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46 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

Choosing a wedding photographer ranks up there are one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your wedding. Your photographer is going to capture the moment and the memories that you’ll want to be able to look back on for years and years to come.

You’ll also end up spending $1,000 to $3,000 on your photographer, so you need to make sure that you’re getting everything you want for your money. Be sure to have your budget for wedding photos already determined before meeting with photographers. This way you’ll know right away who has packages in your budget and who doesn’t.

You should also have an idea of what photography style you like. Classic or traditional style is the style that stands the test of time – the same style that you grandparents had with posed images and making ordinary things look beautiful. Lifestyle or photojournalistic style will look for moments that should be documented but photograph them artistically. Dramatic style often includes a lot of flash and lighting changes that add a very artistic flair to your photos. Artistic style does away with the traditional “look into the camera and smile” photos and instead looks for creative ways to capture the couple in Pinterest-worthy shots.





It’s best to meet your photographer in person, or on Skype at the very least, so you can get a feel for their personality and style. Never hire a person you’ve never met!

Also, be sure to read all the reviews, the good ones, and the bad ones. If you’re reading reviews on Facebook, you could even try to private message some of the reviews to ask if you can learn more about their experience and even see their wedding photos and how they turned out. Most people will be willing to share, whether they had a good experience or bad.

Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

1.) Are you available on my wedding date? This is an obvious question but very important to ask right up front. Unless you’re willing to change your wedding date so that you can get this photographer, you need not go any further with questions and move on to the next person.

2.) How far in advance do I need to book your services? You probably want to do your research and check out multiple photographers and get an idea of options and prices. If you end up wanting to go with this photographer, you need to know how soon you need to book with them.

3.) How many years have you been a photographer? You probably don’t want someone who’s only been doing this for a few months. The more experience they have the better and the better quality photos they will take.

4.) How many weddings have you photographed? Wedding photography is different than other types of photography. It’s important to know if your photographer has an eye for things that he or she knows you’ll want to remember from your wedding day.

5.) Have you ever photographed a wedding in my same wedding size and style? Every wedding different and they styles could change the way the images come out. The lighting may need to be different. There could be different complications or work around that need to happen with larger groups of people.

6.) What is your photography style? Some photographers shoot differently. Some are more traditional, others are more like photojournalism. Traditional photography focuses more on posed photos whereas photojournalistic photography focuses on the “as it’s happening” or storytelling photos. Knowing the differences will help you discuss your preferences to see if you and your photographer align.

7.) What is your work style? Do you envision a photographer that blends into the background and takes photos when you’re not even noticing? Or would you prefer a photographer who takes charge and organizes posed pictures and choreographed shots.

8.) What makes you different from other photographers? Don’t be afraid to ask this potential photographer to sell themselves. There are a lot of photographers out there and it’s good to know what makes this particular photographer better than anyone else out there.

9.) Can I view your portfolio? If they say they don’t have one, be worried. Your photographer should have some sort of portfolio unless they’re literally getting started. When looking at their portfolio, make sure that these photos were actually taken by them (not someone on their team) and that they are recent.

10.) Do you shoot in digital, film, or both formats? Both formats offer great quality pictures and most people can’t tell the difference. The reason you might want to ask is because film format takes a lot longer to process than the digital format.

11.) Do you shoot in color, black & white, sepia, etc? This may be an irrelevant question if your photographer shoots in digital format. Digital photos can be converted to black & white or sepia during the editing process.

12.) Can I provide a list of specific shots that we want? This is important to ask because you probably have a Pinterest board of wedding photography ideas that you would like to have.

13.) Is there any part of the day you won’t photograph? If you were hoping for your photographer to shot the entire morning as the girls get their hair and makeup done, you’ll be disappointed to find out if your photographer doesn’t do that. Be sure to ask ahead of time what part of the day they will and will not shoot.

14.) Can you make a slideshow of pictures to show during the reception? You may want to have old pictures and your engagement pictures put in a slideshow to display at your reception. It will save you a lot of time if you can have you photographer put these together. Make sure to ask if there is an extra fee for this.

15.) Can you put together a “same-day” slideshow of the ceremony? Some photographers will quickly take 30-40 pictures of the entire day through the recessional and create a slideshow to display at the reception. It becomes a discussion piece for guests as they relive the events of the day and how beautiful it was.

16.) What information do you need from me prior to the wedding day? You photographer may need to know your day-of plans so he or she can arrange to be where you are to take pictures. They may want to know the details of your venue to know where they will be shooting and what options they’ll have.

