Congratulations on your engagement! It’s such an exciting time, and I know your head is probably spinning when you think of all the wonderful things to come.
As a wedding photographer, I know just how overwhelming it can be when you start searching for a photographer, so I’ve put together these seven essential tips to help you.
These are questions you should be asking of every photographer whose services you are considering for your wedding day.
“What’s Your Availability?”
This seems obvious, but your first question is to find out if the photographer is available for your date!
If you haven’t chosen a date yet, that’s ok – you can still get in touch and ask for general information and give them any details that you do have.
For example. If you haven’t chosen a date, but you know your wedding will be in the Raleigh area in a specific church, let them know that.
While they may not be able to give you specific pricing information until they know more about the flow of your day, they can still probably give you some general information about their services.
If the photographer is booked for your date, ask them for photographers that they would recommend. Chances are they have a list of reputable and amazing photographers they recommend for just this occasion.
“Will There Be a Second Photographer?”
Many photographers work with a second photographer and some work with an assistant that helps carry gear but does not take photos.
Be sure that you find out which they offer or recommend for your wedding. Some photographers will offer a second photographer as an add-on service.
Each photographer works differently, so make sure to clarify what the roles are and if they are using a second photographer, ask to see some of their work to be sure you like their style.
“Do the Photos Include a Print Release?”
A print release is what most wedding photographers include so that you can make copies of your photos for personal use.
This means that you may be able to make canvas prints, albums, prints for picture frames, etc. Just be sure to check the fine print.
Some photographers offer only limited rights on print releases and require you to buy albums or wall prints through them.
“When Can I Expect to Receive the Photos?”
This should be outlined in the contract you sign for services. (And, while we’re at it, a contract is something any reputable photographer should have; if they don’t, you should maybe consider a different photographer!)
It may be a range because just like many seasonal professions we do have a busy season!
It’s not unusual for editing times to be anywhere from 2-8 weeks depending on if the photographer is doing all the editing themselves or if they have a team that helps them.
“What Happens if you Get Sick or are Unable to Photograph the Wedding?”
This is probably the most important question of all!
A professional, experienced photographer has already planned for this contingency AND has it written in their contract.
Although rare, some photographers have trained professionals on staff who routinely work together and can provide you with a consistent style and service.
More often than not, a photographer has an agreement with other similar photographers in the area that will cover them in case an emergency comes up.
Though they may not be able to tell you who the person will be, they still have a wide network of other professionals to tap into in the event that they are not able to be there on your wedding day.
“What is Included in My Contract?”
It’s likely that you will look at a few photographers in your search. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to wedding photography, and you may find a wide range of products and services offered.
Be sure to spend some time considering what is important to you.
Do you want a photographer who assists you with products and services after the wedding such as heirloom quality albums and prints?
Or do you just want a USB with your photos on it from a photographer who doesn’t offer any other services than photography?
Make sure your needs match up with what the photographer offers.
“Do you Have Backup Gear?”
Simply put, there are no re-dos in wedding photography.
Professional wedding photographers not only have backup gear, but they also have systems in place for when or if cameras fail or break so that they can quickly recover.
Backup contingencies are essential, and as professionals, we invest tens of thousands of dollars in gear AND backup gear.
So be sure to take a moment to ask and see what your photographer has planned in case of this emergency.
Remember, no question is too silly to ask!
When you are meeting with a photographer to photograph something as important as your wedding you should love their work and feel secure that they are the right fit for you. So don’t hesitate to ask about anything you’re unsure about!
How To Avoid A Wedding Day Nightmare
The last thing you want is to look back on your wedding day pictures and think about how stressful the day was!
And while planning a wedding is a lot of work, there’s so much you can do to help minimize (and even eliminate) a lot of potential stressors.
Now, I’ve photographed hundreds of weddings. Needless to say, I’ve learned a lot about what goes into planning your perfect day!
If you want more insight about planning the perfect stress-free day (along with tips about how to have the best photos!), enter your email address below and get my free guide, How To Have A Stress-Free Wedding And The Best Photos Ever, delivered right to your inbox.
It’s completely free, and should help you a ton when prepping for your big day!