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24th January 2023
From their expected editing times, to questions about their team; we’ve got you covered.
Every single supplier and every single aspect of your wedding is always important and well thought through, and you want your wedding photographer to understand your vision, your story, and your big day properly before you hire them.
Arguably, you are going to spend an incredibly long time with your photographer, from the pre-wedding shoot, to the actual days of events, and the follow up post-wedding edits.
You want to have a meeting with your photographer in advance, to ensure that you are on the same page; but most importantly, to ensure you are comfortable and get along with them. For most of us, we don’t usually spend hours being captured on camera, and so it’s really not the easiest thing to be told to ‘act natural & laugh’ on command! Trust us, it’s a lot easier if you know the team.
As you read this, if your photographer has ticked most the boxes, then ask yourself this just to be sure:
– Do we genuinely have a good rapport with the photographer?
– Do we both feel comfortable with them and their team?
– Are the prices and level of service, similar to our expectations?
With that being said, here’s our long list of questions to ask your wedding photographer.
The Basic Ones:
1. Do you have my date available?
Quite an obvious question, but considering photographers can get booked 12-18 months in advance, especially in the peak wedding months of July & August; this is always the first question you should ask.
2. How long have you been doing wedding photography?
Whether the answer be a few months, or few years, or a number of decades; this is a good one for you to understand their background. This question helps you to understand their experience, talent, and editing style better.
Don’t dismiss a newer photographer, or a photographer who doesn’t do this full-time. Every professional understands their outputs and makes sure they are met. Your timelines to receive your images back may be slightly longer, if they have full-time commitments, but this is of course another question and discussion that you can have; definitely not one which hinders the immense amount of skill one has.
3. How many weddings do you shoot in a year?
Some photographers may be selective and shoot fewer weddings per year, these may come at a premium with added benefits. Others may have larger teams and shoot numerous weddings per day. This is good for you to understand, to again provide you with an indication of their availability and your main point of contact.
4. Can I see any of your recent full wedding albums?
Every photographer has a different style. Some are more candid, some are more posed, whilst some are more cinematic. If you have a Pinterest board going, there’s a great likelihood that you have some sort of vision.
By viewing a recent album, you will get a greater idea of their shooting style & their editing style. It’s important that you understand both, prior to booking your photographer.
5. How big is your team?
By the time you see a photographer, you should have a rough idea of the number of events and an indication of the guest list. If you know you are having a small intimate wedding with 100, and a large reception with 300+, you will definitely need to understand how many photographers will be there for coverage.
Some photographers have in-house teams, whilst others have second-shooters. It’s good for you to also see the second-shooters work in advance, and perhaps even meet them.
Don’t fall into the trap of having a ridiculous amount of shooters, it can often detract your guests from enjoying and being able to see the actual ceremony, and it’s 2x the amount of images you’ll need to scroll through!
6. Have you worked at our venue before?
Each venue is beautiful and unique. From a photography point of view, your photographer will need to understand the lighting, busy spots, scenic spots, entrance, bridal suite, and so much more.
If your photographer isn’t familiar with the venue, be sure to ensure they have a site visit prior to the big day. Your wedding co-ordinater / planner can arrange for this, and also talk them through the day plan, so they know exactly where they need to be.
7. What’s included in your wedding packages?
Often, photographers may have an indicative ‘starting from’ price on their Eternity UK profile or website, but this will totally vary depending on your requirements: ie, do you want a pre-wedding shoot? Album? Number of events?
Each photographer will vary their price, often depending on your requirements, their experience in the industry, your extra’s, and any discounts they may have. Scroll down to see some of the deals on offer on our Eternity Rewards Club!
In general, you want to breakdown the price to understand: how many hours will the photographer be with you on the day? How many photographers will there be? Does this include travel? How many photos will you receive & through which medium?
Remember, your photographer’s work doesn’t end on the day of the wedding. That’s when they get started with the edits!
8. What information do you need from us, before the big day?
Make note of everything your photographer will need prior to the wedding, and when they will need it by. Some points include: wedding timelines, photo guest lists, hard drives etc.
9. What inspires you in your photography?
Similar to some of the questions above, this will really help you to understand how your photographer likes to shoot. You’ll get a better understanding of whether or not this suits your venue and vision as well. If your photographer thrives in shooting editorial posed shots, and you prefer a beachy candid textured vibe, then you may not be the best fit for each other.
10. Share your moodboard.
If you have something in mind, share it with your photographer. If they are able to bounce off of it, and provide you with exciting ways to make that vision come to life, or perhaps how this fits in with your venue, then it’s bound to be a perfect match!
11. Can I see some testimonials?
Relating to another couples experience can often help in making your decision. If you can, try and see some of their testimonials or awards that the supplier has received. Everyones experience is of course different, but have a look at what former clients have to say.
12. What time will you arrive at the venue?
This will usually be dependant on your day plan / itinerary, and your agreed package with your photographer. Does it include any getting ready shots, ambience shots, first looks? They will work backwards and be able to provide you with a time.
13. Should we provide you with food? Any dietary requirements?
Your photographer will be with you for the entire day, so please ensure they are fed! Your wedding co-ordinator should encourage this with all of your suppliers and see where it fits into the schedule.
Some photographers may opt out of your wedding food (usually they don’t), but it’s worth asking the question and also noting down any specific dietary requirements or allergies.
14. Do I need to cover your travel costs?
Some prices and packages include travel costs, whilst others don’t. It’s worth double checking, as it could also impact the price of your full package if you choose to use a photographer based a number of miles away.
