Wedding photography can be a significant portion of your budget. You're investing in capturing the memories of your most precious day. Let's make sure you're confident in that investment. Typically these questions would be addressed in your initial consultation with your photographer. Here are some questions to ask potential wedding photographers to find one that is the best fit for you.
If you haven't narrowed down photographers yet, here is our guide to choosing a photographer that fits your wedding style
1. How many camera bodies do you shoot with or carry with you on the wedding day?
Ideally the answer is two. If one body should be dropped or get damaged, there is a back up
2. What kind of camera(s) do you shoot with?
The answer we are looking for is: Full Frame DSLR with full frame sensor. It's not so much about the brand (unless you are a photography professional yourself, who has a preference). Without getting too technical, a full frame DSLR is important for wedding photography to ensure your images are not pixelated, can be blown up, zoomed in and cropped during editing, etc.
3. Do you shoot with dual cards in each camera?
This is important! If there should be an issue with a card or it corrputs (hey, technology, it happens), in theory there would be a back up of the images, for each camera they are shooting with
4, How many hours does your photography package come with?
8-10 is ideal for most wedding days
5. Do you allow add on hours and if so, what is the cost per hour?
6. How many shooters does your wedding photography package come with?
Ideally, two. This ensures that you are getting multiple angles, and in event that one of the photographers is not in a position to catch something monumental (like the first kiss), in theory the 2nd photographer should capture that photo.
7. When can we expect to receive a full gallery of images after the wedding?
8. How are the images delivered?
If the answer is digital (and it likely is), what is the avenue of delivery? Additionally, how long will we have to retrieve your images from an online gallery?
9. Approximately how many photos will I receive from the wedding day?
On average, the answer we receive from various photographers is 800-1200 for an 8 hour wedding day.
10. Do we receive the rights to our photos?
This is important. Most photographers will retain copyrights to their photos with the ability to use them as they see fit (unless you are purchasing the copyright $$$$). That's totally normal. What most couples are looking for in asking this question is: Can I print my photos wherever and whenever I would like?
11. Will you pose us?
Candid photos are wonderful, and any seasoned wedding photography pro will capture those. Posed photos are what a majority of couples (and their families) print and hand on the wall.
12. Does your package come with an engagement session? If not, what is the additional cost for that?
An engagement session is a wonderful opportunity to get to know your photographer and get comfortable infront of their lens. It may be helpful for them to learn the best ways to post you as a couple.
If their package includes an engagement session, and you've already booked and paid for an engagement session with a different photographer; ask if this can be transferred to something else, like additional coverage on the wedding day or an anniversary session.
13. Do you have links to blog posts of full weddings or a gallery of images from a real, full day wedding that you can share with us?
Wedding photography is a special skill. It involves capturing emotional moments as they unfold; moments that cannot be recreated. It's important that your photographer is able to stay focused to capture candid moments and handle different and difficult lighting situations. For example, are they familiar with flash to photograph a dark reception? Can they move from outdoor photos to a church ceremony where flash is not allowed, etc...
You may be able to gauge their abilities based on images posted on their website/blog if they have a plethora of weddings available for you to view.
Any photographers on our recommended vendors list meet this criteria (list provided exclusively to our #BDEcouples) .
Photo: Danielle Harris Photography - image from this La Valencia Hotel wedding in La Jolla, California