I am simply not a fan of those articles people write titled “5 Things to Ask Your Wedding Photographer Before Booking.”
If you have googled something along the lines of “Things to ask a wedding photographer” then you have seen lists upon lists of topics to bring up with a photographer before you hire them. The thing is… the majority of these lists include things that are either common sense or completely ridiculous. Of course your photographer is going to talk about packages with you and about a contract and deposit. 😐 If your photographer doesn’t make recommendations about the wedding day schedule, then you might have a problem. 🤦♀️ And… are you really meeting with someone who you haven’t already stalked all their wedding photos online? Why do these lists tell you to ask to see photos!? 😂 I sure hope you would look at their photos before meeting with them! And if you are meeting with a photographer and you haven’t already clarified if they are free on your wedding date, then you might need to hire a wedding coordinator first! 😆
Double check to make sure they have insurance if your venue requires it. Of course ask to see a full gallery from a wedding. No, a photographer does not need to have worked with any of your vendors before your wedding day, we all get along just fine. :) Your photographer is always arriving to new locations the day of, don’t worry about making him or her come before the wedding day.
Us photographers know you have read these articles. Our photos speak for themselves, and an experienced photographer will lead you through your meeting. You shouldn’t need to ask many questions at the end, because they will explain everything to you on their own.
Go ahead and close your tabs titled 5 Things To Ask Your Photographer Before Booking, and consider asking these types of questions instead!
1) How did you get started photographing weddings?
It’s always great to learn more about the person sitting across the table from you, so sure… go ahead and ask how long they’ve been doing weddings or how they got started! Stats show that about 50% of small businesses don’t survive their 5th year. (Good news, I’m on year number 6 already! 😅) Chances are, they will perk up and tell you how they got started, and what they love about it! It takes serious passion to push through the first years of owning a small business, and you will quickly be able to tell if they love what they do! Click here to learn how I got started, and here to read what I love about photography!
2) What is your favorite part of a wedding day?
I love letting brides and grooms inside my head! My favorite parts of the wedding day are when the bride walks down the aisle or the First Look! I’m not afraid to tell you that I typically tear up during the Father Daughter dance and Mother Son dance… It’s not a surprise that I’m passionate about documenting all the details you will spend months picking out. I love flowers, invitation suites, shoes, and dinner place settings! I always look forward to the toasts, and I’m extra excited to find out that one or both of the dads will be making a speech. 😭 I love love, and I’m eager to hear each and every unique story behind the couple. I truly love going to weddings, so I will gladly sit and talk to you for hours about your wedding plans.
3) From a photographer’s perspective, what makes you excited about your pictures?
Unless you have a history in photography, chances are you’d be interested in learning a thing or two about what your photographer looks for in creating beautiful wedding photos! Lend an ear to your experienced photographer as they talk about ideal lighting scenarios, locations, and subject matter. I’m all about natural light, but other photographers use a lot of artificial light. There is no right or wrong way of doing it, just different styles. Learn about your photographer’s style and what they get excited about when taking photos. A photographer can do their job best if they are given some ideal working conditions… and most importantly, you’ll be happier with your photos!
4) What time do you recommend doing portraits to get the golden light everyone talks about?
There really is a good and bad time to take pictures outdoors. You have probably heard Golden Light or Golden Hour referenced before, it’s a real thing. If you are taking photos with me midday while the sun is high in the sky, I’m going to be searching for some shade to put you in to hide you from the harsh shadows, squinty eyes, and non-flattering light. If the sun is low in the sky (closer to sunrise or sunset), there is far more shade and soft, flattering light available! If photography is a priority to you, I always recommend my brides consider having their ceremony a little later in the afternoon, so the portraits afterward can take place a bit closer to sunset. The difference in the quality of light is astounding. Is this necessary? No. But if you REALLY REALLY care about your photos, then definitely consider asking your photographer about the ideal time for portraits and the ceremony.
5) This isn’t exactly a question, but if at the end of your meeting, you still feel like you don’t know anything about the photographer, learn more about them!
I love chatting with my couples and learning more about them, not just their wedding. I try to get to know a couple before I book their wedding, to make sure we are a good fit! You have every right to get to know your photographer before you choose them for one of the biggest parts of your wedding day. A photographer is the vendor who will spend more of your day with you than any other vendor you book, so it’s important to connect with them and to like them! Not every couple will fit well with every photographer, and that’s okay. Treat your photographer like a normal human being and learn about them like you would any new friend. You’ll likely find something in common with them and that will make it much more enjoyable to work with them. If you aren’t enjoying the meeting, laughing, and finding common ground, you might not want this person spending your whole wedding day with you. Something to think about!