In order to assist in your search for the perfect wedding photographer, we’ve made a list of about 100 questions wedding photographers to narrow down your perfect match.
It’s important to note that you should only be meeting with photographers you are serious about hiring. There are a few ways to figure out if their work is a perfect fit for you:
The absolute most important thing you will ask, is the question you should be asking yourself. Do I love the work I’ve seen by this wedding photographer? Is it a trend/fad and will my tastes change over time? Can I see this as a timeless style that I will love in ten years? Do I prefer light and airy or dark and moody photographers? Or neither! Really take a few days and browse through their online albums and Instagram posts and highlights.
If you’re having a hard time finding samples of their work, it is a red flag. It probably means they haven’t done much work and this is the first sign of a newer or amateur photographer. This isn’t to say that any new photographer is going to be a bad choice. But what if they do not have samples of their work and only provide “inspiration?” Then you are risking an equivalent of those Pinterest fails. What I expected vs. what I got.
This goes beyond their work and really dives into their online persona. Do you like the way they speak in their website copy? Does it speak to you? If you and your significant other swear like a sailor and want someone you can banter back and forth with, does this seem like the rad photographer you’ll connect with? You may be needing someone professional and poised on your wedding day. You can tell a lot from someone from their website and social media. We recommend going through their pages as a couple. Then, decide if this is someone you’d choose to hang out with for a day.
It’s not necessary for a photographer to have thirty five star reviews. They should at least provide a place for couples to leave reviews so you can ensure there are no unexplained poor ones. Make sure they are open and transparent, and not in the business of hiding important information.
Or do you want to stretch the budget so they can be in it? We’ve had so many couples who base their entire wedding around the photographer of their dreams. If this is a priority for you, prioritize the wedding photographer first.
Click here to view our blog post on why it is important to invest in your wedding photographer.
100 Questions to ask your wedding photographer: Master List
The first questions to ask your wedding photographer.
Without further ado, here is the full list of interview questions in no particular order. Some of these questions may not be a priority for you and that’s ok! As long as you’re aware of them, that’s the important part. We also don’t recommend sending this list to photographers in your area asking for an essay response. This information should be accessible from the wedding photographer’s website. It’s left to your discretion what you’d like to add.
If the photographer does not have your date available, there will be no need for any other questions. If hiring the photographer is extremely important to you, you may want to consider reaching out to the venue. See if you can move your date to accommodate the wedding photographer’s availability.
It is important to book your photographer immediately after booking your venue. The first two vendors you set in place should be the wedding photographer and venue. Ask your photographer how far in advance you will need to book. This will help you understand their busy schedule and how early you will need to book your date.
This is a better question than “how much do you charge?” because odds are, their prices vary greatly based on the number of hours booked, location, add-ons, etc. It will give you a good idea of pricing while
This question is not suggested. But it doesn’t hurt as one of the questions to ask wedding photographers! Especially with social media, photographers often run “specials” or discounts that include a free engagement session. This is a certain percentage off the wedding package, or an added freebie. For example, we are running a 20% off discount on all wedding packages booked before the end of the year.
This question may not matter to you if you love their work. There are extremely talented, newer photographers out there, and asking this question could just draw attention to an illusion of inexperience. I would recommend sending this question to the back burner unless you want to ask in order to decide if they have a reliable history with clients.
Again, this is another question that may not be the most important out of the bunch. You want to know that they show up to weddings, have a good client relationship, and can be named as reliable. But the better question to ask would be the next one!
Transparency is key when hiring a wedding photographer. Hopefully they will offer public reviews and forums so it’s clear they are not hiding anything. Read through the reviews, make sure there are no red flags that stand out, and make your decision based on the history of their company.
If you’re having a unique wedding, one of the questions to ask wedding photographers they offer customized or “build your own” wedding packages. If they do, you can cut costs on the frivolous, unnecessary bits of the package and add in what really matters to you. That may be extra hours, an additional portrait or boudoir session, or even a few extra photo prints.
You will have to make the judgement call yourself, if the photographer has a personality that you vibe with, but asking them to describe their personality isn’t a bad idea. You can see how they self-evaluate and decide if you connect with their assessment.
