see some examples of your work?
Professional wedding photographers are always more than happy for you to look at their work- in fact, they will love showing you!
Most wedding photographers will have lots of examples of their work on their websites: check out their blog or featured weddings section for some good examples.
You should also be able to see an example of a photographer’s wedding albums if you go to meet them. This should give you a clear idea of how they tell the story of a whole wedding day, the type of images they shoot, the composition of the photos, and the quality of the editing.
5. Have you worked at our wedding venue before?
It’s important to note that this shouldn’t be a deal breaker: an experienced wedding photographer can shoot at any venue- even one they’ve never been to before- and be able to understand the venue and see where will work best to shoot some beautiful images.
However, if a photographer has worked at your venue before, it’s likely that they’ll know it like the back of their hand and love working there, and will be bursting with hints and tips for you to get the best possible images. Plus, you’ll be able to see lots of examples of past wedding photography from when they’ve worked there before.
7. What are your wedding packages?
Most wedding photographers will offer a range of wedding package options so you can choose what is best for you depending on your budget.
Think about the kind of moments you’d like to capture, such as bridal prep, the ceremony, the wedding reception, and the evening reception. Your photographer can help to guide you on the key points of the day to capture, and will also discuss any other ideas you may have, or photos you are keen for them to shoot.
Look for a wedding photographer who’s packages all include an online gallery of your photos so you can share it with your family and friends, and download as many images as you want, whenever you want.
8. Can we give you a list of specific shots we’d like?
Often, couples will provide their wedding photographer with a list of shots that they really want to capture. This might be a list of specific group shots, or important moments throughout the day. It might even be something personal such as a photograph of a piece of jewellery worn by the bride that’s a family heirloom. Most wedding photographers will be more than happy to accommodate you when it comes to capturing your most important shots.
9. What Time Will You Stay Until?
Couples will usually discuss this with their wedding photographer when they’re choosing their photography package. Weddings can be very long days: most start with bridal prep in the morning, and many go on until the last dance at midnight. Your wedding photographer is only human, and as much as we’re loving being a part of your day we probably won’t make it through until midnight! Most wedding photographers will leave after the cake has been cut and the first dance is done, and they’ll make this clear before you sign your contract to ensure that you’re happy with the arrangements.
However, if you really want to capture some images from later in the evening- for example, maybe you’re having a firework display- It’s always worth asking your wedding photographer whether you can pay extra for them to stay a little longer. Some wedding photographers will provide a cost for an extra hour or two if you run it by them.
Hopefully this helps to give you an idea of what to ask a wedding photographer if you’re interested in booking them for your wedding. However, there may be other questions you have too, and most wedding photographers will be more than happy to have a full chat and answer any questions you may have. Our aim is always to make your day as perfect as we can, and provide you with beautiful images to enjoy for years to come.