If you are having a destination wedding, all suppliers will expect the flights & accommodation to be paid for, so definitely work that into your budget.
15. Do you know all of the ceremonies we are having?
Now, every South Asian culture is different and beautiful. You want to ask your photographer if they know the specific intricacies and details of your ceremony, to ensure that they are at the right place at the right time. If they don’t, because perhaps they are of a different culture, or you are doing a fusion ceremony with various aspects; be sure to talk through and explain the exact details and timelines to them.
16. Do you know my videographer / have one on your team?
You want your photography & videography team to work hand in hand! For that, it’s important for them to have their own rapport. Whether the photographer has one that they recommend or work with often, or whether it be meeting yours for the first time; make sure they have a system of how to work best together on your big day.
17. Are you going to be the primary photographer on the day?
It’s good to know if the photographer you are liaising with will be there, or if they are sending someone from their team. Be sure to meet with them, take down all their details, and ensure you have an equally good rapport with them.
18. Talk about your guests.
You will want to talk a bit more about you, your loved ones, and your guest list. Let’s be honest, we all have an auntie who can make it slightly difficult if she get’s a bit too bossy with suppliers. Make sure your photographers know what to do in certain situations, to ensure they are able to get their job done easily and efficiently.
19. Who will be their main point of contact?
From getting them through the door in the morning, making sure they have a snack break, guiding them through the timelines: make sure you know exactly who will be doing all of these tasks from your side. If you are having a wedding co-ordinator, this is a task for them; if not, dedicate a family member, bridesmaid, or groomsmen to be in charge of this. Ensure both parties have each others phone numbers to hand.
20. What time will you stay until?
Make sure you know exactly when their day starts, and when it finishes. You don’t want to have a Vidai / exit planned for 5pm, and your photographer only on hand until 3pm!
21. Can you and your shooter be at different venues?
The morning of, you may be getting ready at the bridal suite, and your partner may be getting ready at their home. You’ll want to make sure that your photographer understands the entire plan and can work out their travel (and work it into the price to avoid any unexpected expenses).
22. Is there anything you require from our guests?
Some photographers will prefer an unplugged ceremony, where your guests aren’t shining their phone cameras everywhere. Not only does this cause distractions in your images, it also covers the faces and raw emotions of each of your guests!
If they do have any requests, ensure your celebrant, priest, or registrar can make an announcement about ‘no mobile phones’ during the ceremony. It might also be a good idea to ensure your wedding stationery designer can fit this into any of the signage.
23. Do you have insurance?
A professional wedding photographer should definitely have both professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance. They should be more than happy to show you their insurance documents if you ask.
24. What is your cancellation policy?
Let’s break the taboo around asking about cancellation policies: it does not foreshadow or bring any negativity to the celebration. If Covid-19 taught us anything, it’s that we should openly ask these questions for unpredictable moments.
25. What is your payment structure?
Every photographer is different, and will have a varying payment structure. Some will ask for smaller or larger deposits than others, and their completion payments will also vary. Ensure that you are aware of this in advance and work it all into your budget.
Be sure to ask about the deposit amounts, timelines for payment, and form of payment.
26. Is VAT included in my price?
Your photographer should definitely include this in their quote, but it sometime gets missed in verbal communications. Be sure to have absolute clarity!
27. How and when will we receive our images?
Whether it be an online portal, wetransfer, or a hard drive, make sure you know the specifics and the timelines.
We always suggest blocking out a date with your partner / loved ones about 2 weeks after receiving the images, so you can make a fun day of shortlisting / creating the album together – before it’s too late and tedious!
28. How do you store my images?
You will want to know the backup system that your photographer has. Are they all on a cloud system or a physical disk?
We have heard some horror stories of lost images, so you definitely want to make sure you are aware of all the details.
29. Can we share our images further?
It’s good etiquette to always tag and credit your photographer, wherever you see their images. There’s usually a ‘personal use copyright’ in all contracts – read through yours!
If you wish to feature in our Real Weddings: where we showcase real couples, find out your usage rights and if your photographer is up for it too.
30. Will you allow your photographer social media usage rights?
Some couples are fine with this, whilst others are not. Make sure you, your partner, and your loved ones understand how your photographer will use these images. It could form part of their visual portfolio on their website, or be shared further on social media. This then opens it up to be picked up by tons of social media inspiration pages, so make sure you are happy with this in advance.
If not, make them aware asap!
31. Do you offer a printing or album service?
In case you want any pictures blown up into a canvas, or created into multiple albums for your loved ones, it’s always easier to get everything done in one place.
32. Can we create a bespoke package?
Most photographers will be happy to negotiate a separate bespoke plan for you, as no wedding is ever ‘one size fits all!’. Be sure to ask your photographer, and be sure to see how this fits into your budget and plan.
33. Are you offering an Eternity Rewards Club discount?
If you are part of the Eternity Rewards Club, you can have access to tons of offers and promotions from our suppliers. Be sure to see if they are offering a discount, and be sure to provide them with proof (if your initial enquiry wasn’t through the platform) that you are a member.
Here are some of the current offers from our photographers (subject to change):
– 15% off all bookings
– If any 2 couples book by end of December with our full wedding package we will include an exclusive destination shoot flights covered by us. There will be a choice from 3-4 locations and can be used as a pre shoot or post shoot. I have availability in March, July, September & October
– £350 off all bookings
– Free Pre-Wedding Event Shoot with a minimum spend of 4k