If you're looking for a professional photographer who knows their stuff and will rock your emotional socks when you see the end result, your first stop is our Offbeat Bride Vendor Guide. Once you've narrowed down your options for a photography vendor, you'll want to get your list o' questions going — and it's a pretty important set of questions. Let's talk shop about what kind of wedding photographer questions to ask.
How much of your work is weddings?
You probably want your photographer to have significant wedding-specific experience (unless you're trying to score a deal with a relative neophyte, which is a legit way to go!). Alternately, since we're dealing with offbeat weddings here, you may want someone with a lot of experience in photojournalism or even music photography experience. This question will allow you to match the photographer to your expectations no matter what your goal.
How long have you been photographing weddings and can we see references?
You can usually find references/reviews in places like WeddingWire, but make sure you snag some from somewhere or from the photographer themselves. The experience part of the question will help you gauge if their fees match their experience level.
Have you ever worked with this venue/lighting before?
Whether you're holding your wedding in a dimly lit cathedral or a bright, outdoor farm, lighting matters, and some venues are just plain easier to capture than others. Ask if your photographer has shot there before, how they might handle vantage point and lighting issues, and what they'll do when natural light isn't available.
Will you be our photographer at the wedding? What is your backup plan if you can't make it?
Don't be afraid to ask to meet your actual photographer if it isn't who you're dealing with initially. You want to feel comfortable with your photographer, so this question is crucial. Also, this is your safeguard to make sure your photographer isn't a no-show on your wedding day. Make sure to get both of these answers in writing in your contract.
Are you willing to follow a shot list or take this specific kind of photo?
We don't always recommend a full shot list since you want to give your photographer the freedom to capture candid moments. Plus, they're the pros so they often know how to best capture the day. But if you know you want some specific posed shots or wedding party photos, ask them if they are willing to collaborate with you on it.
How would you describe your photography style?
Always peruse their portfolio to make sure their style meshes with your style (and that you're represented!), but also have them describe their typical style and what options they offer. Are they down with traditional/offbeat portraits? Do they have a photojournalistic style to capture all the events?
What is their processing style? Here are some common types to consider:
- Clean/naturally processed/true-to-life
- High contrast/saturated/colorful/rich
- Emulating film/desaturated/artificially aged
How much retouching is done?
Will the photographer be removing your blemishes or (gasp) your ink? Will they be applying any special filters to your photos or focusing on shallow depth of field? You may or may not want these things, so make sure their style matches your ideas and that you communicate it to them.
When can we expect to see the photos?
Shameless plug: “How soon can we submit it to Offbeat Bride?!”
What do your packages include?
Make sure you know what's included in your package, what extras could be incurred, how much of a deposit is required to hold the date, when the balance is due, what forms of payment they accept, if you're getting any Offbeat Bride reader discounts, and then get it all in writing.
What lessons have you learned in your vendor search so far? Do you want to see some questions for other types of vendors? Let us know in the comments!
: Kandise Brown
: Bri McDaniel Photography
: Wild About You Photography
: Shannon Collins Photography
: Dennis Pike Photography
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Comments on Don’t forget to ask these 9 super important wedding photographer questions
Great list. Especially the venue/lighting one…I’d love a photoshoot in the city at night, which is a tough gig lighting wise so I know I have to ask.
Maybe a list of questions for wedding planners/day of coordinators? Finding it hard to find a offbeat and lower budget friendly one (in Melbourne, Australia)
I have more of a comment for brides rather than questions to ask photographers. Make sure to tell your immediate family/ friends IN ADVANCE to be dressed, ready for pictures, and what time to be at the venue early so you can get pictures with them. Depending on the timing, before your ceremony is when you can get a lot of pictures taken with just you and your family. I didn’t make that clear to all of the family I wanted to take pictures with, so I unfortunately didn’t get but a handful of pics with my own brother! Once the ceremony is over, the rest of the day is a whirlwind, so you’ll be glad you did it in advance. Really make a point to understand the time your photographer has to work with and get as many done before the ceremony and reception as possible. My photographer didn’t really stress this to me and I got caught up in so many other things with planning that I failed to spread the word. I was ready and on time, but the people I wanted in the pics were not. They won’t think about it unless you tell them to be ready and where to be. Then it’s up to your photographer to take it from there. Good luck!
While I’ve already chosen and booked my photographer (Actually it’s Kandise Brown) this is super advice! I asked each question with the photogs we interviewed and none felt so comfortable as we did with Kandise. Get the good feeling from your photographer and you’ll be much better off. Don’t hate your paid personal paparazzi!
Great list of questions! All pro wedding photographers should have no trouble answering these without hesitation.
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