Hiring a wedding photographer to capture your big day is arguably one of the most important investments you will make for your wedding. Here is a list of 8 of the most important questions you can ask your photographer to see if they are the right fit for you.
Do you have a contract?
Contracts are an important aspect to hiring all of your wedding vendors. Make sure the contract outlines the timeframe of when you will receive your photos. Also check that you are comfortable with the cancellation/reschedule policy.
What is your backup system?
Your wedding photographer should have multiple, solid backups for their photos. For example, here are some of the multiple backup systems that I have in place.
- In-camera backup: two card slots
- Memory cards aren’t erased until gallery is delivered
- Images backed up to two hard drives
Some photographers use an additional online backup system. In addition to image backup, equipment backup is just as important! Does your photographer have backup equipment in case of unexpected failure?
How long will it take to receive my gallery?
This will vary greatly from photographer to photographer. Some photographers will deliver the full gallery within 6-8 weeks while others may take up to 3 months. Make sure that you are comfortable with the amount of weeks given and that your contract reflects this same amount of time. It is a common practice for photographers to send sneak peaks a few days after the wedding. Check to see if your photographer provides this service if it is important to you!
Can I see a full wedding gallery?
A photographer’s social media and website often display their absolute best work, which is great, but doesn’t reflect the different lighting situations and events throughout a wedding day. Ask to see a full gallery so that you can know what to expect to receive from your photographer.
How many photos do you typically deliver?
This is an important question to ask to ensure that your expectations are met when hiring your photographer. This number will vary depending on the length of the wedding and the activities involved throughout the day. Typically around 50+ images per hour is a good, low-end estimate. I personally include all of the *good* images from the day (omitting duplicates, blurry, blinking, etc. of course) as I do not like the idea of withholding important moments and memories from my couples. Some photographers place a limit on images and then upsell the rest. Just a conversation to have so that you fully understand the process!
Do you shoot in RAW format and manual mode?
These settings may be foreign to you as the consumer, but they are an important mark of a professional who is comfortable with their equipment. These settings allow for maintaining proper exposure throughout the wedding day in various lighting situations. If your photographer doesn’t know what these are, or if they mention shooting in JPEG or Auto mode they are likely new to the industry and you may want to reconsider hiring them.
What will happen if you are unable to shoot my wedding due to emergency, injury, illness, etc.?
All photographers should have a policy that outlines this in their contracts. Check to see if your photographer has a backup plan that involves trying to find a substitute photographer of similar quality to cover your day or giving a refund if they are unable to find someone.
Can we meet over zoom/coffee or hop on the phone?
I can’t recommend this enough when hiring something as important as your wedding photographer. It is one thing to see someone’s social media presence or chat with them over email, but you can’t really feel out someone’s vibe without having a face-to-face conversation! Make sure that you connect with your photographer and feel comfortable with them. After all they will be spending the majority of your wedding day with you!
Did you find these questions helpful? Are there any other questions you think might be important to know? Drop them in the comments below!
For more wedding planning tips, check out more blog posts like this one here.