Choosing your wedding photographer is a big deal. In fact, it might be one of the biggest decisions you make about your wedding day. Your wedding photographer is the one who will capture those important memories that you’ll look back on for the rest of your life, from the wedding album that you’ll someday share with your grandchildren to the gorgeous wedding pictures you’ll hang on your wall. Before you choose your wedding photographer, make sure you ask these key questions.
Wedding photographers often have distinct styles and habits that reflect how they handle their wedding photos. Some photographers, for example, are great at getting those perfect posed shots that help you remember exactly who was present on your special day. Others prefer a more candid style of photography, taking pictures that perfectly capture the actual events that filled your day. Flip through your photographer’s portfolio and get a look at exactly the types of photos they take most often, then talk with them about their style. You want a photographer whose style meshes with yours so that you’ll fall in love with the pictures you get on your special day.
There’s nothing wrong with giving a new photographer a chance to get their start at your wedding, but chances are, you don’t want a brand new photographer who’s never had the opportunity to shoot a wedding before. Instead, opt for a wedding photographer who has some experience in shooting weddings—and make sure that they’ve shot previous weddings like yours, especially if you’re doing something quirky or are bringing your unique culture to your wedding. You want a photographer who understands what will be happening on your special day and their place in it so that you can focus on your day, not on walking them through the process.
You might not know a Nikon from a Polaroid, but you still need to have a solid idea of what equipment your photographer will be using at your wedding—not necessarily the exact type of camera, but the type of equipment they have to bring to the wedding. Do they plan to use a tripod? What about a flash or two? You should also make sure that your photographer has backup equipment: there’s nothing worse than realizing that there’s no backup camera in the middle of the wedding ceremony when the first camera is broken.
Your family is unlike any other. There are plenty of things that make you special: the hobbies you enjoy, the jokes you share, or the games you play together. Think about what makes your family special. I’d love to talk with you about it before your session and help you brainstorm some great ideas. We might be able to incorporate those concepts into your session, whether you all dress up in costume for a fun theme shoot or we capture some pictures of everyone playing your favorite game together. Incorporating your family’s interests will help make your pictures a little different and help you have even more fun during your session. We’ll get plenty of great, classic pictures, too!
If you have an unlimited budget, you may not have to worry about comparing prices—but for most couples, it’s important to know how much your pictures are going to cost. Ask your photographer what’s included in their package price. This might include:
Talk with your photographer about add-on costs for any features that their packages don’t include. You want to know that you’re getting the service you want from your photographer—and that you know ahead of time how much it will cost.
Sometimes, when you’re working with Bill’s Wedding Photographers, you won’t automatically get Bill shooting your wedding. Many wedding photographers prefer to work with a partner so that they can capture more of those important moments on your wedding day. Others have grown to the point that they have many different photographers on staff. You want to know exactly who will be taking your wedding pictures so that you can take a look at their portfolio and decide whether their style is a good fit for you. You may also want to consider the importance of a second photographer on your wedding day: do you need two photographers on-site so that they can capture both bride and groom getting ready, or so that one photographer can focus on the guests while the other keeps their camera on the bride and groom?
Your wedding day arrives, and your photographer is sick, or has had a death in the family, or otherwise can’t make it to the wedding. Who’s going to take your pictures? A good wedding photographer already has a contingency plan in place for emergencies. You want to know that even if your photographer isn’t able to make it, you’ll still get amazing, high-quality pictures of your big day. Talk to your photographer about their emergency planning and who will shoot your wedding if they’re under the weather.
These key questions can help you make a much wiser decision when the time comes to hire your wedding photographer. Before you settle on the perfect photographer for your big day, set up an appointment to discuss your concerns and ask any questions you might have. By going over these questions now, you’ll prevent any surprises on your big day—not to mention putting you in a better position to plan for your wedding.