What questions should I ask my wedding photographer?
I’ve had this same, rather odd experience, many times over the years. I catch up with a couple over coffee, they book my services for their wedding and then one or both turn to me and say, “what else should we ask you?”. It’s at this point that I relax back with them and tell them the story of how their day and the month before their wedding should play out.
I get it, they’re new to this and I’m clearly not. Five hundred and twenty two weddings under my belt (thus far) have provided a fair amount of experience.
Right now though they aren’t asking what gear I use, if I bring an assistant or what their album choices are. They want to know that someone has their back and will walk them through every possible crisis that may occur on the day without them even seeing it. THAT is my job. In order to tell their story beautifully, creatively and honestly, I need to have an element of calm continual control, taking note of all that is going on in their wedding from florists, to cake decorators, DJ’s and celebrants, because on your day I need you relaxed and enjoying it, without stressing details.
But lets say you get a photographer that doesn’t make you feel calm and at ease when you book them. They may be great with the camera and super creative but not incredible at communicating with you. What should you ask? Here’s 10 ideal questions I’d recommend.
What are your packages?
Yes, it’s pretty standard but definitely one you should ask before getting too excited. A photographer may be great, but this is life and everyone has a budget. Personally I’d put a larger budget on your wedding photographer than most other details because your photos are the memories that you’ll show in years to come.
Do you charge extra for travel?
Most photographers will have a free radius (mine is 100km) and then they will charge you per km or for flights and accommodation if needed.
Do you charge extra for more hours?
I’m not a charge by the hour kind of girl but many photographers are, so double check your fine print.
If you stay for the reception do we need to feed you?
I don’t know about you but running on no fuel sounds like a recipe for disaster so I’d recommend booking a meal at your reception for your vendors to get the best results.
Have you been to our venue before?
It’s a pretty good question. I’m lucky and have worked in a large range of venues in Australia, USA, New Zealand etc. But if your photographer says “no” don’t be too distressed. Although knowing the venue may be helpful for variegated weather days, not knowing the venue can also inspire some exciting creativity.
How long does it take to get our photos back?
Always good to know as it will stop you feeling the need to pester your photographer while they’re spending ample hours ensuring your photos are perfect.
Do you post our photos online?
Many couples are anti socials these days so be sure to check this one if you are. Privacy is a big event.
Do you work with an assistant?
While assistants can be handy on rainy and cold days, I personally prefer to work alone. It’s more intimate, less crowded and easier to bring out your personalities without an extra set of eyes on you, so don’t feel any less cared for if they say no. Plus you’ll save yourselves from paying for another meal that night.
Can we organise an album later?
While it may stretch the budget before the wedding you may choose to purchase an album after, having that option is always handy!
When do we go over details and times with you?
Usually in the month before the wedding, incase of changes. So if you don’t hear from them again for 6 months in between I wouldn’t worry.
That’s it folks. I hope this helps at least a few of you wedding planing bride and grooms and future couples out there. Good luck and I hope to see you at the alter sometime.