I cannot stress how important knowing what your photographer’s attitude is like on a wedding day. Their sweet demeanor could turn aggressive the minute they feel stressed. You want to make sure the person standing next to you all day on the biggest day of your life, is going to add to the experience and not taint it.
Wedding photographers need to be good at stress management. It’s a requirement. Weddings are stressful and that stress gets projected onto wedding photographers. If I was asking this to my potential wedding photographer, I’d be looking for an answer that maintains they thrive under pressure.
This is important if you have family members or friends that love to drink and get a little sloppy when they do. The photographer being able to leave if they feel uncomfortable is usually a staple in a contract. It is a great clause but make sure you’re on the same page about what “uncomfortable” means.
You want to hire a wedding photographer that’s going to show up, respond, and be there for you. After reviewing the questions to ask wedding photographers hopefully you’ll be able to gauge their response time. Hopefully, if you hire the right person, you’re also hiring a friend that’s going to give you advice with wedding planning, listen to your stress breakdowns and essentially be an extra person to talk to when your friends are sick of talking about wedding planning. Find out how they respond and if that will remain consistent.
Wedding photographers should tell you the deposit amount when you are getting ready to sign the contract. Keep in mind that deposits are non-refundable. Most wedding photographers will charge a minimum of 25% deposit in order to hold your date. This number can be as high as 50%.
The answer is usually no, but this information should be in the contract. If it’s not, it should be added in to cover both you and the photographer. Before the contract is signed, make sure you are both on the same page.
Not only do you want to ask when the final amount is due, but if they will remind you when it is! If you forget to pay the final deposit amount, make sure they are the type of photographer who will reach out and request that money. It is sometimes written in a contract that if not paid fully, the photographer will not show up for the wedding at all. And trust me, it’s easy to forget when it’s getting close to the wedding day and you’ve got a million other things on your mind. This is why it’s one of the important questions to ask wedding photographers.
Your wedding photographer should offer engagement photography, as they go hand in hand. If they don’t, you may want to ask their reasoning behind this. Engagement photography is equivalent to a makeup trial. It’s essential for understanding how you will work with your photographer and if you like the photos they produce of you.
Sometimes this is a fun addition to your wedding package! If you’re not interested in boudoir photos, skip past this one. If you’re looking for a gift that will spice up the wait before the wedding, this is a perfect keepsake.
If your photographer doesn’t offer videography, they may have recommendations for the best wedding videographers in the area. Asking this as one of the questions for wedding photographers can help save you time searching for a videographer!
Imagine the day of your wedding, you expected one photographer to show up and instead, there’s a van full of people looking more like a production team. Maybe it’s a good thing! But you would have at least liked to have known. Asking how many people they’ll be bringing prepares you for the day so there’s no “unknowns.”
The answer is likely yes, wedding photography assistants will need meals. Check with your photographer beforehand to make sure you’re on the same page and plan accordingly.
Photographers reserve the rights to your images. You are often not able to submit your wedding to any blogs or magazines without their explicit consent. This should be discussed beforehand because they will likely require you to ensure the magazine offers full credit to the photographer.
If you were going to be in a wedding magazine, wouldn’t you want to know? Depending on your level of comfortability, work this out beforehand. After you sign the contract, they own the photos they take of you and can use them any way they’d like.
Photographers should, without hesitation, say yes. Their number one goal should be making you happy as a client and not worrying about marketing to future clients to an extent that sully’s your relationship.
This is often a harder one to negotiate, but the answer should still be yes. It’s a major red flag if a photographer refuses to keep your photos private as they are not looking out for your best interest anymore. As difficult as it is for photographers to not share their work, sometimes it needs to be done.
Some photographers have an add-on option for a photobooth. I would recommend comparing their photobooth to professional stand alone photo booth companies, because the quality is often better from those designated photo booth companies.
If they do have photobooth add-ons, you want to know exactly what you’re getting! Is it an actual booth? A station set up with a table and props? Will there be someone there to man the camera or is it automated? Figure out what you’re paying for so you’re not left disappointed on your wedding day.
Props make photo booths so much fun, and they will be provided by whoever you hire. Make sure to find out what type of props they’ll be bringing and if you will need to supply any of your own.
