Did you recently drop to one knee or was the one that said Yes? And, now it's time to start checking off the wedding planning to-do list items?
Right after getting engaged, a Majority of couples jump start on their first 4 major vendors - the venue, the dress, the photographer, and the planner! Similar to your planner, your photographer will be incredibly involved with your wedding day! They actually might be one of the only people right by your side for the entire day, start to finish.
with that being said, there's a few questions that you should ask your photographer both during the booking process and also leading up to the big day! And no, the questions don't include things like "What type of camera lenses do you have" because let's be honest... if you're not also a photographer, you may have no idea what different focal lengths mean! Instead, These questions are to provide both transparency and trust between you and your photographer!
Questions to ask your Wedding photographer Before you book!
What will happen if you get sick or injured prior to our wedding day? What is your backup plan?
Accidents and illness happen! It's just part of life, but you don't want those mishaps to take a front seat in your wedding day stress. Your wedding photographer should have a backup plan incase something happens.
Is your camera double slotted?
double slotted basically means that their camera body records each photo taken onto two SD cards simultaneously. This is important because the images you invested into are stored not just once, but twice in real time. So, if an SD card becomes corrupt or lost, there's a second copy.
Do you have a backup camera body?
Just like getting injured, accidents happen! A camera could get dropped or be at the end of it's lifespan. If that's the case, it's crucial that your wedding photographer has another camera body to fall back on. If they don't have a backup camera but you really want to book them, maybe ask for them to rent another camera body or to have a second shooter!
What is your backing up process for our images?
After the day is done, it can be weeks and even months before your photos are delivered to your inbox. Make sure that your photographer is storing your wedding photos in multiple places during the editing process incase their computer breaks or software crashes.
What is your turnaround time? Do we get sneak peeks?
As you drive away with your spouse in the getaway car, you're going to want your wedding photos! We totally get it, trust me. If we could easily delivery your wedding gallery within a day, we totally would! We want you to enjoy them and share them with the world! Understand what the turnaround time is for your gallery prior to booking so you know what to expect after the wedding day. Also check if you get a few sneak peeks within a few days after your wedding. If you do get sneak peeks, how many?
Have you shot at our wedding venue before?
If a photographer is new to a wedding venue, they might not know all the spots for photographs. This is not a make it or break it question by any means If their answer is no, you might want to book a larger package to give them time to explore the place if you want unique photos! It also might be beneficial to do a walk through of the venue with your photographer prior to the wedding day!
Do you offer film photos? If you don't, can I hire another photographer just for film?
If you're a bride or groom that's super into the current film photography trend, this will be an essential question to ask. There has been several times where a bride will like the film photos that I post on instagram and want to hire me to just do film on their wedding day. Although I would love to, most contracts between a couple and their photographer specifically outlines that the couple cannot hire another still photograph photographer. In fact, most state that any additional photographers must be in contract with the photographer. Therefore, ask your primary if they offer film photography! If they don't, ask them to hire a second shooter than can provide film!
What to ask your photographer Leading Up to Your wedding day!
Wedding Day Timeline!
Even if you have a wedding planner, your photographer should play a big part in crafting your wedding day timeline. Each photographer is different. Even if your wedding planner has worked with other photographers in the past, the allocated durations they have set for specific wedding day events might not work for your photographer's process and flow. So, ask your photographer to create a timeline for you to either go off of or compare!
Do you have an dietary restrictions?
Keep in mind that most photography contracts state that you must provide them a meal. For example, my contract states that if the client does not provide me a meal, I have the ability to take up to 45 minutes to go get a meal and that I'm not responsible for what is not photographed during that time. It sounds extreme, but we're on our feet for hours (and honestly, doing the most). It's important that we're fed. With all of that being said, some photographers have dietary restrictions that might not jive with your wedding reception menu. If that's the case, it's best that your photographer has a heads up that they will need to get or bring their own food or that you'll have a separate meal ready for them.
Top 5 Wedding Day Events that must be photographed.
If your photographer doesn't ask you either over a call or in a questionnaire, you should inform them of the most important moments of your wedding day that you want photographed. I call this the top 5. An example would be first look with groom, couple photo, being walked down the aisle, the kiss, first dance. The goal is to get all of those and all the moments in-between. However, sometimes timelines get crunched and emergencies happen. If they day goes a tad haywire, it's important that your photographer knows what is the most important to you.
Wedding day Sparkles!
These are those wedding day events that are non-traditional or not as common. For example, you and your future husband plan on planting a tree during your ceremony. Your officiant, wedding party, and wedding planner clearly are in the know that this is happening, but the photographer is usually not. It can be difficult for your photographer to change up locations and angles, especially during the ceremony. Let them know of these unique events so they can game plan properly to not just document it, but to tell the story of it.
My last bit of advice
I truly hope this helped with your wedding planning journey! At the end of the day, your photographs and videos are all you'er going to have beside the dress in the closet and the rings on your fingers! My last bit of advice is not a question to ask your wedding photographer. It's deeper than that.
It's important to not only love your photographer's photography style, but to also love them as a person. Your photos can be beautiful, but what last longer than photos are feelings. If you felt stressed and not cared for on your wedding day, it'll show up in your photos and in your memories. Definitely surround yourself with the best type of people on your wedding day.
To help determine if the photographer you inquired with is a good fit for you, set up a consultation call with them before booking and check their online reviews. Their google reviews can give you insight on the photographer's past client's photo experiences. The Consultation call will give you a chance to get to know them. Even better if you can meet in person! you don't have to talk about just your wedding day specifics. You can chat about coffee preferences, Taylor Swift, golden doodles, and your new passion project! Get to know your photographer!
If you're still on your photographer search, I would to be considered! You can check out my portfolio and next steps for inquiring here!