Questions To Ask Your Photographer BEFORE You Hire Them
Every bride and groom, wants to get the best possible photos on their special day. It's taken months, sometimes even over a year of planning. Asking a few simple questions (to any of your wedding professionals) before you book, can help you find your perfect photographer. I'd also advise to meet you with your top 2 or 3, shortlisted photographers, to get a feel for them. Then, if you actually get on with them, you’ll enjoy yourself more, and they will also get better shots. Win, win.
Below is a list of some questions which I get asked regularly.
Each question has a reason why you should ask it, and of course my answer below that again.
Hope this helps you in some way.
- Will the photos be retouched/edited? How many will we get?
Some photographers will edit a fixed number of images, sometimes as little as 50, and not let you see any more than that. Then some will edit none until you have chosen the ones you want.
My Answer : After getting home from shooting a wedding, there are usually around 600 to 1000 images, sometimes a little more. I’ll go through them all and choose about 150-200 of the photos which I think are the best, then edit those shots. I'm usually spot-on with these choices, as I've never had a couple ask for extra edits.
- What exactly is included in your package(s)?
Depending on the individual photographer, there can be hundreds of different package types, which all include something different. Whether it’s album sizes, prints, printing rights, extra hours of work, etc, it’s best to know exactly what is included in your chosen package. This is one of those important questions, so make sure you get an email/letter detailing what you are getting for your investment.
My Answer : I have one main package for N.Ireland & Ireland weddings, then you can add what you like from the 'extras' section. This just keeps everything simple. For weddings in England, Scotland & Wales, the price is only a little more and I will send you a personal quote for this.
Destination weddings are all priced individually, depending on the time of year and location. A few of my 2019 destination weddings have been in the beautiful Bavarian Mountains on the border of Germany and Austria. On the shores of the stunning Lake Como. In an old Italian village just outside Rome. An impressive hotel on its own lake island in central England. Travel is not a problem at all, and all of my destination weddings I offer a complimentary sunset newly-weds shoot the day after your wedding.
- How many hours of coverage do we get?
If over-time is going to cost you an arm-and-a-leg, you want to know upfront and plan your day accordingly. Most photographers have a set number of hours they will work, then the over-time cost starts. Some will leave after the cake cutting and miss the first dance, which would be an extra charge. Make sure you know exactly how long you get with your photographer before you book.
My Answer : 12 hours wedding coverage. This is normally more than enough time for the wedding day. Time to capture the bride having her make-up applied in the morning, the first look (if you do one), the ceremony, the photoshoot, reception, cake cutting and the first dance. It also leaves time for some dancefloor action after the first dance. Photos of everyone dancing and letting their hair down is a great way to end the day. There is an option to add extra hours too (listed on the pricing page), but 12 hours is usually plenty.
- Will you be my actual photographer, or will it be one of your associates?
Some photographers will send one of their trusted emplyees to shoot the wedding for them if they have other bookings. Just because you book with Peters Pretty Professional Photography, doesn’t mean Peter will shoot the wedding. He could send an employee. Just make sure you are aware of this and ask to meet the actual person who will be working at your wedding and to see samples of their work.
My Answer : I, (Mark), shoot all the weddings myself. It's also VERY unlikely I will be sick, (touch wood), as I’ve only taken 4 or 5 ‘sick days’ (for funerals) in the last 22 years.
- How long after the wedding do we get to see the photos?
Everyone wants to see their photos as soon as possible. So whether you say, “there’s no rush on our photos”,I know that you still want to see them yesterday. Some photographers take on so much work, that it can be a few months before you see any images. Then there are those who will have them ready for you after you get back from your honeymoon.
My Answer : I only take on 2 weddings per week maximum. My turn-around time is pretty quick, normally just 2 to 3 weeks. You will then get a link to your private online gallery, where you can view all your amazing wedding photo edits and download them all if you wish. This gallery will have the images resized for social media posting too.
A few other questions that are always good to ask are . . .
- Have you worked at my venue before?
I have shot wedding at lots of places, chances are I may have worked at your venue in the past.
- Can we see a full day of wedding photos?
Most photos that you see on a photographers social media and website are their favourites (just like this site), but it good to ask if you can see a full day of wedding photos. You never know, the other photos from the day might not be up to the same standard. If you would like to see a full day of wedding photos I can send you a link.
- Do you bring your own portable lighting?
Yes I do. Sunset and night shots can really stand out in a beautiful album.
- What will you wear?
I normally wear smart shirt and black work trousers.
- Who owns the copyright to the photos?
The photographer will always own the copyright to their images, but I have no problems with you sharing online, showing them off or printing them. Tags are always appreciated too.
- Should I feed my photographer?
I'm old enough to feed myself now, but a meal is always appreciated if offered.
- How far can you travel to photograph my wedding?
Basically, anywhere in the world.
I have done weddings in a beautiful old olive farm in Sevillé (southern Spain), the coast of Cornwall in an old fort, in the picturesque Bavarian mountains on the border of Germany and Austria, on the shores of Lake Como and even in an old village just outside Rome.
- Why is wedding photography so expensive?
Wedding photography seems like easy money, work for one day and charge a fortune. . .
A fulltime, professional photographer will work on your images for quite a while, and it’s not uncommon to work a 60+ hour week. I've well over £15,000 worth of equipement to keep in top condition. Other costs are also insurance, petrol, taxes, software, repair, your albums to include in the costs, and also flights and accomodation for destination weddings. When you break it all down, many photographers (myself included) make less than the minimum wage in their opening years.
- What deposit is required to hold the date, what forms of payment do you accept and when is the final payment due?
£400 (non-refundable) deposit is required to secure your wedding date and the balance paid one month before the date. Smaller payments are available and can be set-up to suit you both.
Payment options are: Cash, bank transfers and Paypal. Receipts can be given if you want.
I hope this blog post has been helpful to you in some way. If there are any further questions you may have, send me a message (button below).
Thank you for taking the time to read this long post, though I hope it will save you time in the long run while searching for your photographer.