How many hours your wedding photographer will shoot for should be detailed in your contract, depending on the package you choose. If it is not, you should definitely find out. A “full day of wedding photography” to your photographer may mean only 6 hours. If your timeline is for 9 hours, this could create problems.
This goes hand in hand with knowing how long the photographer plans to stay. We tend to snap a few dance photos and then pack up, letting you enjoy the rest of your night. After all, there are only so many dance photos you can get. But if those are a priority, express that to your photographer!
Most photographers do not attend the rehearsal dinner and if they do, it’s an extra fee. If you’d like your photographer at the rehearsal dinner, book it early because the date may fill up.
You should not need to provide dinner for your wedding photographer at the rehearsal dinner. This is because the event is only a couple of hours. You should provide your wedding vendors with a meal if they are photographing an event that’s over 5 hours.
The worst feeling is to book a vendor, settle on a price, then find out about hidden fees later. Be transparent up front. If you plan on switching locations, come to an agreement with your wedding photographer to find out if travel will cost extra.
If you need a payment plan, you can ask your photographer if it’s something they offer. Odds are, they will be able to work with you if their deposit is higher than you’re able to pay!
If you choose to add on additional hours at a later date, the price may increase. Make sure the prices will remain the same and you can upgrade your package later without being hit with price increases.
There should be a plan in place if the wedding runs over the amount of hours agreed upon. For example, we tell clients beforehand that when our time is up, we approach you and tell you that we are going to begin packing up. We have an hourly fee and it must be paid at that time via Venmo for us to stay.
Why does your photographer feel they stand out? If they don’t know why you should book them, you probably won’t either. So ask them! See what they say and see if their reason speaks to you.
Your photographer may have a completely unique answer. Prices vary due to the CODB or “cost of doing business.” Depending on the photographer’s gear, monthly subscriptions, liability insurance, and other costs, their price reflects the level of professionalism they will display.
Will your photographer take getting ready photos? Make sure you understand when they will show up.
This information should be in the contract. If it’s not, ask them before booking. If you choose to move your wedding or circumstances change, you want to know that it won’t double the price.
Even if you love candid photos and artistic captures, you still want that picture that your parents will hang above their fireplace mantle! Make sure you’re getting a wide variety of images so you’re not left missing anything.
There is no “right answer” if you love their work. You want to make sure they have a range of gear to capture every moment. Ask them if they have a second body and use both throughout the day for different types of photos.
Not only will you need to know this for meal purposes, but also to understand how many images you’ll be receiving. Having a second photographer increases the angles and variety of photos, and increases the number of total delivered images.
Many photographers will say no, as they want to create art on your wedding day. Getting it in your mind that your photos will look like an inspiration photo can bring disappointment. Some photographers though, us included, love looking at your pinterest boards. It gives us a sense of the type of posing and emotion that’s important to you.
You want to know that you’re investing in a specific photographer, and unless something drastic were to happen, that’s the person you’ll be spending the day with. Some companies offer a discount but send any photographer that’s available the day of. You don’t want a stranger at your wedding, you want someone you’ve gotten to know and trust.
This question we find mildly pointless, but maybe you’ll find worth in it! No matter if there’s 300 guests or 10, we are close to the couple the entire day capturing their movements and emotions. We may have to shove past some people to get the best reception shots, but that’s really the only difference. If you’re concerned about large family photos, just make sure to set expectations with your photographer from day one.
Seeing highlights are great, but seeing a fully wedding gallery really gives you an idea of what your finished album will look like. It tells a story of the day.
If they haven’t, it’s not a big deal. As photographers, we shoot at new venues constantly and we usually go beforehand to scout the best locations.
If the photographer has shot at your wedding venue, ask to see those photos!
You want to make sure your photographer knows how to counteract harsh light, or darkness in a reception hall. They may prefer natural light, but make sure they have a flash as backup just in case.
Sometimes, space is limited at a ceremony space or reception hall. If you’re at all concerned about the amount of gear they’ll be bringing, ask them early on so you can be prepared to provide a place for them to store it during the wedding.
