When considering how you want to look back on your wedding, the photographer will undoubtedly play a big part in upholding those memories. Photos are the main capsule you’ll have to access the nostalgia of your special day.
The most important part about booking a photographer is ensuring that their style matches yours: both in photography and in their personal energy. This is the individual (or team) that will be with you for the entire day, capturing both your spirit and moments throughout the day.
When you are preparing to work with a photographer, I suggest asking them a few direct questions to ensure that you are choosing the photographer who is the best fit for you.
Questions for your Photographer
“Are the photos on your website/social media shot and edited by you?” I know that this seems obvious, but there are photographers out there who use stock images for their promotions. This first step ensures that the work you admire is being produced by the person you are speaking to directly, not some unknown who uploaded their photos to getty images.
“What type of photography do you specialize in?” Before asking this question, you should decide what aesthetic is most important to you! More often than not, couples tend to say candid but for some people it may be posed or detail shots. Be honest with yourself. This goes back to choosing a photographer who’s style matches your own.
“Do you backup your images on the day of the wedding?” If you have been on social media in the past month, you might know that there is a disappointed bride out there who is searching furiously for a lost memory card from her wedding day. It’s important to know that you are hiring someone who is serious about storing and keeping your memories.
“When do you plan to deliver the photos back to me?” Photographers generally try to edit and turn around photos within 90 days. This time frame can range from photographer to photographer, so it’s important to address beforehand.
“How many hours of on hand photography do your packages include?” This ranges widely among photographers. It is important to know how many hours you will have your photographer on hand and how much it will cost to add hours depending on your needs. More often than not, this is included in their pricing package, but if it is not, do address it upfront.
“Do your packages include a second shooter?” This also ranges widely among photographers. If the answer is no, be sure to ask the cost of a second shooter. A second shooter can be a great addition to capture more elements of the entire day. Once again, more often than not, this is included in their pricing package, but if it is not, do address it upfront.
“Will you put your individual logo on photos that I want to share on social media?” With the popularity of instagram and various social media outlets, images are often stolen or miscredited. Thus, many photographers have resorted to putting their logo on photos that you share on social media. These photographers will, however, provide you with logo free images for printing. You make the decision if this matters to you with regards to sharing your photos!
“What do you wear to the weddings you shoot?” Similar to what I previously addressed in a catering post, having a photographer dressed in jeans and a tshirt while your guests are adorned in formal wear might not match. It’s entirely up to you to decide, but it’s good to know in advance that you’re stylistically on the same page (even if it’s regarding dress code on the day of).
Now let’s talk about shot lists.
Personally, I think family photos are the only thing to include on the shot list. The rest of the photographer’s energy should be given creatively to taking candid photos and creating shots as they see fit. This is why you put so much work to finding someone whose style matches yours in advance.
If you have a host of images that you saw and LOVED on social media, you are best to share them with your photographer in advance so that they understand the energy of what you are going for. This gives them an idea of the kind of photos you are hoping for in synergy with their style on your day.
Making a detailed list that the photographer has to accomplish in their hours at your wedding forces them to keep an eye on that list and create posed shots rather than focusing on capturing authentic, special moments.
If you’ve chosen a photographer that you trust and appreciate in advance, you’ll be more free to genuinely enjoy your day and they will undoubtedly capture that cheer because of their years of experience and expertise.
Want to know more?
Concerned about booking a photographer or other vendors on your wedding team? Please reach out! It’s because of my community and clients’ questions that I create these journal entries! For any outstanding queries, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always free to set up a consultation where I am more than happy to answer any questions regarding your special day!
First Images - Mat Simpson Photography Co.
Second Image - Blake Loates Photography
Third Image - Buffy Goodman Photography
Fourth Image - Moments in Digital Photography