Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions a couple makes, so knowing what questions to ask to get the most out of your consultation is important.
After all the champagne has been drunk, the cake has been eaten and your guests have gone home, your photo album is all that is left to complement your memories of your special day.
There are so many talented wedding photographers out there so it can feel like a daunting task as you start to consider which one to choose.
Do you prefer candid, contemporary, or classic wedding photography? There are so many options it can feel overwhelming.
But while it is crucial your wedding photographer can take beautiful pictures in a style you like, I believe personality is the key to a successful match.
Pick the photographer you have the best connection with and who you know will make you feel relaxed and comfortable throughout your day. A photographer you trust will be the one who will deliver the most stunning, personal and intimate photographs of your day.
So what should you ask your wedding photographer in a consultation?
Here’s my suggested top 10 questions to ask to ensure you chose the perfect wedding photographer for you:
1 How will you make us feel relaxed in front of the camera?
Ensuring my couples feel relaxed and calm throughout their day is my number one priority – and it should be for any professional wedding photographer. Many of us feel uncomfortable posing for photographs so look for a photographer who specialises in candid, journalistic photography to ensure your loving glances, laughs and tears are all captured perfectly.
2 How much disruption will you cause to our day?
None – should be the answer! Many couples ask me for a few group shots and there is a certain amount of organising which has to take place, but we make sure we pick the easiest time to get them done. Apart from that you shouldn’t notice me. A warning sign of a photographer who will dominate your day rather than document, it is one who talks about the pictures they want to take, rather than those they think you would like them to take.
3 Will you visit the venue with us before the wedding day?
This should be a yes. I offer all my couples a complimentary meet up at their venue, even if I have a photographed weddings there many times before. It always helps the day go smoothly if we’ve scouted out the best places to get pictures beforehand.
4 Will you edit the photographs?
All professional wedding photographers will edit your photographs before sending them to you. Many have a signature style and use techniques to enhance their pictures. Your photographer should offer you pictures in a range of colour and black&white and be willing to give you the choice. However, although professionally editing pictures gives them a finishing sparkle, beware wedding photographers who talk about ‘photoshoping’ too much as it suggests they are not shooting images to a high enough standard.
5 Can we suggest ideas or give you a list of people we want photos of?
Professional wedding photographers should not be scared by this request. It is your day and you should ensure you get photographs of all your guests. I ask my couples to give me a list of key people they want to be photographed during the day so I can make sure to get candid pictures of them at emotional moments and include them in any group shots. Some couples come with lots of ideas of the poses or styles of pictures they would like me to shoot, but mostly people trust me to be creative and come up with a variety of images. Photographers should offer you a free consultation to discuss what kind of pictures you would like and show you examples of their work. Engagement shoots are also a lovely way to get to know your photographer and work out what style of photography you like.
6 Can you show us a complete album of photographs from the same wedding?
Of course wedding photographers will pick their best shots for their website, but you must be sure your photographer can deliver high quality pictures throughout the day. I always take a wedding album covering a couple’s whole day to show people what pictures they can expect from bridal preparations all the way through to the evening party.
7 What happens if you are unwell on the day?
Touch wood this has never happened to me, but it is a very important question to ask. Having worked as a wedding photographer for more than a decade I have a list of other professionals who can cover me if the worst happened. Your photographer should have a plan in case they have to let you down on the day and should be fully insured so they can offer you compensation if they need to. I am professionally insured.
8 Are you a full-time professional photographer?
Another very important question to ask. There are some very talented amateur photographers, but your wedding is one of the most important days of your life and you need a trusted professional on hand to fill your wedding photo album. Make sure your photographer has a back up camera and other equipment – and brings them to your wedding!
9 How will you send me the photographs and how long will it take?
Many wedding photographers like myself offer online galleries so all your guests can view, download and buy prints of the pictures from your day. My galleries are all password protected and I offer free, unlimited downloads. I will only leave you waiting for two weeks until you see your finished wedding pictures.
10 Can I pick which pictures go where in my album?
If you plan to buy a photo album from your photographer they should design it themselves so you have the benefit of choosing which images go where. I offer all my couples a final proof of their album before I send it to be printed. Gone are the days of wedding photographers charging for image copyright so your photographer should also give you all the pictures, without watermarks, for you to share on social media or make your own album.