How your photographer dresses for weddings can actually be a really important thing to know. Let’s say your event is black tie. Your photographer comes in ripped jeans and a crop top. Whose eyes will the guests be on?
Hopefully your photographer is flexible, but deciding if their attire is make it or break it is really up to you.
Even if the photographer does not require a meal, you should still provide one if the wedding is any longer than 5 hours. Wedding photographers are constantly on their feet, running around all day. It’s a nice gesture to provide them with food and a place to sit while everyone else is eating.
Wedding photographers will need a place to sit, but usually this is away from guests or in the kitchen. Don’t worry about placing them at the same table as friends and family, unless you feel comfortable doing so.
Hopefully your wedding photographer will know what to do in a situation where the ceremony takes place in a dark room, but if you are getting married in the dark there’s no way your photographer will be able to make that photo light. It’s important to not have unrealistic expectations going into it, if you don’t care for artificial light during your ceremony.
The average wedding photographer provides 50 photos per hour for a single shooter, but it varies depending on their shooting style and if there are additional photographers present. This number reduces drastically if you hire a film photographer as they focus on quality over quantity.
Many wedding photographers do not offer a personal printing license. Be sure to check the contrac to make sure you can print your own photos if you don’t plan to buy prints.
Ordinarily, retouching is not included in photography packages and requires a separate fee. It’s good to know your options beforehand, in case you are in need of retouching once the photos are delivered.
We charge $25 per photo for basic retouching, but the fee could vary depending on the severity of retouching needed. Check with your photographer beforehand if you are concerned about something specific that may need intense post editing.
Most photographers have a signature style and do not change their editing style based on client preference. When you hire a photographer, you are hiring them for their style and based upon loving the work in their portfolio. Remember, your images will likely match the style they display in their portfolio.
This varies photographer to photographer, so make sure expectations are set beforehand! You may be waiting a few months to even see one photo.
If they do give sneak peaks, how long will you have to wait for them? Find out what the timeline is.
The average wedding photographer delivers galleries within 6-8 weeks, but I’ve seen this number as much as 16-20 weeks. Be clear in communication about when you need images back, because once you sign the contract there will not be wiggle room without hefty fees.
Having an online gallery is great, but will they be delivering a CD or USB as well?
If you’ll be receiving a USB keepsake box, it’s great to know beforehand so you don’t plan to purchase any or put together one for yourself. Some photographers offer additional boxes for parents and in-laws which make excellent gifts!
Although you can usually see what a photographer’s editing style is from their wedding portfolio, it is always nice to see how the photographer evaluates themselves and describes their own style. The more you can speak to your photographer to get an idea of the way they carry themselves and details about their personality, the better.
Many photographers are serious about their art and will not change it in any way once delivered. If you need a photographer with flexibility, ask them beforehand what happens if you receive your gallery and are unhappy with the way the photos turned out. Even if their answer is not what you were hoping to hear, open communication often clears up doubts and worries you may have.
If your photographer is willing to re-edit photos you don’t care for the style of, ask how much it is going to cost. It’s always good to know fees up front so you can plan for the worst case scenario.
You want to feel protected, knowing that if you were to lose everything in a data crash or house fire, your photographer has an option to recover those images. Many will provide a recovery option at a fee, which is completely fine. That fee goes towards paying for the long term storage they need in order to keep those photos for you.
Galleries are usually available for six months to a year before taken down, and photos are only stored on a hard drive. It’s important to ask in case your photographer only leaves them up for a month or two and you need to download them immediately.
There was a time when no camera had dual card slots, and dating back to the film ages, if that roll of film was ruined then wedding photos were as well. It is not necessary for your photographer to have dual SD card slots, but if you want that extra protection, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Most wedding photographers do not offer refundable deposits. This is not only due to the cost of doing business, but the fact that once a couple books a date, that date is not able to be offered to other couples and they lose out on potential wedding bookings.
It’s just good to know and such a relevant choice of questions to ask wedding photographers! Especially this year with the pandemic.
If they have a backup they use regularly, you might want to check out their work! Even if they send another photographer, they will most likely still be editing the photos and they should share a similar style to what they would have been.
