Last Updated: Jan 31, 2018
Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most personal decisions in the wedding planning process. After all, your photography team is present from start to finish—from the dressing room prep to the final toasts at the reception. So, it’s important to find a photographer that clicks with your energy, fits into your budget and shares your wedding-day vision. Interviewing potential wedding photographers is a sure way to find the best match for you.
A wide variety of topics can guide your conversation, preparing you both for a successful and smooth day. Aside from going through this wedding photography checklist, keep this list of interview questions to ask your photographer close to make sure you cover all details that may arise before, during and after the wedding.
Initial questions should clarify basic wedding logistics, the photographer’s style and everything their package includes. It’s important to nail down details of their services, as well as their general approach to editing, equipment choice and shooting style.
- Are you available for our date? Do you have any time restrictions?
- How many weddings do you normally work each weekend?
- Do you need to travel for our wedding? If so, are travel rates included in your contract?
- What do your standard packages include (from shooting hours to prints and files)?
- How long have you been shooting weddings? What inspired you to start working in the field?
- What style/size of wedding do you most enjoy shooting?
- What type of equipment do you use to shoot and edit?
- Do you shoot both in color and black and white?
- Do you use a second and/or third photographer?
- Do you bring your own lighting?
- How do you get to know a couple before the wedding?
- How do you help couples compile their shot list?
- Do you have experience photographing children at weddings?
- How do you collaborate with a videographer?
- Have you worked in my venue before—or with any of my vendors?
- Do you have references?
Now that you’re feeling confident about this photographer, it’s a good time to discuss financial and contract specifics. Many photographers offer packages for prints, engagement sessions or additional files and it’s best to clarify this up front.
- How many shooting hours would you recommend for our particular wedding?
- Do you offer engagement photos?
- What is the payment schedule?
- Does your package have any hidden fees?
- What is your turnaround time for prints and files?
- When will I see the proofs? Are they edited before or after I see them?
- Are there package deals for prints, books or additional photos?
- What is your plan in case of emergency—for example, you or a second photographer get sick?
- What are your procedures/fees if the night runs over?
- What are your sharing and file ownership rules?
The contract is signed and plans are underway. Now it’s time to discuss all the potential questions that could pop up before or during the wedding day. Finalizing these questions now will cut out stress when things get busy down the line.
Before the Day
- What information (contact lists, schedule, desired shots) should we send you before the wedding?
- Do you have recommendations for scheduling the wedding day?
- How far in advance do you need the timeline and shot list?
- Where will we shoot throughout and around the venue?
- How do you handle directing the guests for group photos?
- Will there be a photographer for both me and my fiance prep rooms?
- Should we arrange our hotel/getting-ready rooms in any particular way?
- Do you want to shoot specific items in the wedding (rings, shoes, bouquets) that should be available before the ceremony?
- How should I time hair and makeup with your arrival?
- Should we be conscious of any particular shots during the ceremony?
- How do we check in with you at the end of the night?
- My venue offers a vendor meal, do you have a preference or dietary needs?
Most importantly, great wedding photography should capture the beautiful story of your wedding day. Finding just the right photographer helps guide invitations, thank you notes and even holiday cards for years to come. Equip yourself with these photographer questions to ensure a smooth and successful wedding experience.