As a wedding photographer myself, I work heavily in the industry, watching endless couples say, “I do,” every year. Since most of my brides don’t plan a wedding every weekend, I do my best to help my couples make educated decisions for their wedding day!
With engagement season upon us, I felt the best way to serve not only my couples, but all couples is to educate you on what I know so that you hire the very best vendors for the most important day of your life! Because cameras are my forte, I think the best place to start is with your wedding photographer!
An important thing to note is that most wedding photographers book their calendars out 10-12 months in advance, if not further, and are one of the first vendors contacted after an engagement! You can always reach out to see if they have your wedding date available in less notice, but the chances of booking your favorite photog goes down significantly.
But what happens once you’ve inquired and know they’re available? Here are my Top Five Topics to Ask your Wedding Photographer about before you book:
1. Consistent Editing Style
This is easily one of the most overlooked topics yet incredibly important. Consistent editing style refers to the cohesiveness of their photography portfolio. This means that all of their recent photo sessions should be able to be put in the same gallery or album and have the same colors and tones in every photo. Consistency conveys two things: trust with you and overall experience, so you know exactly what to expect when you receive your wedding gallery. You can test this before your meeting by checking out their portfolio, whether it is on Instagram or their website to see if you not only like the editing style, but that they all look cohesive. Once you are at your meeting, ask to see an engagement session and a wedding day to check that they look the same as their portfolio!
2. Camera Equipment
Since weddings are one of the most important days of your life, it is crucial to make sure your wedding photographer has the equipment to capture your day properly. I suggest at least two cameras and two lenses, but make sure you ask if they’re full frame! While it does not necessarily mean they need to have the latest or most expensive model, it is an important question to ask (even if you have no idea what a full frame camera is)! All you need to know is that these cameras will allow for high resolution photos so you can print them as big as you’d like and maintain great quality!
We all have to start somewhere, right? It’s incredibly true of any profession, but when it comes to documenting weddings, there are ways for a new-bee photographer to gain knowledge and experience, even if they did not book the couple themselves! Ask how many weddings they have booked, or if they haven’t yet, ask if they have second-shot for another photographer. Second shooting means that your photographer assisted another (usually more experienced) photographer on a wedding day to see how to best capture and serve a couple, gaining knowledge and experience in order for them to do it on their own. If they’ve only second shot weddings, I would make sure they have done it at least four times and have several portrait sessions to show their work!
4. Photo Delivery
How you will receive your wedding photos is one of the most important things to understand about your photographer because it will differ depending on the person. Options range from a full online gallery with print release, to buying each photo individually in digital or print form. Regardless of how they deliver, make sure you are happy with it, and ask if the photos/gallery is included in the wedding package! If it’s not, make sure you review the cost of the deliverables as well! This decision is completely up to you and what you’e comfortable with, just make sure you know the answer so you aren’t surprised or disappointed after your wedding day!
Like photo delivery, professionalism is another topic that is subjective from couple to couple. However, make sure your photographer has a contract and review it carefully!! Unfortunately, there are wedding horror stories about photographers who receive the deposit and disappear, and you need to make sure that isn’t you! Make sure their contract includes your wedding date, a list of what is included in the package you’re investing in, when and how you’ll receive your deliverables, and make sure both of you sign it. The contract is not only to protect the photographer, but to protect you and your treasured photos.
Once they check all the boxes, the only question left is if they are the right fit for you! Your wedding day is one of the biggest moments in your lifetime, and while I can’t make the final decision for you, hopefully this helped you to feel confident in your choice!