Wedding Planning 101: Questions to Ask Wedding Photographers

Wedding Wednesday

July 28, 2020

One of the vendors you’ll be spending the most time with prior to and the day of your wedding is your photographer. Understandably, the task of choosing the right photographer can feel like a daunting task. Below are NUMBER OF QUESTIONS questions to ask potential photographers to help make your decision easier. These will include things such as pricing, client image rights, style, experience, and reviewing their work.

Six Tips to Increase Client Experience by Dallas Wedding Photographer Kyrsten Ashlay Photography

One thing I always tell all KAP couples when looking at potential photographers is to ask themselves: do I like them as a person? Can I talk to them beyond “wedding” things? And, are they capable and confident to capture my wedding?

Questions about Experience & Capabilities

Why do you love photographing weddings?

So so so many things! I answer this more in depth in the next question. Logistically, I honestly thrive during wedding days. As an enneagram 1, I love timelines. I thrive during organized chaos and solving any problems. I love that every couple is unique therefore every wedding is uniquely them. As a wedding photographer, I also love that I am apart of a couples journey towards marriage and capture apart of their legacy.

How did you get started photographing weddings?

I love when couples ask this question. I started photographing weddings after my own wedding. That is a whole other Oprah for another day, however, I will say — I didn’t want another couple to have the same experience. However, I was drawn to wedding photography way before I was even a photographer. I always loved looking at other’s wedding photos and remember as a child sifting though my grandparents wedding photos. Since I was a little girl, I have always been enamored with the beauty of marriage and being able to document the beginning of a couples legacy. I think it is such a wonderful once-in-a-lifetime experience that my art will be adored by generations to come and become family heirlooms. How stinkin’ amazing is that?!

How many weddings have you captured?

This is an important consideration if you’re thinking about hiring a friend or family member who specializes in another niche. Just because someone is an amazing landscape photographer or even portrait photographer, doesn’t mean they’ll excel at capturing a wedding. During wedding days, there are many moving pieces along with a variety of lighting scenarios. Plus there are absolutely no “re takes” with wedding days.

What makes you different from other photographers?

In a time where DSLR cameras are easily accessible and anyone can “advertise” on any social media as a professional or hobbist photographer, there are thousands of wedding photographers out there. All with their own style, techniques, and run their business how they see fit. I know for me, when I get asked this question, several things start to run through my head. But, first things first, I want to know my couples as a person, not just a client or a date on the calendar so I can fully and organically capture your wedding day. Since I wholeheartedly believe that “pretty pictures” is just the bare minimum.

Fall Wedding at Lake Oak Meadows in Temecula, CA by Kyrsten Ashlay Photography

Logistical & Technical Questions

Do you have business insurance?

This is oftentimes an overlooked logistical question. However, personally, I believe having business insurance instantly implies that you are hiring a professional. Also, quite a few wedding venues require each wedding vendor to carry their own insurance. If your photographer does not have insurance, they may not be even allowed to photograph on their premises.

Will you help create a photographic timeline?

Personally, I help create my couples a photographic timeline. Oftentimes, they’ve never planned a wedding and do not understand the logistics of how the day is supposed to unfold. I do this to best serve my couples so they can have the best experience and enjoy their day while letting the experts do their job.

What happens if you can’t make it to my wedding?

Firstly, this should only be if a true emergency were to arise. I do not schedule any other weddings, sessions or personal committments once I am secured for a wedding. However, if something were to happen to myself or my immediate family where I absolutely could not make it to a wedding day, I have it in my contract that I am responsible for finding an associate photographer to capture your wedding in my place at no additional fees. I would never leave a couple high and dry!

What is your backup process like?

This is SO SO SO important. I have heard so many horror stories that make me sick to my stomach. When I am capturing a wedding, I am shooting on two cards at the same time. Just in case if one card fails, I still have the 2nd card. Then, when I get home from a wedding, I upload on my internal hard drive, then again on my external hard drive. I also do not clear SD cards until the wedding is delivered. I personally take a lot of measures to ensure that if something were to happen to one back up, then I would be covered.

Do you have backup equipment?

Photography gear like all electronics have a shelf life. Camera gear like any other electronics can fail at any given time. Make sure your photographer is bringing something to ensure they have a backup in case their primary gear happens to fail. Personally, I always have at minimum 3 cameras, 4 different lenses, and 3 flash systems. I got your back.

Can I see a full online gallery of full real weddings?

Do not skip this question. Photographers put the best of the best of their work on their social media accounts and websites. Make sure you have a look at a full wedding gallery to look at their consistency throughout the day. Side note: make sure it is a real wedding and not a styled/editorial shoot.

Additional Questions:

How long does it take to receive my gallery back?

Do I have sharing & printing rights to my images?

How many photos will be delivered?

What kind of editing is included?

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