Choosing a wedding photographer can certainly seem like a daunting task — there is so much talent out there, but how do you know who is the right fit for your special day? Speaking with potential photographers (on the phone, through a video chat, or in person) is the best way to get to know them beyond the work that you’ve seen on their website and social channels. I recommend you to talk to at least 3-5 different photographers to allow you to better benchmark your options. The process to get to this point is typically: 1) fill out the contact form on their website, 2) if they are available, they will respond with more information about their wedding packages, and 3) schedule a call with them to learn more.
The wedding photographer you choose should be someone you feel really comfortable with and would enjoy being around a lot — because if you think about it, they are going to be with you for almost your entire wedding day! But beyond loving their work and feeling that personal connection, it’s also important to have the answers to the following questions to make an educated, informed decision before deciding to book them to document one of the most special days of your life.
1. Have they shot at your venue before? (Note: This should NOT make or break whether you book them! I love shooting at venues for the first time, in fact it’s often when I feel my most creative. It’s simply good to know if they are familiar with your venue ahead of time, and if not I promise it will not hinder their ability to capture your day.)
2. Are they insured, and does their coverage align with what your venue requires?
3. Can they share several full wedding galleries with you, if they haven’t already?
4. Is an engagement session included in their packages?
5. Is a second photographer included in their packages?
6. Is a wedding album included in their packages?
7. Do you get a print release for your photos?
8. Can you add on extra hours of coverage if needed?
9. How much do extra hours of coverage cost?
10. Are taxes and/or credit card fees included in the total cost?
11. How is the invoicing schedule broken down?
12. What method of payment do they accept (credit card, check)?
13. Do you receive reminders when payments are due?
14. Can they walk you through any important aspects of the contract that might get overlooked?
15. What is their cancellation policy, and is the retainer non-refundable?
16. What is their postponement policy, and is the retainer transferable to a new date if necessary?
Wedding Day & Planning
17. How far out from your wedding date will they reach out to create the photo timeline?
18. How do they compile information about your wedding day ahead of time (questionnaire, check-in call)?
19. How would they describe their approach to capturing a wedding on the day-of?
20. Approximately how many photos per hour of coverage will you receive?
21. Do they send sneak peeks after the wedding?
22. When will you receive your full wedding gallery?
23. Are there any extra fees to download the high-res photos?
24. How long will your wedding gallery be online for?
25. What is the process for designing your wedding album?
Chances are, if you are speaking with experienced and reputable photographers their answers to these questions will likely be quite similar and shouldn’t raise any red flags! However it is always a good idea to be as thorough as possible when speaking with vendors, because you want to make sure your wedding day team is as equipped and ready to bring your day to life as possible!
Liked this post? Check out how to create the perfect wedding day timeline.