Most photographers will have some of this information incorporated into a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of their website. Alternatively, they might supply the information in another element of the info that they send to you. These wedding photographer questions can form the start point for your research before you book a call with them.
It can be daunting when you’re booking a photographer to know what is relevant and what’s important to you. It’s likely that you’ve not booked a wedding photographer before. So it can be understandably overwhelming to think about all the eventualities of what you should have asked before you booked. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!
With that in mind, here are some questions you should try and find out through your research of your wedding photographer. If you don’t find the answer readily in their info, feel free to ask them during a chat or email.
Can we see a full gallery of a wedding?
Most wedding photographers will be happy to show you a gallery of their past work. The bonus of a gallery over a blog post is that it can show a wedding from start to finish, rather than be a “best of” portfolio. There are lots of ordinary photos that don’t make the cut with a portfolio, but it’s still worth seeing these photos. This is a common question that people ask their wedding photographer before they book them.
Blog posts can be deceptive as well – it’s easy to mistake a second photographer’s perspective as a primary photographer’s role; likewise a styled shoot (which involves using models and doesn’t have any of the same constraints as a full wedding. If experience is important to you, you’ll be able to see this from a full gallery. Seeing a proper gallery shows you what they produce when under the pressure of a wedding day. You should also see some group photos in there as well, which can be a good indicator as these are likely the photos you and your family will be checking/ ordering first.
How long have you been a wedding photographer?
If someone’s new but really good – that’s totally fine! However, experience isn’t cheap. The benefit of an experienced photographer is that they can give you guidance and they’ve been through this before. They’ve also likely come across all sorts of problems as well, so know how to handle themselves on the day. If experience is important to you, then this is a great question to ask your prospective wedding photographer.
Contract and Deposit
Will we have a written formal contract?
The simple answer to this should be yes. If you don’t have a written contract, do not book them. The contract helps outline what you can expect, what’s expected from you. It should be fairly straightforward to read without needing a law degree to go through. It should also meet the criteria for being fairly written. Make sure you ask your wedding photographer this question before you book them.
How much is the deposit and how do I secure my date?
Normally, most couples will secure the booking by confirming with the photographer in writing, signing a contract and paying a deposit or retainer. By law, deposits shouldn’t exceed 50% of the payment. You also have cooling-off rights after you sign the contract. Make sure that you understand the t&cs before you sign. If you cancel in the lead up to the wedding, it’s normal for the photographer to retain the deposit to cover their costs. In the case of a postponement, they may be willing to transfer the deposit to a new date, although you may incur additional costs. If you decide to cancel your wedding entirely, the photographer may offer to exchange it for a different photography service such as a family photo session. This is a common question for wedding photographers, don’t be afraid to discuss it with them.
When do I pay the balance?
Normally, most couples pay the remaining balance of their package about a month before the wedding, and your photographer will invoice you for this. This is standard practice within the wedding photography industry. Occasionally couples will ask to pay after they’ve received the services, but it’s rare that a photographer will be willing to do this as it often leads to people “forgetting” to pay. Asking to pay after the wedding can be a red flag for a lot of wedding photographers.
Will you charge extra for travel or accommodation for my wedding?
Finding out any transport or accommodation needs is a good question for your wedding photographer. While a lot of photographers will say they photograph weddings across the country, make sure you know exactly what the final bill will be. For example, it’s more than likely a photographer coming from the south of England to an elopement in Skye is going to need overnight accommodation and travel expenses covered. It might be better value to book someone closer to the location.
Do you offer a second photographer?
You may not want or need a second photographer, but if you’re having a big wedding, or a wedding across multiple locations (e.g. morning prep hotel, church and a different reception venue) you may want to have a second photographer on the day. Have a chat with them about the benefits of booking a second photographer if you think you’ll need one, and how much they charge for this. It’s good to ask your wedding photographer about this if it’s an extra option.
Is an album included or do I order this separately afterwards?
Some photographers will include an album in the package. Others will not include it in the price. Make a note that if an album is included, there may be limits as to the size and type, but also how long you have to make your decision. If you wait a few years before getting back in touch, you may find you need to pay extra fees as the cost of the albums may have increased.
You may be able to upgrade your album if you want to do so at a later stage. This is a good question to ask your wedding photographer if a wedding album is important to you.
How will I receive my images?
Photographers deliver images in different methods. Many will use a password-protected digital gallery where you can download your images. Some will supply a USB. Do you have devices that are compatible with a USB? It’s also worth checking whether the high resolution/ print resolution images are included, or low resolution/ screen resolution.
How many hours are included in this package?
Some photographers may offer a “whole day” package, but that might be limited to 10 hours coverage. Likewise, if you’re planning a wee elopement, you might guidance on how many hours you should book to cover this. It’s a good question to ask your wedding photographer and they should provide expert advice about what you need .
And all those Miscellaneous Wedding Photographer Questions…
Do you bring backup equipment and dual shoot on your memory cards?
Ideally, you want a photographer who has backup equipment with them on the day. This might be shooting with two camera bodies, or they might carry a spare in their car. You will however want them to dual shoot memory cards- most modern cameras have two slots for memory cards, meaning they can record to two cards at once. This is important because cards can easily get lost, break, or become corrupt, so a second memory card is vital. Most wedding photographers will answer yes to this question, but less experienced photographers may not have the range of kit.
Will you publish my photos on your website?
Sometimes couples don’t want photographers to publish images from their wedding. You have the right to say no to having your photograph published in a public area – including blogs, social media, magazines, leaflets etc. If this is something that’s important to you, it’s advisable to discuss with your photographer in advance. If they’re just starting out, this might be difficult for them as they will be looking for portfolio content for marketing their business. You may want to consider allowing them to share certain photographs only – for example photos without children, or photos only of the two of you. Perhaps you’re happy for them to share detail still life photos without people in them. This is a good question to discuss before booking your photographer for your wedding.
Can you also recommend any videographer/ film makers that you’ve worked with before?
Many photographers will recommend a good film maker or videographer that they’ve worked with before, who’s approach and style will complement theirs. Trust me – there are plenty of filmmakers and videographers that we never want to work with again as well! However, don’t expect them to give these details out to you prior to booking.
Any more Wedding Photographer Questions?
These are some of the questions I’ve been asked before by my couples in the past before they booked me. I love chatting with couples who are planning a wedding in Scotland and looking for a wedding photographer. Get in touch today and feel free to ask me any questions you’ve got!