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Top Questions to ask when hiring a wedding photographer

Finding, interviewing and hiring a wedding photographer can feel like an overwhelming task, especially in today’s overly saturated market. There are so many different styles to choose from and prices vary wildly.

Before you start searching for a photographer, you'll need to ask yourself some questions. First, figure out what style you and your partner are most drawn to. Trendy, modern or timeless? Fine art, photojournalistic or editorial? Maybe a mix of styles? The photographer's shooting style will play a big role in how the images are edited. Fine art photographs are often referred to as "light and airy," where as photojournalistic is usually true-to-color storytelling imagery.

How much are you willing to spend? Not all wedding photographers share pricing info online. If not, they should offer at least a starting price range. It's always worth asking about weekday or off-season discounts, as well as custom packages for micro weddings or elopements.

How much experience do they have? That’s much more important than the number of Instagram followers. And does their price match their experience level and the quality of their work?

A photographer’s online portfolio showcases their best work. Ask to see full wedding galleries to get a more accurate representation of their work and what you can expect to receive.

Are they full-time or are they a “weekend warrior,” meaning they have a day job but do weddings on the side?

Have they photographed weddings at the specific venue you’ve chosen? This question is especially important if you’ve chosen an indoor venue or if the photographer you’re considering refers to themselves as a “natural light photographer.” Make sure the photographer of your choice has the proper gear and experience to capture an indoor ceremony and reception.

Do they offer wedding day timeline assistance and support leading up to the wedding?

Do their wedding packages include a complimentary engagement session or is that an add-on? Think of the engagement session as practice for your wedding day. It's a great way to get to know your photographer better, get comfortable in front of the camera, and to learn some of the poses and/or prompts your photographer will use the day of the wedding.

Will you have printing rights to your images or will you have to order prints directly through the photographer for an additional fee? Do they offer album design services?

How long will your online gallery stay active?

How many images should you expect to receive based on the length of coverage you want?

How fast will the turnaround be? Most wedding photographers will offer a sneak peek right after the wedding and then deliver the full gallery between 2 and 8 weeks depending on the season and their current work load.

Do they have liability insurance? This seems like a no-brainer, but it's important to confirm. Some wedding venues require photographers to show proof of liability insurance.

Do they have a backup plan in case the unthinkable happens and they can’t photograph your wedding due to an accident or illness? This should be addressed in your contract.

What happens if you need to change your wedding date? This happened a lot during the pandemic. Will your deposit be transferred to the new date?

Do they work with a second shooter or assistant? Find out if having a second shooter costs extra.

Do they charge travel fees? Some photographers will waive travel fees for preferred destinations and/or venues.

Do they offer basic retouching or charge extra for this service?

I hope this detailed list of questions is helpful during your search. Try to find a professional with the skills and style you want, but also someone you can trust and enjoy being around on one of the most important days of your life.

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