6 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer Before Hiring Them
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and capturing the memories is paramount. A skilled photographer can help you relive the magic of your wedding day through their artistry and expertise...but with so many talented photographers out there, it can be difficult to choose the right one. That's why it's essential to ask the right questions before signing the contract.
Wedding photography requires a specific set of skills and expertise. You want to make sure that your photographer can deliver high-quality images that capture the essence of your special day. The right photographer will also help you feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera, which will help you look your best in the photos!
To help you choose the perfect photographer for your wedding day, here are six questions to ask before hiring them. These questions will not only help you determine the photographer's experience and skill set, but also help you get a sense of their personality and overall vibe.
Question 1: What is your photography style?
Every photographer has their own unique style.
Some photographers may prefer a classic, traditional approach, while others may take a more artistic, documentary, or contemporary approach. Some prioritize candids, others focus on the posed, and some photographers emphasize both. It's essential to understand their shooting style and ensure that it aligns with your vision for your wedding photos.
What you see on your photographer's website and social media should be a good example of what type of editing they will bring to your final gallery. Different editing styles can be moody, dark, light, warm, bright, airy, classic, grainy, true-to-life, saturated, monochrome, and so many more. The list is endless. Photography truly is an art so the limit definitely doesn't exist on the number of editing styles.
Chances are, if you reached out to a photographer because you liked their photos, you already gravitated toward a specific shooting or editing style! Being able to identify what exactly it is about a photographer's photos that you like is super helpful during your vetting process of finding the right person to spend your wedding day with.
Question 2: WHat is your wedding photography experience?
Like I mentioned earlier, wedding photography requires a specific set of skills. If you break it down, a wedding photographer has to be skilled in AT LEAST five different types of photography...
1. Couples and romantic photography
2. Family photography
3. Event photography
4. Details, landscape, and floral photography
5. Night time and flash photography
Wedding photographers also must have the ability to anticipate and capture fleeting moments, work in low-light conditions (this is very challenging for capturing crisp and clear photos), and manage large groups of people. Make sure your photographer has ample experience shooting weddings and can provide you with examples of their work!
Question 3: Can you send me a full wedding Gallery?
Speaking of which... it's easy for a photographer to showcase their best work on their website or social media. However, it's essential to see a full wedding album to get a sense of the photographer's consistency and overall quality of work. Don't be shy... ask for a full wedding gallery from any of your potential photographers!
Question 4: Can we have a second photographer?
Having a second photographer or 'second shooter' as we call them in the biz, can be invaluable on your wedding day. They can capture additional angles, help with crowd control, and be in places the primary photographer can't get to.
Question 5: What is the turnaround time for delivering our full Wedding gallery?
Wedding photos are something you will cherish for a lifetime, so it's essential to know how long it will take for you to receive them. As a general standard in the wedding industry, most (not all) wedding photographers take at least four to eight weeks to deliver a wedding gallery. Some photographers offer a sneak peek within a certain amount of time after your wedding date so you can have something to look forward to during the time they are editing your photos! Be sure you know what your photographer's turnaround time is so you can manage your (and your excited friends and family's) expectations fairly.
Question 6: We are so uncomfortable on camera...Can you help us look & Feel normal?
Being in front of the camera can be nerve-wracking, but a good photographer will help you relax and have fun! Make sure they're committed to making your experience as enjoyable as possible. In my opinion, if you ask this question... you will get a pretty good feeling for how relatable your photographer is as a human because at some point, we are ALL uncomfortable on camera.
I wrote this in a different blog post that you can read here but I think it's important so I will say it again...
If you are truly serious about inquiring with a photographer, the good ones won't just say 'yes' to everyone. Just like you are searching for your 'perfect' wedding photographer, I am also searching for my 'perfect' wedding clients. And what might be perfect for me, might not be perfect for you... and what might be perfect for you might not be perfect for me! Finding that ideal Bride/Groom/Photographer match where everyone vibes with personality, budget, style, venue, and experience is the dream! This goes way beyond wedding photography, but here it is...not everyone is for everyone. Not every wedding photographer and couple are going to be a perfect match, and that is A-OK. That is, dare I say, the spice of life. Amirite?
The bottom line is...I want to do the absolute best job that I can to capture your wedding day. Truthfully, your client experience is the MOST important part of my entire business. It is my responsibility to put all of us in the very best position to succeed... and that means knowing you, loving you, and deeply understanding your wedding vision. I simply can't get a feel for any of those through an online contact form.
Remember, your wedding photographer is there to capture your special day, so don't be afraid to ask questions and have fun with the process! With these questions in mind, you'll be sure to find a photographer who is the perfect person to document your wedding day. Good luck!
Jen Bauer is a jewel of a photographer. She really is one of a kind and so talented. We hired her for our wedding and we had the best experience before, during, and after the event. She is incredibly professional, adaptable, and just plain fun to be around! She made us laugh during our portrait sessions and the whole thing felt so natural. We were so pleased with our gallery, we've hung photos all around our house, and have gifted them to family and friends. If you want an authentic photography experience (and to meet one of the coolest people there is), then Jen Bauer is your girl!