This is probably one of the most Googled questions relating to wedding photographers. ‘What questions should I ask my Wedding Photographer?’ And it is certainly important to ask your wedding photographer questions, but make sure it’s questions that will actually help you! When we turn up to a consultation it is easy to see whether a couple has genuine questions and queries or whether they have just done a quick panic Google and are asking what they think they need to ask.
So here are our thoughts on what you should be asking and finding out from your photographer during your consultations. AKA: what two wedding photographers think you should ask your wedding photographer. - but that just seems a bit of a mouthful.
1. What Time do you arrive/finish on the wedding day and do you have restricted hours?
Hopefully this question should already be answered when you enquired or found the packages page on their website. But it is a really good idea to clarify as not all photographers work the same way. Although at Stephanie & Nicole we don’t restricted hour working hours a lot of photographers do and you may have to choose between an 6, 8 or 10 hour package. Also certain photographers may not cover bridal prep or the first dance. Make sure you know how much of your day is being covered and how much it is costing you. One photographer may seem a lot more expensive, but if they are offering all day, non restricted hours and another is offering 6 hours coverage- it may be worth doing the maths to see where your money is best spent.
2. Do you work alone/ Do you suggest I need a second shooter?
Similarly to the last point wedding photographers all choose to work differently. Some like us, always work together. Some hire second shooters when they feel they need and some prefer to work alone. So it’s worth finding out what you photographer prefers to do, what they suggest for your wedding and if there are any extra charges for having two photographers at your day. Do keep this is in mind if your expecting to have both bridal and groom prep images or if your ceremony has strict rules on where the photographer can stand- one photographer can only be in one place at once.
3. How long do you suggest for each section of our day?
It’s always worth speaking to photographers as early into your planning as possible as we can really help with the structure and timings of the day. Understandably quite often couples don’t realise how long things can take during a wedding day, especially if there is travel involved. Your photographer will have their suggestions and preferences on timings for the day, so it’s really worth investing time in asking these questions because it will certainly help relieve stress on the day and will stop you spending your whole drinks reception being dragged off for group shots! (We don’t want to do that to you!)
4. We’re having videographer’s, is that ok?
Although this is not essential it’s worth letting your photographer know if you’re planning on having videographers at your wedding day. It’s nice for us to introduce ourselves prior to your big day so we’re aware of each other. Your photographers may have done a scout of your ceremony and reception venue and planned their shots which could all change if they turn up to find a huge tripod in the exact place they wanted to stand. Often videographers and photographers need the same shot and angles so compromise is key. Just politely introducing ourselves is a great way to build a relationship to ensure everything runs smoothly on the day and everyone is aware of what’s going on.
5. Do you need feeding?
Again, I think your photographers will always let you know this pretty quickly but just in case they haven’t mentioned it it’s worth asking. A wedding is a long day and the only chance we get to eat between 9am-10pm is when you’re having your wedding breakfast. Some photographers choose to bring their own food, but some ask to be fed. If the photographer asked to be fed remember to mention this to your caters so they aren’t forgotten. (You’ll often find there will be a group of suppliers that need feeding: the band, photographers, videographers.)
6. What’s your back up plan if you can’t make it?
It’s a funny question this one, but worth asking. Personally speaking to other photographers we find that all of us have turned up to every wedding we’ve ever been booked for. Migraines, colds, twisted ankles, we understand this day is HUGELY important to you and unless we have literally lost all our limbs in a freak accident or have died, we’ll be there. But it’s worth knowing whether your photographer has access to a second shooter or is connected to other groups of photographers which they could access in an emergency?
7. When will I see my images after the wedding?
It’s definitely worth asking this and making a note of the date your photographer tells you. We totally appreciate that couples get told so much information from all their suppliers but emailing your photographer one week after your wedding asking to see photos when you’ve been told it will be 6 weeks isn’t the best move. Each photographer will have their way of doing things and will also be trying to get your photos to you as quick as possible (trust us!) So if you have these dates scheduled in your diary you won’t be checking your email every day wondering where they are, and it will certainly take the pressure off your photographer who will inevitably have 4 or 5 wedding edits on the go.
Also find out whether your photographer releases a couple of images early. We personally put one photo up on social media the day after the wedding and then a larger selection of about 20 1-2 weeks after that. This way we know our couples will get their wedding photo fix whilst we can carry on editing the rest.
Hopefully those tips will keep you prepared in meeting your wedding photographer and help you make the decision on whether they are right for you. If you’ve just got engaged and are wondering what else you should be thinking about, give our ‘ 5 bridal blogs every bride should be reading’ blog post a read to help start planning your day.