Wedding photography isn’t the same stiff, posed experience it used to be. In the 60’s and 70’s, wedding photography had this incredible feeling of nostalgia, intimacy, and reality. In the most recent years, social media and the internet age has shifted the expectations of wedding images from meaningful candids to perfectly composed images worthy of magazines. No matter what style of photography you’re looking for, knowing the right questions to ask the photographer will help you in determining if they’re the best fit for you (all while keeping your investment into photography safe). Here’s the 7 questions to ask your wedding photographer to help determine if they’re a good fit for you.
1. What is your style? Are you more composed or candid?
Many photographers fall on a spectrum somewhere between posed and candid, but they’re ultimately better at one over the other. Ask your potential wedding photographer about their style, and if they ultimately had to choose, which they’d prefer – composed or candid. Make sure their answer aligns with your values and the types of images you’re hoping to receive.
2. What are important policies for me to know?
Sometimes while reading a contract an important piece of information can be missed. Ask your photographer the big picture, important policies to remember, so you can take note of them.
3. What happens if you can’t make our event?
This became especially relevant in 2020 when photographers couldn’t make multiple weddings because of COVID. Ask your potential photographer what the procedure is if they can’t make your event, whether it’s pandemic related or something simple like an illness or injury. Do they send a replacement photographer? Do you receive your full balance back? Make sure you love their policy before signing on the line.
4. Do you photograph everything? Is there anything you don’t photograph?
I’ve worked alongside dozens of photographers, and many of them have certain things they don’t photograph. Tears, anything unhappy, anything tense, etc – things that wouldn’t be perceived as joyous or “worthy” of existing at a wedding day.
Ask your potential photographer: what do you put your camera down for? What types of things do you typically not photograph? Make sure that if you want the full range of emotion in your images, that your photographer will capture that for you.
5. What happens if you’re late on delivering our images, prints, etc?
Life happens to everyone. If a photographer is going to be late delivering items to you, they should definitely communicate that to you.
But furthermore, ask them what they’d do to make a poor situation right. This policy may be outlined in your contract, but it’ll help to know in advance what they do when they fall behind, and whether you like their procedure as such.
What they choose to do in a situation like this also says a lot about how they’ll take care of you as a client. If a photographer gives themselves no repercussions for when things go haywire, you may find yourself in a situation in the future with no resolve. These are essential questions to ask a wedding photographer to keep you and your partner protected in a worse-case scenario.
6. What are you like on a wedding day?
You may think that you know the answer to this question by looking at a portfolio, but the answer is bigger than the images a photographer creates. Are they calm at weddings? Are they high-strung? Do they dance with you and your family, or stay on the sidelines of the action? Do they help your timeline stay on task, or will they let things unfold as they do, with no interference? Ask them what it’s truly like to have them present with you, and consider if their response will be conducive to your environment.
7. What is your biggest goal in photographing our wedding?
Some photographers are great at capturing editorial style images, some are great at honing in on the people and the interactions, other are great at creating stress-free environments. Ask your potential photographer what their biggest goal is in photographing your event and you’ll have some insight into what they’ll focus on the most at your event.
Save this list of questions to ask your wedding photographer to prepare for the consultations you’re going to have in 2021.
Have you found the photographer of your dreams? These essential questions to ask your wedding photographer will help make sure you found the perfect fit. Still searching for the one? Reach out and let’s talk about your dream photographs, and how together we can create them.
Hey! I'm Makayla, a wedding photojournalist based in Duluth, MN and Saint Paul, MN.
I believe that stories are best told untouched, undirected, and with intentionality and meaning.
This blog is a space to share advice for couples about weddings, advice for photographers about witnessing events with intention, and steps to create decisions based on your values and what matters most to you.
Grab your favorite beverage, pull up a chair, and let's get to know each other.
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