Questions to ask Wedding Photographers

Questions to ask Wedding Photographers

We’ve gotten some great questions asked of us over the last 15 years, and had some good conversations about a lot of topics.

To keep this completely impartial and useful to more than just couples looking at Focus Photography, I’m not going to tell you our answers, but in some of these I’ll just give you a little more info to think about.

As an industry, we consider photographers who have only worked with other shooters apprentices; less than 20 weddings are just starting out; 20 – 50 is somewhat experienced; and more than that is very experienced.

This is where photographers will tell you about the style of photographer they are.  You might hear ‘I’m totally hands off – I just let the action unfold’, or ‘I work on a time line and everything happens when it’s scheduled’, or ‘I’ll be providing enough direction to get the images you’ve told me you want’. 

Photographers might be members of national or local photography guilds; be certified by a professional group; or tell you about their photography education and experience.

Confident photographers will answer ‘I can guarantee you’ll get this because…’ and tell you how they’ll do it.  Photographers who don’t really believe they can do what you want will make excuses – ‘there are no guarantees in life’, ‘what if it rains?’, etc.

Asking this question does not mean it’s going to rain – it’s just a precaution.  Last year (2021) saw an amazingly high amount of rainy wedding days – there were ten Saturdays between May and October where it rained for several hours – that’s more than a 1/3 of the twenty-seven weekends.

Things can go wrong on wedding days.  Servers knock cameras off of balconies, and thieves walk away with equipment. Your photographer should have a plan and adequate backup equipment on hand so you don’t lose any images.

Just asking this question does not mean you’re a bridezilla – it’s okay to ask.  You’re just wondering, what if? 

Some photographers wear suits, some wear sports jerseys, and I’ve heard of photographers who wear shorts in the summer.  You’ll have to decide what’s appropriate for your wedding.

You probably don’t even know this about Aunt Sue, but she bought a new iPhone for your wedding, and she’s going to want to take pictures.

A lot of photographers don’t allow family members to take their own pictures. If that is their concern, you might want to know why.

As photographers, many of us have our own artistic concerns and goals, and you should talk about your input. If you’re a planner-personality, and you want to give your photographer a list of things that are important to you, will they take it?

This could vary drastically depending on the way a photographer works. 

Some photographers enhance every image they take at a wedding, some only work on the images that are printed, and some don’t do any work at all after the event. 

Every vendor is different, and you should know what their requirements are. 

There’s no right or wrong answer here, just things you should know.

Wedding vendors are resourceful entrepreneurs, and one way many photographers are increasing their value to their clients (and their profits on a wedding) is to do multiple jobs. Some can plan your wedding; officiate your ceremony; emcee your introductions; dj the music; provide the flowers; decorate the reception; provide and run the lighting; operate a photo booth; and perform magic tricks to entertain your guests. None of that is satire, those are all upsells photographers in the New England market provide.

And maybe that’s helpful to you, particularly if you really him/her. But, you should know how they prioritize what they do.

I hope these questions help you get a dialogue going with the photographers you meet, and I wish you a fantastic wedding.  Good luck – Will.

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