Five Questions to Ask Before You Book a Wedding Photographer

behind the scenes wedding photography

Finding the perfect wedding photographer can be a daunting task. There are so many and each one has a different style and approach to capturing your most important day yet. So how is a bride to decide? Here are five questions you should ask potential photographers to ensure they’re the perfect fit for you and your wedding.

 

Do you have a business license and insurance?

This might be the most important information you can gather from any of your wedding vendors. Being licensed and carrying liability insurance means your photographer has a legitimate business. It means that they (and you) are protected if something unfortunate happens in the course of your working together. Hiring a photographer without these things could mean unnecessary stress on your wedding day.

 

How would you define your style?

All photographers are different and before you commit to one, you should know how they approach both shooting your wedding and then editing the photos. Some photographers take a more photojournalistic approach, which means they shoot your wedding as it unfolds with little alteration, such as posing or additional lighting. To the contrary, a more dramatic approach adds creative off-camera lighting and fantastic posing to create drama in your photos. As for editing, some go for a look as close to natural as possible while others have a heavier editing hand. See as much of their work as you can. Check their website as well as social media accounts. And don’t be afraid to ask to see full wedding galleries. In order to avoid disappointment when you receive your photos after your wedding, make sure that the style your photographer prefers is in line with your own aesthetic preferences.

 

Do you have a second shooter?

While it is fully possible for one photographer to shoot a wedding, it’s astronomically better to have two. Two photographers means one can be with you while you’re getting ready and one can be with your groom. One can shoot the ceremony from close up and one from further away. It means you get two perspectives of each element of your day instead of just one. And it means there’s a “backup” of photos in case (God forbid!) something happens to one camera. As a follow-up question, be sure to ask if the second shooter is included in the package you’re considering or if there’s an extra charge.

 

What is your policy if you are unable to attend our wedding?

Stuff happens. People get sick. Natural disasters occur. As much as no photographer wants to be rendered unable to fulfill their commitment to you, sometimes catastrophic stuff can’t be avoided. And your photographer should have a plan in the unlikely event that they can’t physically be at your wedding.

 

What is your favorite thing about photographing weddings?

We include this question not as a vital piece of information that you should base your decision of whether or not to hire someone based on, but rather as a jumping off point for further conversation. We believe you should not only like your photographer’s work, but also their personality. Surprising as it may seem, this is the person (or people) you will be spending most of your wedding day with. And your photos will be considerably better if you feel comfortable with the person behind the camera and if that person knows a little bit about the things you value in life. So try to start a conversation, find common ground and maybe even develop a friendship with your photographer. You won’t regret it if you do.

 

These are some of the more important items you should know before you hire a photographer for your wedding, but don’t limit yourself to just these questions. Make a list of all the things that are important to you and bring it with you when you meet with potential photographers. Ask all the questions you can think of before you make your decision. And make sure you feel comfortable and confident in the one that you choose before making a commitment.

 

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We are Jim and Stephanie, husband and wife wedding photographers. We live on a 36 foot sailboat in the Pacific Northwest with our dog, Katie, our dreams of adventure, and our Chemex coffee maker. 

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