This might not matter to you, if they outsource their editing. Personally, I like knowing that my photographer created art from start to finish. They captured the moment, in the perfect lighting, then took it into their editing software and color graded it with attention and care. It’s a personal preference. If you don’t mind, then this may be of low priority out of the list of questions to ask wedding photographers.
If your wedding photographer edits their own photos, you want to make sure they won’t outsource both the photography and editing. In the case of a photography outsource, you don’t even know who you’re hiring to capture the most important day of your life!
Some photographers thrive in locations they haven’t visited, but if they do plan to visit the venue before your big day, it might give you peace of mind to know they’ve walked the grounds and scouted the best areas.
Asking the hard questions to wedding photographers is important. They might not love it but they should understand it’s coming from a place of preparation. Knowing that the wedding photographer hired is prepared for the worst case scenario is key. If their camera dies on the wedding day, you want to know they’ve got another one ready to use.
Many venues require liability insurance, but it’s also good for peace of mind to know you’re hiring a professional photographer who is legitimate and covered.
If their contract is well written, it covers not only the photographer, but the client as well. It allows you to know what you’re signing is a legal binding document that is helpful to both parties.
It’s a compliment to tag your photographer in social media posts and tell your friends about the great experience you had with them, but did you know it is sometimes required by contract? Make sure by asking questions to see if you are required to tag wedding photographers in your social media images!
The wedding photographer you’re hiring has probably worked many weddings, with a wide array of vendors. If you need ideas for the best wedding vendors in your area, ask your wedding photographer! They have firsthand experience.
It’s worth asking if your photographer offers any wedding planning resources, because many have educational material that is essential to planning a wedding with ease! Check out our free wedding planning guide if you’re just getting started.
If you’re not sure where to get quality prints and albums from, your photographer may offer package options to do this service for you.
If you’re not able to order prints and albums from your photographer, there are plenty of print companies out there with varying quality!
A professional wedding photographer doesn’t use shutterfly, they use professional printing services and personally design your album to tell the story of your wedding day. If it’s important to you to have a wedding album, make sure they offer this service.
Asking wedding photographers their print and album pricing is especially important as far as questions go, if you do not have a printing license in your contract. If your photographer only offers expensive luxury prints and albums, then you may be overpaying for an item you wanted a cheap version of.
Majority of photographers will not offer raws at any price. Some photographers may offer raw images for a fee. For a full wedding, our raw files are $3000 additional. If having the raw photos is important to you, ask them if they have this option.
Even if they offer raw photos, make sure you know the price beforehand! Usually, they are not cheap because they are giving up creative licensing.
In most cases, you are not allowed to add a filter or alter the image in any way because it violates your copyright agreement. Make sure you know your rights before posting!
In most cases, the photographer retains full copyright to the photos and it would be illegal to have someone else edit them in any way. This includes body edits and retouching.
Your photographer may offer some fun add-ons. For example, we offer a day before option in our packages where we follow couples around on their destination adventures the day before the wedding. Ask wedding photographers the questions like do you have anything fun and different for me!
Some couples like to put out a sign for guests that explain it’s an unplugged ceremony. If you are someone who prefers guests to be completely present, this might be a good thing to discuss with your photographer. Otherwise, it could be in the contract that no guest is allowed to take photos and this is also an important detail to know
The question is, do you want guests to take pictures during your ceremony? Talk to your wedding photographer about this and if they are ok with your guests snapping phone or even professional pictures during the wedding. Sometimes these questions can start a conversation with wedding photographers.
The answer will almost always be no, and if your photographer allows you to hire an additional photographer, it may be a red flag regarding their professionalism in the industry.
Last but not least, ask your photographer what information they’ll need from you! They should be asking about guest count, the venue, what family photos are most important, if you feel uncomfortable taking photos, your timeline, important shots. They should have wedding related questions and personal questions to ask you because this is a two-way street! It’s the process of getting to know one another and making sure you’re the perfect fit.
Trust your instincts. Obviously, you won’t ask any wedding photographers everything on this list, but it gives you an idea of some of the categories and questions that may hold weight and importance! The contract your wedding photographer gives you really should cover many of these, so look there first for information and even red flags.
Now that you’ve asked the difficult questions, find out why photographers charge so much!