The wedding photographer plays a huge role in your big day. They are the person responsible for capturing moments both big and small, and portraying the energy and aesthetic of the wedding through beautiful portraits. Choosing a wedding photographer is a big decision that can be very personal. Of course, you want to find someone who shoots in a style that you love, but you’ll also want a photographer who you feel completely comfortable with.
Before speaking with a potential photographer, you should know the following:
- Your wedding date. You don’t want to fall in love with a photographer to only find out they are already booked on your wedding date. Don’t meet with photographers until your date is set in stone!
- Your budget for a photographer. A photographer’s rates are often available on their website, so you should go into these meetings knowing if their services align with what you can spend.
- If you will want them for any additional photography needs, such as engagement photos or coverage of the rehearsal dinner.
Once you have these details in order, you are ready to start meeting with photographers and finally narrowing in on your top choice! Bring these questions with you in order to make the most out of your meetings:
Will you be the one shooting my wedding? If not, when can we meet with the person who is?
You’ll likely know ahead of time if the person you are meeting with is the actual photographer, as is the case with most photography businesses who are owned by a single photographer. In the case of a larger company that hires out photographers, ensure you are meeting with the actual person who will be present on the day.
How long have you been in the business? How many weddings have you photographed?
What makes you unique amongst other photographers in the area?
How would you describe your photography style?
You likely have a general understanding of their style from looking at their online portfolio, but this can give you a better idea of their overall aesthetic and what they seek to achieve the day of.
Can we see the full galleries of some of the weddings you’ve recently shot?
Online portfolios showcase the highlights of their work, but an all-encompassing gallery of an entire wedding day will give you a better idea of what you will be receiving.
Do you offer different wedding photography packages? What are included in these? Will you have a second photographer or any other team members with you?
What is your work method like on the day of the wedding?
This may be covered in the above question. Some photographers have a basic package that includes just them and maybe an assistant, and then a higher price tier with an additional photographer for more event coverage. Others choose to always bring a team with them. Decide what you want and need during your wedding day, and check if it aligns with what they offer.
Some photographers try to go completely unnoticed, others will interact with guests to arrange a great shot, and many are a combination of those two work methods. Asking this will help you get a better idea of what to expect from them as the day progresses.
Can we give you a list of specific shots we want?
Do you have a backup photographer in case you have an emergency and can’t make it? What is their name and experience?
What equipment do you use? Do you carry backup equipment?
Have you worked at my wedding venue before? If not, will you be checking out the location before the event?
Have you worked with our planner or our vendors before?
This shouldn’t be a deal breaker, but it may give you peace of mind to know that this isn’t their first time working alongside the other professionals who will be present.
How do you coordinate with videographers? Have you worked with our videographer before?
The photographer and videographer will need to have clear communication with each other so that they can stay out of each other’s way while still getting the shots they need. It can be beneficial if they’ve worked together before, but again—it shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
What time will you arrive, and how many hours of coverage do you do? Is there an overtime charge if our wedding runs longer than expected?
It is critical that you are aware of overtime fees so that you can plan accordingly and stay within budget. If they have overtime rates that don’t fit within your budget, coordinate to have them leave at a certain time.
Do you do wedding album design? Do you have any samples we can look at?
How long after the wedding can we expect proofs? How are they delivered to us (CD, thumb drive, online gallery, etc.)?
Will we have access to an online gallery? How long will the gallery be available to us?
Do you offer retouching, color correcting, and other editing? What is the pricing for these services?
What is the ordering process like for prints? How soon can I expect them?
How far in advance do we need to make the booking?
When will we receive the written contract?
You will want to get the agreement in writing as soon as possible. Ensure information about their backup photographer is also included in the contract, if applicable.
Do you have liability insurance?
How much is needed for the deposit and when is it due?
What information will I need to provide to you before the wedding day?
Of course, your photographer will need to know the basics, such as location and time, but they may have other specific requests that help them work as efficiently and successfully as possible.
Do you have a list of references you can give us?
After the meeting, you should check in with yourself and your partner to see if the photographer is the right fit. Ask yourself the following questions to evaluate:
- Do we feel comfortable with them? Will we feel at ease when taking photos with them, or stiff and awkward?
- Does their photography style and work method align with what we want? Do their full galleries and portfolios reflect what we want from our wedding photographer?
- Are they open to our ideas and suggestions? Do they genuinely care about adapting to the specifics we are looking for?
If you are looking to meet with wedding photographers in Georgia and the Southeast, come to the next Georgia Bridal Shownear you. You’ll be able to meet with a variety of wedding professionals, and will find the perfect photographer to capture your big day!
Wedding photographers and other wedding professionals who want to meet future clients in Georgia and the Southeast can contact us about opportunities for exhibition and online marketing with Georgia Bridal Show.