Wedding Planning Guide
Questions to Ask
Your Wedding Photographer
Lauren Kearns Photography
Images by Berit
Sarah DiCicco Photography
Phillip Van Nostrand
Garrett Richardson Photography
Love Life Images, Inc.
Crystal Lynn Collins
Crystal Lynn Photography
1. Is my wedding date available?
2. Who will be my photographer(s) on the day of the wedding?
3. How many other weddings will you photograph that weekend?
4. Will you have any assistants with you on our wedding day?
5. How long have you been a wedding photographer?
6. How many weddings have you photographed?
7. Is wedding photography your full-time job?
8. Can we see a recent gallery from an entire wedding?
Pro tip: “Photographers show their absolute best work on their websites, but you want to be sure that you're getting beautiful images from all the important moments of your wedding day. Ask to see a full wedding gallery from any photographer you are considering. The larger gallery of images—anywhere from 500 to 1200 images—gives you more insight into how a photographer captures the entire wedding day, including family formals, toasts, cake cutting, parent dances, and your first dance. These are all moments you will want captured, and seeing examples of these in your photographer’s work is important.” —Jennifer Domenick, Love Life Images, Inc.
9. Are references and/or reviews available for me to access?
10. Have you ever worked at our wedding venue(s)?
Pro tip: “This is a legitimate concern for some couples, especially if they are looking at a venue that is very unique and provides lots of options for photography. However, choosing a photographer that has more than a few years of experience and who has worked at venues similar to yours should give you the confidence needed to still hire them regardless if they’ve worked there or not. A great solution is to ask your photographer if they can visit the property prior to the wedding day, even if it’s the day before the wedding, to become more familiar with where everything will take place. That way, you can both go in to the wedding day confidently.” —Garrett Richardson, Garrett Richardson Photography
11. Can you recommend a videographer?
Pro tip: “This is so important to me! As a photographer, we are working very closely with the videographer, so it's important that we work well together. If I can refer any of my preferred videographers, that's ideal.” —Lauren Kearns, Lauren Kearns Photography
12. Have you ever worked with our planner? Videographer? Florist? DJ? etc.
13. Do you have other vendor recommendations?
STYLE & PROCESS
14. Do you shoot digitally? With film? Or both?
15. What makes you different from other wedding photographers?
16. How would you describe your photography style?
Pro tip: “Every photographer has their own unique approach to their portfolio. It might be helpful to narrow it down to these three categories of style: Do you tend to like timeless or trendy; candid emotions or posed images; high contrast with lots of colors or photos with soft and organic tones? Of course, photography can be very subjective and isn’t necessarily as rigid as those specific categories, but it will definitely help you begin to narrow down what style you are drawn to and build from there.” —Garrett Richardson, Garrett Richardson Photography
17. How would you describe your working style? Do you prefer to blend into the background to capture candid moments, or do you like to be more visible and take charge to choreograph images?
Pro tip: “I like it when couples ask me this. My answer: As much as you want! Some photographers will be much more behind-the-scenes and others might be very involved with every pose and shot.” —Phillip Van Nostrand, Phillipvn Photography
18. What is it like to work with you on a wedding day?
Pro tip: “This question can make or break your experience, depending on what you are hoping for. You will probably spend more time with your photographer than any other vendor on the wedding day so your trust in them to make you feel comfortable in front of the camera and capture the important details is extremely important. Make sure you and your fiancé get a good enough feel for your photographer’s personality so you can trust them throughout the process.” —Garrett Richardson, Garrett Richardson Photography
19. Can we request a list of specific shots we would like?
20. Based on our wedding date and time of year, can you recommend the best ceremony start time?
21. Can you walk us through the pros and cons of doing a "first look?"
22. How much time do we need for portraits?
Pro tip: “Whether the couple is doing a ‘first look’ or not, it is super important to make time for couple portraits, wedding party portraits, and family portraits. Most of the day is being captured as it happens, but there needs to be time to intentionally take these portraits.” —Lauren Kearns, Lauren Kearns Photography
23. Can you walk us through the flow of our wedding day?
PRICING, PACKAGES, & PAYMENT
24. What do your packages/collections include and what will I have to pay extra for?
25. How many hours are included in each package? How much do extra hours cost?
26. Do you include engagement photos in your packages?
Pro tip: “I include a complimentary engagement sessions with all of my wedding packages—it's super important that my couples feel comfortable in front of my camera because it's actually very awkward feeling! During that engagement session, my clients are learning about posing, interacting with each other, and learning about how to trust me as their photographer. This makes the wedding day so much less stressful, and my clients are visibly more comfortable in front of the camera after having been ‘trained’ from their engagement session.” —Lauren Kearns, Lauren Kearns Photography
27. When is the best time to take engagement photos?
Pro tip: “Depending on where you live, each season can have a profound effect on your engagement session. I always love fall and spring because the changing colors look amazing in photos. Depending on your wedding timeline, I usually recommend that most engagement sessions take place 8-10 months prior to the wedding. That way, couples have time to send out their save-the-dates and use the photos on any online or print collateral they may want to use leading up to the day like a wedding website or engagement album guest book.” —Garrett Richardson, Garrett Richardson Photography
28. Do you include pre-wedding events like rehearsal dinners in your packages?
29. Do you offer a photo booth?
30. Do you offer retouching, color adjustment, or other corrective services? Are those included or an additional charge?
31. Do you charge a travel fee? For what distance? What does that cover?
PRINTS & ALBUMS
32. Can we order prints or albums directly from you?
33. What type of album do you offer? Do you provide assistance selecting images and designing the album?
34. Are albums or prints included in your packages? How many pages or prints are included, and what is the turnaround time?
35. When can we expect to receive our photos?
36. Will you be able to provide a sneak peek of a few images right after the wedding, so we can share them on social media?
37. How are your images processed?
Pro tip: “Digital photography is sometimes processed too quickly. If you are looking to have moving images full of emotion and highest quality, make sure that your photographer takes time with each image.” —Sarah DiCicco
38. Will we receive negatives and/or high-resolution, unwatermarked images? Is there a fee for that?
Pro tip: “Couples should always ask if they will receive photos in high resolution without watermarks, or if they have to purchase their digital photos.” —Phillip Van Nostrand, Phillipvn Photography
39. Will we have the rights to the images?
40. Will the images be accessible online? For how long?
41. How long do you keep our wedding images on file?
42. How much of a deposit is required to hold the date?
43. When is the balance due?
44. What is the preferred method of payment?
45. What is your refund or cancellation policy?
46. Do you have liability insurance? Does it cover your assistants, as well?
47. Do you carry backup equipment in case something fails or breaks?
48. What is the plan if you are unable to attend due to illness or unforeseen circumstances?
Pro tip: “Nothing is certain in this life, and it's super important to have a community of trustworthy photographers that I network with regularly. If something were to happen to me before the wedding day—or on the wedding day!—my clients can rest assure that there is a backup plan!” —Lauren Kearns, Lauren Kearns Photography
49. How will you and your assistants be dressed?
50. Will you be posting about our wedding on your website and social media?
51. Will you be submitting our photos to blogs or magazines?