Justine Milton Photography

16 Questions To Ask Your Photographer Before Booking

Planning a wedding is hard stuff – and meeting with countless suppliers can have you feeling a little clueless. We decided to make things a little easier for you, once a month we’ll be sharing the essential questions you need to ask before deciding who’s right for your big day.

We’re kicking off with photographers, so jot a few of these down to prepare ahead of your first meeting.

Justine Milton Photography

Can We View Your Portfolio?

A simple question, but without a doubt the most important! You aren’t going to book a photography service without viewing their previous work. Any professional worth their salt will come to your first meeting thoroughly prepared. That means examples of previous work, all relevant information and their business card with contact details.

Check Out Their Website & Social Media

A website speaks a thousand words in our opinion. Within seconds of landing on your photographer’s homepage, you’ll be able to get a feel of their style, if they’ve kept up-to-date with trends and their eye for detail.

It’s also wise to turn detective and search for their presence on social media. Over 50 per cent of couples book a supplier based on social media alone! Your photographer’s Facebook page or Instagram account will allow you to nose about and see their following, recent weddings or reviews from previous couples.

How Long Have Your Been A Photographer & What Percentage Of Your Work Covers Weddings?

Believe it or not, there are rogues who will do anything for a quick buck. A large sum of your hard-earned cash is at stake, don’t be ashamed to be cautious when it comes to reviewing suppliers. Weddings are a completely different affair to the standard photo shoot. Ensure there are reputable recommendations and a reasonable amount of weddings booked with your photographer each year to demonstrate their experience in the field.

What Is Your Signature Style?

Loving the photographer’s signature style is a must. If you aren’t enamoured with their examples, chances are you won’t be happy with your album. Research before your first meeting and decide whether you prefer a natural style with lots of sunlight, fun poses or black and white images.

Are Your Images Retouched?

A bit of nip and tuck won’t do any damage. But, judge from previous examples if your photographer has been a little over-generous with Photoshop. After all, you will want to look natural and let your bridal beauty shine through.

How Many Hours Does Your Service Cover?

Will your photographer be present while you get ready on the morning of your big day and stay until after the first dance? Or does your package only cover from the ceremony until the speeches? You will need to consider your budget and shot list when deciding if you’re willing to pay for the extra hours of coverage.

Will There Be A Second Shooter? Is This An Extra Cost?

Something many couples forget, the second shooter is just as important as the main photographer. While you’re busy walking up the aisle and smiling for the camera, the second shooter will be strategically placed to capture the emotion on your partner’s face. Basically, every angle you could think of will be covered thanks to this miracle duo.

Should We Go Unplugged?

A smartphone ban will be music to your photographer’s ears! Ask if this will make their job easier on the day and from their experience, will going unplugged impact the finished product.

Is Video Included?

Your photographer may also specialize in video and offer special packages if you opt for both. If not, they may be able to recommend a trusted videographer and provide a discount if both services are booked for your wedding.

Have You Shot At Our Location Before?

This will be a distinct advantage as your potential photographer will know your venue well – areas with the best lighting, what will or won’t work and the stunning backdrops available. If they aren’t familiar with your wedding location, ask if they will scout the space ahead of your wedding. This way everything will run smoothly and precious time won’t be wasted on the day itself.

Will You Be Shooting Our Wedding Or Someone Else On Your Team?

So, you’ve built up a good rapport with your photographer. Don’t forget to ask if they will be the one actually shooting your wedding. Not only will you be disappointed if another member of the team shows up, but if you’re camera shy, this could have a direct impact on your comfort levels.

Can We Put Together A Shot List?

Most brides-to-be will know exactly what they want for their wedding – and that includes a precise list of moments to be captured on camera! Ask your photographer will they sit down at a future point and discuss including your wishlist to the general happenings on the day. These will include family photo requests, first looks and all those little details.

What Is Included In Our Package?

Ask your photographer to explain in detail the remits of your package. Will you receive an album or USB stick? Are mini books for your parents included? This will allow you to budget for any extras.

Can You Take Us Through The Payment Plan & Contract Agreement?

How much is the deposit, when must the final installment be paid and what payments are accepted? Keeping track of all your supplier fees will have your head spinning! Organisation and knowing what’s involved is key before signing on the dotted line.

Is There Room For Special Provisions In Our Contract?

If there are personal circumstances that could have a direct effect on your special day, be sure to discuss this with each supplier. Explain the situation and ask if a special provision can be added to your contract in the event of an emergency.

How Long Will We Be Waiting For Our Photos Afterwards?

Patience is a virtue. But, it’s pretty hard after arriving back from your honeymoon dying to reminisce the memories from your special day. At least if you have a time-frame in mind, it might help ease the pain of waiting.

Image Credit: Justine Milton Photography via Once Wed.

Ciara Moore

Ciara Moore is the Blog Editor & Social Media Manager at WeddingDates HQ. Anything you want to know about weddings and what is on trend - she's your woman!

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