How To Hire The Perfect Wedding Photographer: 25 Questions To Ask

So you’re married and on the look out for a wedding photographer. It can be nerve wreaking to find the right person to entrust the task of documenting your big day. A good bridal portraits photographer isn’t necessarily a good wedding day photographer. The latter require photojournalistic skills needed to capture the all-important occasion, and must be able to adapt quickly as moments unfold.Here are some questions to ask a wedding photographer that will help narrow down your options.

#01 Style

This is very important. Not all wedding photographers shoot in the same style. Some are more traditional, some modern. Some others are good at vintage and retro styles. When we asked seasoned wedding photographer, Stephen Yau, on how to we gauge a vendor’s style he suggested paying attention to the editing process. Asking how much of the photos would be touched-up or photoshopped? Other questions you can ask includes; if he or she prefers candid photos or choreographed ones? If you’re not used to being front and centre of the camera, ask if offering directions during the actual day is common practice. So the first thing you need to do is make sure you like a photographer’s style and are confident with his work.

“Pay attention to the editing process, how much of the photos would be touched-up or photoshopped?”

stephen yau @stephenyauweddings

#02 Experience

We suggest going through the photographers’ blogs to check out their recent works. Make sure there are at least 15-20 photos from each wedding that actually look good.

Experience plays an important role. An experienced photographer will be able to anticipate and capture emotions, and freeze those precious moments. However, number of years in the industry doesn’t necessary guarantee you a good photographer. Therefore, remember to always look through their work.

Ask also if they are familiar shooting weddings that are held in a similar setting as yours – indoor or outdoor. Ask if they had experience covering weddings at your venue, and if not, will there be a site visit before the actual day? Finally, ask if they have worked with your other major vendors prior to this – namely your planner and videographer, should you choose to have one.

#03 Packages

What is included in the standard package, and what extra services is included in more expensive packages? How many hours will your photographer be shooting and how much is the fee for additional hours? Will he or she be assisted and is the additional help included in the package? Ask if there is same-day edit and if all the photos will be edited.

Some studios have a team of photographers. It may not be the main photographer who shoots your wedding day, so make sure you know what you are signing up for.

#04 Pricing

Pricing can vary tremendously. Is a particular photographer within your budget? If not, is he/she worth the difference? Another thing you might need to ask the photographer about is payment terms – deposit, instalments etc. We suggest the earliest you pay your final payment is on the wedding day itself. Ask also about refund or cancellation policies.

If you’re planning a destination wedding, ask about expectations on transportation and lodging fees.

#05 Availability

Of course, one of the first things you will inform any photographer you reach out to will be your wedding date. However do make sure to ask if they are covering any other wedding the same weekend and if so, the location of their other commission. Do make it a point to meet the photographers you’ve shortlisted and make sure you are comfortable working with them.

#06 Completed Work

How long will you be expected to wait for the whole album to be edited and made available to you? Will you receive a physical album or a digital one? Will the photographer have rights to your pictures and be able to share them freely?

The Wedding Notebook

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