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10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Wedding Photographer

By Jada Parrish

Posted: 10/11/13

This blog post is archived. It was posted in 2013.

The information in archived posts may be out of date. We archive all posts older than three years.

Category: Wedding Tips

While you're in the midst of wedding planning, one of the first things you need to do, is hire a photographer. Hiring a wedding photographer can be a little overwhelming because there are so many to choose from and each one has their own unique style. I think choosing the right photographer is one of the most important decisions you will have to make regarding your wedding.

As someone who got married just over a week ago, I can honestly tell you the day is going to fly by. You will be enveloped with all kinds of emotions on your wedding day and there are things you are going to miss. Your head gets a little cloudy with all of the excitement and nerves bubbling inside of you. The day will be over before you know it...but your photos will last forever.

At the end of the day, when everything is said and done your photos are the piece of your wedding that you will treasure forever. You probably won't save your wedding centerpieces or your bouquets or your DJ's wedding playlist for the rest of your life....but those pictures are memories that will never fade away. 

Here are a few quick questions to make sure to ask when interviewing a wedding photographer:

 

What kind of equipment do you have?

When you ask this question just jot down what they say so you can go home and google it later. Make sure your photographer is using a professional grade camera (meaning it should cost a couple thousand dollars). If the photographer is using an amateur camera (pretty much any camera under $1000) as their primary camera...that's not a good sign. You want a photographer that takes themselves seriously enough to invest in quality equipment. 

 

Can I see a portfolio of past work?

This may seem pretty obvious, but NEVER hire a photographer without looking at their portfolio. Their website should act as their portfolio, but it is always ok to ask to see additonal samples of their work.

 

Do you have a second shooter? Are they experienced? Have you worked with them before?

A wedding is a big deal. There are so many different elements and aspects to photograph. In my opinion, it's way too much for one person, so make sure your photographer has a second shooter. You want to make sure every special moment is captured and having a second shooter there helps make sure that happens. A second shooter allows more photos to be taken and you will get a greater variety of shots and perspectives.

Be sure to ask if their second shooter is experienced. Ask if they have ever worked with them before or if you can see some samples of their work.

*** Some photographers charge extra for a second shooter and others automatically include one -- so keep an eye on the packages

 

What's your game plan for the day?

Asking this question will help give you an idea of how they work. Make sure their work flow meshes with what you have planned for your wedding day. You will be spending the entire day with your photographer, so make sure you like them, and you feel comfortable with their plan for photographing the day.

 

How long will it take to get my photos back?

After your wedding, you are going to want to see your photos ASAP! Be sure to ask your photographer how long it is going to take to get your photos back. This greatly varies amoung photographers. Some will have your photos back to you in a few short weeks and others will take several months. This usually depends on how busy your photographer is...if they are completely booked up, it may take a little longer to get photos back. 

 

How many photos will I get?

This is another thing that varies greatly among wedding photographers. Some photographers will give you thousands of photos from your wedding day, which I think is cumbersome. It also says that they haven't taken the time to thoroughly edit and retouch each of your photos. 

Look for a photographer that will take the time to edit down the photos for you, so you will receive the absolute best photos of the day. It's better to have a smaller amount of stunning photos than a thousand medicore ones that havent been properly edited. 

Keep in mind that every wedding is different. Large weddings require more photos than small weddings. Some weddings may have more details to photograph than others.

 

What does your wedding package include?

Every photographer has their own unique wedding package. Make sure you choose a package that meets your needs. 

Click to view our wedding packages.

 

How many hours does your package include? Can I purchase additional hours?

Some packages include 6 hours, others include 8 hours..so make sure you ask how many hours you will receive. A standard wedding usually requires 8 hours of photographing. Some weddings need more than that, ask if you can purchase additional hours on your wedding day if it goes past 8 hours and how that process would work.

 

Will I have personal printing rights?

There are two types of photographers: shoot to share photographers and shoot to print photographers. Shoot to share photographers (this is what we are) will provide their clients with personal printing rights and will give you digital files of all of your wedding photos. Shoot to print photographers require their clients to buy prints directly from them and will not give you all of your photos.

It's important to ask if you will have personal printing rights because that will allow you and your family members to independently print all of your wedding photos.

 

Can I order a wedding album through you?

I highly recommend getting a wedding album. It is such a nice keepsake and a great gift to give your parents or new in-laws. Ordering a wedding album through your photographer is a great way to go. They will layout the album in a clean and professional way and make sure it is exactly what you want. 

 

Click to view past weddings.

Click to view our wedding packages.

 

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