17.) Have you ever worked at my venue before? If your photographer is familiar with your venue, they’ll be better prepared for any restrictions or issues with lighting. They’ll also have a great idea on how to incorporate the venue’s architectural elements into your wedding photos. If they haven’t worked at your venue, you should ask them if they will be going ahead of time to preview the space.

18.) Have you ever worked with my other vendors? You may want to know if your photographer has worked with your florist, DJ, coordinator, cake baker, etc. Good relationships can help things go smoother and bad relationships could make things more complicated and stressful.

19.) Will you coordinate with my videographer? You’ll want to make sure that your photographer and videographer won’t be in each other’s way and they can work together. Ask your photographer if they recommend a videographer or if they have worked with the one you’ve already chosen.

20.) Will you provide a list of references? This is extremely helpful for hiring a photographer and if they hesitate to provide you with a list, you should hesitate to hire them. If they aren’t willing to provide a list, it probably indicates that they have people who aren’t pleased with their work. If they have an online presence, you should also check out their online reviews.

21.) Will you be photographing our wedding or will it be someone on your team? You have the right to know who will be documenting your wedding and to see their portfolio. If the person you are talking to is not the person who will be photographing your wedding, you should meet the person who will be.

22.) Will you have multiple photographers? Having multiple photographers capture different angles of your wedding day can provide big benefits. However, you do need to ask if there is an additional fee for this?

23.) What happens if you (or my designated photographer) gets sick or can’t do the job for some reason? Hopefully, your photographer has a backup plan in case something happens where he or she (or your designated photographer) can’t be there. Emergencies happen and there should be a plan B.

24.) Do you have backup equipment in case something breaks down? What happens if their camera breaks down, lighting stop working, or an accident happens? Do that have backup equipment to fall back on.

25.) Do you bring your own lighting? Some venues don’t require additional lightning but in other places it might be necessary. If your photographer doesn’t provide lighting, ask if they have a recommendation for where you might rent some.

26.) Are you photographing another event on the same day as our wedding? You don’t want a photographer that is rushing to get shots because they have other obligations that day. You also don’t want to take the chance that they will be late and not capture everything that you wanted.

27.) How will you and or your assistants be dressed? Your photographer(s) should blend into the crowd, not stand out like a sore thumb. Many photographers choose to dress in black clothing so as to blend into the crowd, but if you’re holding a casual theme, you may want to ask them to dress accordingly.

28.) Do you mind if other people take pictures while you’re also taking pictures? Some photographers might be annoyed with the flash of other cameras interfering with their shot. A lot of weddings like to have disposable cameras on the tables or ask people to share photos for their day with a wedding hashtag. Make sure that your photographer doesn’t have a problem with this.

29.) Our wedding will be at the beach (in a dark room, at sunset, in the woods, etc). Do you have experience with this type of atmosphere? Different locations can provide different challenges as far as lighting goes so it’s to ask up front if they have experience working in those conditions. Ask for examples of their work showing how they do.

30.) If my wedding site is out of your area, do you charge a travel fee and what does that cover? This is a key thing to know ahead of time so that there are no surprises in the end when you get the invoice. Your preferred photographer may only travel so many miles out before charging a trip fee.

31.) What time will you arrive at the site and for how long will you shoot? Your photographer may only agree to shooting your wedding and reception for a specified number of hours. Make sure you know what that is so that you can tell them what time to arrive and how long you want them to stay.

32.) If my event lasts longer than expected, will you stay? Is there an additional charge? It’s very possible that your photograph may charge overtime fees for having them stay longer than originally agreed upon. Make sure you know what those additional charges are if any.

33.) What packages do you offer? Most photographers have various packages that including things such as prints, editing, digital copies, etc. They also might have different time allotments and other features.

34.) Can I customize a package based on my needs? It might be helpful to pick different “a la cart” instead of a standard package based on whatever the the package includes. This could help you save costs.

35.) Do you include engagement photos in your packages? It’s really great when your photographer will include an engagement session with your package. This will give you some great pictures to use for your fa

36.) What type of album designs do you offer? Do you provide any assistance in creating an album? Many couples like to have their wedding photos combined into a custom album. Many photographers will already have specific designs available and will often make the album for you. Make sure to ask what the fee is for this.

37.) Do you provide retouching, color adjustment or other corrective services? Some photography packages include raw files only while others will include edited and retouched images that will be best for being printed. If you can get a package with edited photos, that will be the most time saving for you. Plus, your photographer will likely use expensive software to make your pictures look very nice.

