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10 Things to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

Ask these questions to your photographer BEFORE booking to make sure they are the right fit for you

Couple have a hiking elopement in Brookings, Oregon at the Samuel H. Boardman Natural Bridges after dark with lanterns overlooking the cliffside and the ocean
Lantern Elopement in Brookings, Oregon

There are so many things to ask your wedding photographer and videographer before booking them to make sure they are your perfect fit, but it's hard to know EXACTLY when you aren't in the industry. So from a photographer and videographer who are also married and were in your same position at one point, here are the most important questions to ask your photographer and videographer when you first start talking to them!

Make sure you ask these questions either in person or over a FaceTime/Phone Call before you book so you can get to know each other and each others vibe a little better to make sure you are the perfect fit.

1. How would you describe your shooting style?

Every wedding creative has a different style and it's important to make sure your wedding photographer and videographer have the style you are looking for. Some photographers prefer more of a posed style and a very hands on when it comes to posing, while others are a bit more of a documentary style and are a bit more hands off.

If you are wanting to be directed and make sure your photographer will pose you and know how, be sure to make sure your videographer and photographer have that style! If you want more candids, make sure your creative team has that same vision in mind.

The same can also be applied to editing styles. While looking at their portfolio, you can see a lot of what their vibe might be, but asking them put it into words will really clarify what the important things to them are!

2. Do you have backup equipment?

Every photographer and videographer NEEDS to have backup equipment or at least 2 camera bodies and 2 lenses. Technology can fail us at random during the most inopportune times. Having backup equipment is going to make sure that no matter what kind of issues the cameras are having, your photographer and videographer can still capture the day perfectly!

At the least, there should be 2 camera bodies, 2 lenses, at least 4 batteries and a TON of SD cards for every person who is there to capture your day.

Colorado Couple smoke a unity joint in the dark after their elopement day
Unity Joint in Colorado

3. Can I see a full wedding gallery and video?

Instagram and our websites are only a highlight reel of our favorite work. It's VITAL to see an entire gallery and video from start to finish to see how they capture every single moment of the day.

Lighting situations, emotions, and locations change vastly throughout the wedding day and it's important to make sure that you love the way they capture every scenario you could be in!

4. Are your cameras dual slot?

WOW this is so so so so so so important. Dual slot means that while your photographer is shooting, your photos and videos are being copied to two different SD cards. This is to ensure that if one SD card crashes (which happens more often than you think), the other SD card still has all of the photos + videos they have captured throughout the day.

5. Do you have a contract?

No matter what, when you are dealing with the amount of money and the IMPORTANCE of wedding day coverage, be sure to have a contract in place. This is going to keep both you and your photographer and videographer safe in any situation. This is your wedding day and someones livelihood, so it's important to keep everyone safe.

If a photographer or videographer doesn't have a contract they are sending to you... DO NOT BOOK WITH THEM!!! That is a major red flag.

6. What happens if you get sick or have an emergency?

Everyone is human which means that sickness, family emergencies, etc. can happen at anytime. What is your photographer and videographers plan for if they were to be put in that boat?

Ideally, your photographer will find a backup shooter or associate shooter for them. This is a photographer with a similar style to them that they fully trust and hire on to capture the wedding day as their replacement. After this, your photographer will then edit the gallery.

Another option would be that they refund you, help you find another photographer, etc. The best option, obviously, is that they find you a second shooter so that you don't have that extra stress right before your wedding.

Wedding Reception with an elephant in Phuket, Thailand as the couple (bride and groom) take wedding photos with the baby elephant. Lace wedding dress with slit
Thailand Wedding Reception

7. What is your turnaround/delivery time like?

This is different for every photographer and videographer depending on so many factors like their editing style, their workload, how many photos you receive, how long your video is, how many hours your wedding coverage lasted, if they have to travel, etc.

In the U.S.A, the average wedding gallery turnaround time is 4-16 weeks depending on the photographer and videographer.

If your photographer has a longer turnaround time, ask them if they provide previews! A lot of photographers who take more time to edit are willing to edit a few sneak peeks so you have a little "appetizer" to hold you over until your full gallery is ready.

8. What are your payment plans like?

All photographers and videographers charge a non-refundable deposit or retainer to save your date. This is typically 30-50% of your total price depending on the photographer. Most the time, your final payment is due a few weeks before the wedding day!

There's a lot of wiggle room for different photographers as far as payments after the deposit go. Some just do a 50/50 split while others allow for payment plans. Make sure you ask what the options are so you know when payments might be due!

9. How will we be receiving our photos and video?

While a lot of photographers and videographers nowadays send your memories via an online link, some use hard drives and USB's. Be sure to ask your photographer to see what they do.

If it is an online gallery they deliver your media on, be sure to ask how long they leave the gallery online. ALWAYS DOWNLOAD YOUR PHOTOS AND VIDEOS IMMEDIATELY!!! This will keep them 100% safe with you.

10. How do you backup the photos and videos after?

What happens after the wedding day ends? How are your photos store? Making sure that your photos + videos are backed up to multiple locations during the editing process is so important because hard drives crash, SD cards crash, computers crash!

Having multiple locations to store your memories is going to make sure that you can always recover them. We back our photos + videos in multiple hard drives and never format the SD card until well after the final photos have been uploaded to our cloud and delivered to you!

Any other questions you have about your wedding photographer!

Is there anything that is important to you in a photographer and videographer? These are the people you will be spending some of the most time with on your wedding day so it's important to make sure they are people you can get along with! Ask them about who they are, get to know them on a personal level and get your connection started.

Gay couple drone shot eloping on the beach in San Diego, California
LGBTQ+ Elopement on the Beach

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