Important Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer ~New York Wedding Photographer Guide

September 23, 2021

So you’re getting married! One of the best times of your life is happening, but this also comes with some added stress. Choosing the right vendors can be tough. BUT it doesn’t need to be. Liking someone’s photos is just a small piece of a very large puzzle. When selecting the right photographer for your wedding here are some important questions you should be asking them before signing a contract.

  1. The Basics: Is my wedding date available? Do you travel to my venue? Is there a fee? Cover these in your initial email. Making sure they are available is important before you invest any more time in getting to know them. Also, get their travel requirements up front. If the venue is 2 hours away, will they travel there and is there a fee?

2. Little More Info: Once you get the basic things out of the way, get more details. What is their turn around time for images? What is their refund/cancellation policy? How much is the deposit and when is this due? If covid has taught us anything, its that we need to know these things up front! Every vendor is different and its important to know their policy before booking

Once you are comfortable with the answers above, it’s time to get to know the photographer. You can do this via email, but I think a phone call is always better. Set up a conference call or zoom meeting to get to know the person behind the brand. I think it is important to make sure you get a feel for their personality up front, this does not always come across via email.

3. How long have you been a wedding photographer?

This question tells you a little more about them, and how long they have been professional. I don’t think you should have a set number in your mind however. I know plenty of brand new photographers that are extremely talented so I would go with your gut here.

4. How would you describe your photo style?

Do you want a photographer who takes more posed and formal shots, do you want a photographer who captures more candid and lifestyle. Do you want something in the middle? Think about your ideal photographer and then make sure you are on the same page with the ones you are chatting with.

5. How would you describe your working style? Do you try to blend in or are you more hands on at a wedding?

THIS IS SO IMPORTANT! This is something I did not really think about till more recently when a bride mentioned she wanted her photographer to blend in and take only behind the scenes shots. Make sure your photographer matches your couple style. Do you need help with posing and are they going to guide you on your wedding day or will they stand back watch the day unfold. When my husband and I got married, I wish I had asked some of these questions. We needed a lot of help with posing and a photographer who was more timid and quiet (no matter how talented) would not have been a good fit.

6. Have you shot at our venue before? I almost did not include this because at the end of the day this does not matter as much. A professional photographer can capture beautiful images at any venue. If its a venue your photographer has not been to, ask them if they will tour before or do some research on your venue before your big day.

7. Can we see a full wedding gallery?

I am bolding this, mark this down. If you use nothing else this is one of the most important questions you can ask a photographer. Can they show you some real, full wedding galleries. Not just their website photos (because I am sure those are all perfect) BUT a real wedding, that the client received. Do you like it? Would you be happy with the quality delivered? Everyone’s website (like instagram) can turn into a highlight reel. Do you like the photographer the same once you see a wedding beginning to end.

8. Will there be more than one photographer at my wedding?

I think this is important to know, but should not be a deal breaker. Will they have a shooting assistant and are they needed. I have photographed weddings where I did not need to added shooter because my timeline allowed enough time for me to capture the event. If the timeline is tight, or multiple locations are used a second photographer can be valuable.

9. Do you carry backup equipment and how do you protect my images? Make sure your photographer has multiple camera bodies, lenses and cards. They should have these in the event something happens on the day of your wedding. As a couple, you should never know there was anything wrong.

10. Are you licensed and insured?

Making sure someone is a real business is important. This also protects to client and the photographer.

11. How many images should we expect to receive from our wedding?

I cannot stress enough that there is not always a perfect answer here, BUT some photographers limit the number of photos their couples receive, while some include every imagine. Make sure you understand what this means with a photographer you are thinking about. How many edited photos will you get (roughly) and what that will look like.

12. Will you color correct my images after? Will your images be edited or are they providing the images untouched. It is important to know what you are getting before you sign a contract. Will you be able to go right to printing your images after your event or are you required to pay them to edit further.

13. What happens if the main photographer gets ill or cannot make it? So this has never actually happened to me BUT find out if your photographer has a back up plan and what that is. What is their policy if they can’t make it, and you don’t like the plan B.