38.) How long after the wedding will I get the proofs? Will they be viewable online or on a CD? Wedding photos take about 3-weeks on average to get back. However, each photographer quotes differently. You should also ask if you’ll get a flash drive, CD, or if the photographer keeps an online album that you’ll have access too.

39.) What type of paper will you use for the prints and album? There are many different qualities of paper and some are better than others. You should ask your photographer what type of paper your prints and album will come back as. Types of paper might be luster, glossy, matte, silk, metallic, or deep matte.

40.) What is the ordering process? Ask your photographer to explain how you should go about ordering prints if your package doesn’t already include certain sizes and quantities.

41.) Will you give me the negatives or the digital images, and is there a fee for that? Some photographers give you the opportunity to buy the negatives of your wedding shoot so that you can have them for years down the road if you want reprints. This usually comes at a premium cost due to the fact the photographers like to keep them for their own portfolios.

42.) When will I receive a written contract? You should not hire a photographer that will not provide a written contract. You need to have all the terms of your agreement in writing and in detail. Here is what you’re wedding photography agreement should contain:

  1. Name and contact info of both you and the photographer

  2. Name of the photographer(s) who will be shooting your wedding including the number of assistants, if applicable

  3. The correct date, the exact number of hours, starting time and specific addresses for every location your photographer will be expected to be at

  4. A detailed shot list you’ve agreed to ahead of time

  5. Number of cameras that will be used and which formats the photos will be taken in (digital, film or both)

  6. If shooting film, number of rolls to be shot, indicate if the film will be in color and/or black and white, type of film and cost per additional rolls

  7. Number of proofs you’ll receive, and how you’ll receive them (digital or hard copies)

  8. Date your proofs will be ready and how long they’ll be available to view online (if applicable)

  9. When and how you’ll receive your orders (albums/prints) and any other package or delivery fees

  10. The timing for breaks (so that your photographer(s) can take a break and eat – should be scheduled during dinner to avoid missing the dance floor shots)

  11. What you would like the photographer to wear (optional)

  12. Copyright details—who owns the rights to the photos, and if there are any restrictions on posting or distributing the photos on social media or elsewhere

  13. Non-disparagement clauses that prevent you from leaving negative reviews online

  14. Total itemized cost

  15. Travel fee, if applicable

  16. Overtime fee, if applicable

  17. Reorder price, if you decide to order additional prints later

  18. Deposit amount and date paid

  19. Remaining balance and due date

  20. Cancellation and refund policy

43.) How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due? Do you offer a payment plan? We all know that hiring a photographer is expensive and a payment plan might be more convenient. However, your photographer may offer a discount if you pay for everything in advance.

44.) What is your refund/cancellation policy? You never know what might happen and the reasons behind needing to cancel and get a refund. It could be something as simple as you found a better deal with someone else. The refund/cancellation policy is important to know and have in the back of you mind just in case.

45.) Do you have liability insurance? You never know what might happen and it’s important to find out if your photographer has insurance. Accidents happen and you want to make sure that the liability doesn’t fall back on your or your venue.

46.) What are the restrictions for sharing photos online or for publication? Do you own the copyright to the photos? Every photographer has their own stipulations and most of them will require that you leave their watermark on the photos that you share. It’s also important to ask them if they hold the copyright to distribute your pictures to magazines and other platforms.

Determining If Your Photographer Passes the Interview

Now that you’ve asked all the questions, what did you think. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you feel that you’re both envisioning the same style for your wedding day?

  2. Does the photographer have a good personality that will make working with very easy?

  3. Did you feel like they were hiding something as you were asking questions or did they answer is openness and confidence?

  4. Did they easily and openly provide you with reviews and samples of their work?

  5. Does their pricing reasonably fit within your budget? If not, will they consider going a la carte to bring the costs down?

  6. Do you feel confident that they are going to capture your happy day just the way you remember it?

If you were able to answer all these questions satisfactorily, you should consider hiring this person. If not, don’t be afraid to shop around and interview more photographers to get a feel for what is available. It’s not like you can’t come back to this photographer if they end up being the best you can find.

If you have more questions that you think should be added to this list, feel free to share them in the comments below!

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Hi, I’m Kristin. While I haven’t found my Prince Charming yet, I’ve been dreaming of getting married for a long long time. I started this site as a place to record all the things I’ve found and researched in preparation for my own wedding someday. I can’t wait to share it all with you!

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