Tips For Picking The Right Wedding Photographer
How to Choose the Right Wedding Photographer
Once the ceremony is complete, the honeymoon is over, and the newlywed phase has ended, your wedding photographs will still be there to remind you of your big day. Your wedding photos are a timeless way to relive one of the best days of your life and commemorate the love between you and your partner.
That’s why it’s important you get them right. If you’re planning your own wedding, it’s crucial that you find a photographer who meets your needs. After all, you only get one chance to do it right. Fortunately, however, finding the right wedding photographer is easier than you may think!
In this guide, I’ll go over some specific questions you might like to ask the photographers you’re considering, to ensure you book the right person for the job. Keep reading to find out more!
Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer
Hiring the right photographer for your wedding day starts with asking the right questions. It’s as simple as this: you’ll want to know what you’re looking for when you’re searching for the right person. Using the questions below, you’ll be able to find a quality candidate pool so that you get a proven professional capable of matching your vision on your wedding day:
Do We Get a Set Number of Photos?
It’s always good to know approximately how many photos you’ll be getting from your photographer. Oftentimes, this is based off the specific packages a photographer offers, which may be available on their website.
Other photographers allow their couples to receive all photos that pass a quality check. This means that, after screening the photos, every image that isn’t blurry, too dark, or otherwise flawed is sent over to the couple. It’s definitely my style to let my couples have all the edited images, but not every photographer is the same, so you’ll want to ask in advance to be sure.
From a Photography Standpoint, When’s the Best Time to Have Our Ceremony?
In many cases, the time of day determines what type of photograph a photographer can take. Some photographers prefer to work with natural light, while others prefer darker styles. Depending on what you want, you’ll need to ask your photographer when the best time for your ceremony would be.
This may not be as important in the summer, but it’s particularly true if you are getting married in the winter (when it gets darker earlier). This will allow you to get gorgeous photos (both natural and group shots) that fit your desired style. Without planning in advance, you run the risk of running out of daylight for your photos, which you certainly don’t want to happen if brighter styles are your thing.
Do You Take Family Group Photos?
For the most part, you’ll likely want your wedding photos to be organic, capturing the events of your special day in a timeless and natural way. You may also want a set of formal group photos, however, that incorporates different members of your family (and friends). To prepare for this, you’ll want to ask your photographer if this is something they do.
If my couples want group shots, I always recommend to take between 5-10. Some want more and some want less, but this is a good number to get a varied mix of guests in the photos, while not taking up too much time on your wedding day that you could be spending relaxing and enjoying time with your guests. If there are specific photos you want from your preferred photographers, it’s definitely worth reaching out to ask if it’s something they do, rather than assuming they do or don’t.
What Happens If It Rains on Our Wedding Day?
The best wedding photographers come prepared no matter the situation. Naturally, it’s best to book a photographer who is comfortable taking pictures in the rain and who has a backup plan in the event that the sun isn’t shining.
For example, I try to be as flexible as possible when working on wedding day timings with a couple just in case one time slot becomes undesirable due to the rain. Of course, we would then have alternative options to fall back onto. I also find out in advance what wet weather options a venue has so that couples can still get amazing photos even if they choose not to go out in the rain at all. As always, I let the couples make the decision on this and always ensure there are umbrellas at hand.
Just as importantly, I check the weather the week leading up to the wedding the let couple know what to expect on the wedding day while running through the various options with them—all in order to ensure they get the gorgeous wedding photos they want no matter what!
Do We Need to Meet You/A Photographer Before the Wedding Day?
In most cases, it’s not necessary to meet with a photographer before the wedding day. Once you’ve viewed a wide selection of a photographer’s work (I offer extensive galleries on my website, for instance), you may simply email them to get a better sense of who they are and how they operate. Of course, you may also choose to set up a zoom or FaceTime meeting if you wish, though it’s not totally necessary.
For me, most of my couples are happy to book after we’ve had a good chat via email and they’ve seen a good selection of my work. I also share lots of behind the scenes on my Instagram so couples have a good idea of who I am as a person. Some couples do prefer to have a face-to-face chat, and in those situations, I love to set up a call so that we can meet and potential clients can run through any questions with me.
Will You Visit Our Venue Before the Wedding Day?
This question will give you an idea of the photographer’s thought and work process. Occasionally, photographers find it helpful to visit the venue in advance to get a rough idea of what they’re working with before the big day (this is especially true of newer photographers). With that being said, however, it’s not necessary for most experienced photographers to see the venue in person before the wedding day—and there are some good reasons as to why.
More likely than not, the venue in the planning stage and on the actual wedding day will look different. This means that a photographer’s ideas of where and how to take your wedding photos may need to be totally reworked when it actually comes to your wedding day. This is one of the reasons I personally choose to wait until the big day to see the venue. I love getting to see the venue as it will actually be and drawing inspiration from the real deal (though of course I familiarize myself with the general layout online before heading to any venue I don’t know).
How Long Have You Been Photographing Weddings?
Nine times out of ten, the best wedding photographers are the ones who’ve been in the game for a long time. While there are certainly up-and-coming experts bubbling with creativity and equipped with that expert flair, you may feel safer going with a proven option for your big day. Generally speaking, more experienced photographers understand the difficulties that can come with wedding photography, such as bad lighting, being off schedule, and bad weather.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to ask the photographers you’re enquiring with how long they’ve been photographing weddings. One thing I love to do is send a full wedding gallery to couples enquiring, who may be worried about my level of experience. Having photographed weddings for nearly 10 years, I love making couples feel like they’re in safe hands. It’s worth checking to see if the photographer you are talking to will send you a full wedding gallery for you to look over. This will give you a more in-depth idea of what a full set of wedding photos looks like, covered by them.
The Bottom Line
The right wedding photographer can help you capture your big day. Given this, it’s crucial that you ask the appropriate questions to find the photographer who is right for you. In this guide, I went over some questions to ask your wedding photographer, drawing on my own professional experience with wedding photography.
Looking for a quality wedding photographer for your big day? I’d love to help! With nearly a decade of experience photographing weddings, I have what it takes to get the perfect pictures of your perfect day. Be sure to contact me for more details and any questions you may have! CLICK HERE to get in touch.