Questions to Ask (And Not to Ask) When Canvassing Wedding Photographers

It can be daunting to prepare the things you need for your wedding, but it can be much more daunting to choose the people to trust to handle certain aspects of your wedding. A crucial example of this is the wedding photographer. Essentially, you must hire a photographer you feel you can trust enough to take charge of capturing your once-in-a-lifetime moments! To help you find the wedding photographer that perfectly suits your needs, here’s a list of questions you will want to ask.

 

  • Are you available on our wedding date?

[From: Sweet Pastel Hues and Delicate Details Make This Wedding at W Hotel Extra Elegant / Photo: MC Photography]

Of course, this is the first question to ask! You can immediately cross them off your list if they’re not. Also, don’t forget to ask them if they will be working on other events on the same date. Some photographers have bigger teams that can cater to more than one wedding per day. If you have a certain member you want on your wedding day–for instance the main photographer–then asking how many weddings they accept per day and which team members will be going to what wedding is vital.

 

  • What is your photographic style?

[From: A Dreamy and Romantic Wedding That Perfectly Reflected the Bride and Groom’s Personality / Photo: Fire, Wood and Earth Photography

Photographic styles include traditional, documentary, artistic, contemporary, and many more. If you are unfamiliar with these, don’t hesitate to ask for samples or descriptions. It is important to know what kind of shots you can expect from a photographer and assess if their style fits what you want for your wedding.

 

  • What packages do you offer?

[From: Dramatic and Intimate Pre-wedding Shoot in Hong Kong / Photo: Sophia Kwan]

Many photographers offer packages that can also be customized. Discuss your needs with your photographer to create a package that is perfect for you.  There are many smaller important details that you should know about when discussing the package: What are the prices? How many hours will this package cover? How about engagement shoots? Don’t hesitate to ask about everything about the packages, down to the smallest detail.

 

  • How many photographers will be working on the event?

[From: A Dreamy and Romantic Wedding That Perfectly Reflected the Bride and Groom’s Personality / Photo: Fire, Wood and Earth Photography

Having second and even third shooters at your wedding will ensure more coverage, angles, and options, especially during the major parts of the event. For example, when the bride walks down the aisle, second shooters can cover different angles such as the groom, the bride, the parents, and the guests.

 

  • What happens if the photographer is sick?

[From: This Timeless Wedding is Filled with Heartwarming Traditions / Photo: Sophia Kwan]

It’s always important to have backups. You want to have a Plan B in case a photographer didn’t show up, right? If you are booking a team of photographers, then you have no problem. However, if you booked a solo-shooter, ask him if he has any on-call colleagues that can cover for him in case of an emergency.

 

  • How would you describe your working style?

[From: The Personalized Details at This Blush-Themed Wedding Make All The Difference! / Photo: Pik Pongpol Photography]

Some photographers take charge of the flow of picture takings during the wedding. On the other hand, there are also photographers who prefer going with the flow and capturing what takes place. Which kind of photographer do you prefer?

 

  • Have you shot weddings similar to mine?

[From: White Theme and Beautiful Draping Lights / Photo: Hyggeland]

You may ask for photos of weddings covered that were similar in size and style of the wedding you’re planning. This will give you an idea on how he will work on your wedding.

 

  • Have you ever shot at my venue before?

[From: A Dreamy and Romantic Wedding That Perfectly Reflected the Bride and Groom’s Personality / Photo: Fire, Wood and Earth Photography

It will be helpful to know if the he or the team has already worked in your venue. If not, ask if they’re willing to visit the venue to check the space. Familiarity with the venue will help them work more smoothly during the wedding day and prepare solutions for possible issues.

 

  • What kind of post-processing do you do?

[From: A Delicately Elegant Indoor Wedding in Hong Kong with Hints of Peach / Photo: La French Touch Photography ]

Ask if corrective services such as color correction, retouching, and blemish reduction are included in the package. Most often, these minor editing services are already included, but you should still ask just to be sure. You can also ask what kind of feel they are going for in processing the photos. It can be vintage, modern, soft, or natural. If you are not familiar with these, don’t hesitate to ask to see some sample photos.

 

  • How much will the extra charge be if the event takes longer than expected?

[From: A Dreamy and Romantic Wedding That Perfectly Reflected the Bride and Groom’s Personality / Photo: Fire, Wood and Earth Photography

Your wedding may take longer than expected, so don’t forget to make arrangements with the photographer in case this happens. Else you might have your wedding photo coverage cut short or you might not be aware of the extra charges you will incur.

 

  • How long after the event will the materials be ready?

[From: This Picturesque Cliff Wedding Took Place at Clearwater Bay / Photo: Patrick Photography]

This will help set your expectations on how soon you will get your photos–of course, you’ll be extra excited and will want your photos A.S.A.P. Remember that your photographer will need ample time to sift through all the footage, choose the best ones, and apply post-processing. So ask the timeline but also remember to be understanding of the needed lead time.

 

 

While it is important to get to know your photographer well, there are some questions that they wish people never ask. Here are some of those questions.

 

  • What type of equipment do you use?

[From: The Personalized Details at This Blush-Themed Wedding Make All The Difference! / Photo: Pik Pongpol Photography]

Asking this can make it seem like you are basing your judgment of how well the photographer can work on your wedding based on his equipment. So, it’s best to keep this question out of your list.

 

  • Can I have the reject photos?

[From: The Personalized Details at This Blush-Themed Wedding Make All The Difference! / Photo: Pik Pongpol Photography]

While you have the right to see all the photos from your wedding, asking the photographer for your reject photos is something we do not encourage you to do. The photographer spends a lot of time narrowing down the photos to deliver a perfect set of pictures which excludes bad or unnecessary shots such as light tests and bad faces. Let these reject photos go and just trust the photographer to present the best shots!

 

  • Can you give us the RAW files?

[From: This Timeless Wedding is Filled with Heartwarming Traditions / Photo: Sophia Kwan]

Giving the RAW files is very risky for the photographer. Since these are unprocessed photos, when these files are shared, it can tarnish the photographer’s reputation. Aside from this, if you are asking for the RAW files so you can edit the photos yourself, this may make the photographer feel that he’s being undermined.

 

  • Can you do ‘this and that’ on Photoshop?

Minor editing and corrections are often part of the deal. However, if you are asking the photographer to edit the bridesmaids’ photos, for example, to make them look a certain way, or if you want to add incidentals, etc., that is another no-no! Do not request too unnatural editing. Also, do not rely heavily on Photoshop. Fix what can be fixed. Do not ask the photographer to edit your hairstyle, change the color of the flowers, and the like.

 

  • Can we do something like ‘this’ shot?

[From: An Elegant Wedding with Touches of Blue and Blush Pink / Photo: KC Chan]

If there’s a shot or pose you’ve seen somewhere that you want to imitate, show it to the photographer and clearly tell him what you want. However, don’t just always imitate poses. Allow the photographer to work his creative vision and don’t limit him to poses you want to imitate.

 

 

We know that choosing the right photographer for your special day is a difficult decision, and we hope this list of questions to ask and not to ask comes in handy for your search!

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