What are the 14 questions to ask your wedding photographer? Finding the right wedding photographer might seem like an overwhelming task. There are so many to chose from. In the Grand Rapids, Michigan area there are over one-hundred wedding photographers. OVER ONE-HUNDRED! Now that you have booked the venue of your dreams, found the perfect dress, how do you know which photographer will be the best at capturing the essence of your big day? Don’t worry, here a few questions that will quickly narrow down the list to just a handful of photographers. We have compiled those questions into our Top 14 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer to help you in your search.
Q1. What is your photography style?
Arguably the most important question because not all wedding photography is created equal! Every photographer has their own unique approach and style. The photographer’s style will determine the overall look of the wedding photos. The key here is to find a photographer whose style and taste is similar to your own. You will probably know the answer to this question long before you ever speak with them. You will have a general understanding of their style by looking at their photos. If you like their work, then ask them to describe their style. If what they put into words resonates with you, then they might be a great match!
For example, the style of Leidy and Josh Photography is light, bright, and joyful. We are famous for making our brides and grooms look natural and full of life. On wedding days we love to capture the intimate moments in a candid photojournalistic yet editorial way. We have an eye for detail and pay attention to all the little moments that unfold naturally. Never will we force you into a pose but guide you in a way the finds your best angles making sure your wedding portraits are flawless and effortless the entire day. We like it when our photography is full of life and joy but tells your wedding day in an authentic way.
Q2. Do you include an engagement session?
Look closely at what your potential wedding photographer offers in their wedding packages. If they do not include an engagement session, inquire the cost to add an engagement session. We say it all the time, we believe the engagement session is the secret sauce for making incredibly beautiful, authentic, and joyful portraits on your wedding day. Which is why we include an engagement session in all our wedding packages for no additional charge.
Q3. Do you charge a travel fee?
We are not fans of hidden fees and this is one that is often missed. A traveling fee may include the cost of gas, food, and lodging, so make sure to ask your photographer if there will be one and how much it will be. Whether there is a traveling fee or not is totally up to your photographer. Our travel fee starts when we have to travel beyond 60 miles outside of the city of Grand Rapids. This might include a night at a hotel if the traveling is very far or if it becomes too late to travel that evening. In general, though, we try to keep the cost of travel to a minimum and stay with family whenever possible.
Q4. How long before I receive my wedding photos?
After the wedding, you will be so excited to receive your full wedding gallery. But how long will that take? Well, that again depends on the photographer. A good wedding photographer should be able to return your fully edited photos in a few weeks. All day coverage weddings with more photos may take longer to edit and again this will fully depend on your potential photographer. For us, we always ask for 4-6 weeks. To date, it has never taken us a full 6 weeks to edit a gallery, but we ask for that just in case of illness or other unforeseeable delays.
Q5. Who will be photographing me at my wedding?
If you are hiring a single shooter photographer then this might seem like an odd question to you. However, most photographers will work with a second photographer known as a “second shooter”. Generally speaking, the primary shooter should be the photographer that you are considering and he/she will be the primary shooting on your wedding day. The second shoot often floats around the ceremony and reception to get candids of guests.
Because there are generally two shooters, knowing which photographer is shooting what is important. Ask your photographer for specifics such as, “Who will be photographing me getting into my wedding dress?” and “Will someone be photographing my guests during cocktail hour?” These sort of questions will not only show how prepared your photographer is, but it will give you better insight as to what the day will look like and the images you will end up with.
We have found that this system works for most solo photographers, but what about husband and wife photographers? When we shoot a wedding we have two primary shooters at all times. Leidy will often lead at the start of a portrait session and Josh will jump in and lead when needed. We find that this system works better than just one assistant second shooter. This way, no matter what happens, there will always be a lead photographer to capture key moments and portraits. And yes, we have a specific plan for your wedding day. For example, Leidy will always photograph the bride and groom during the ceremony while Josh photographs candids the family and guests.
Q6. How many photographers are included in my package?
Riding off the heels of the last question, making sure there are at least two photographers on your wedding day is important. There are many talented photographers out there that shoot an entire wedding by themselves. While this is possible, it isn’t possible to be in two places at once. Having two photographers shooting your wedding day is the best way to ensure there are no missed moments. If you are having a wedding with more than 50 guests then having two photographers becomes a must.
With Leidy & Josh, our signature style of coverage is dictated by two photographers being present during your entire wedding day. We compliment each other to tell the complete story of your wedding day. Leidy sticks with the bride and her bridesmaids for the majority of the day. Josh follows the grooms and his groomsmen. We stick to this formula for most of the wedding day providing you with a gallery that tells the complete story.
Q7. Do you have a backup photographer and/or equipment?
This is another very important question to ask your potential wedding photographer. Ideally, your photographer should have a solid backup plan in the event of an emergency. Check to see if your photographer can provide extra equipment or a second photographer if something happens. You should feel confident that they’ve got your wedding day fully covered.
When you invest in Leidy & Josh you get peace of mind. We back up all your photos from the time we shoot your wedding to the time we deliver them. Not only that, we back your wedding photos to cloud storage and an external hard drive to make sure your memories are intact. Before your wedding day, we spend several hours going over all our equipment and packing backup batteries, memory cards, and even a couple extra cameras. All of our equipment is fully insured and we are back by liability insurance in case of a rare emergency.
Q8. Do you photograph anything else other than weddings?
Of all the questions to ask your wedding photographer, this one might catch them off guard. But we think it’s no less important! To get a better idea of the photographer’s personal taste and style, you might want to know what else they photograph. If they are interested in family and newborn photography, you can expect them to be good with kids and getting everyone in group shots. On the other hand, if they enjoy photographing concerts and street photography, you can expect lots of artfully documented candids of the wedding.
For Leidy & Josh, we have always enjoyed photographing couples. As a couple ourselves, our passion lies in showcasing the love between a husband and wife, bride and groom, or newly engaged couple. This carries over into how we shoot weddings. If we see your parents sharing an intimate moment on your wedding day, we are naturally going to drawn to capturing that moment.
While we have shot a little of everything at some point, other types of photography we enjoy doing includes; quinceañeras, elopements, engagements, maternity, and young families.
Q9. Do you edit all the images?
While some photographers edit only a small sample of their photos, we believe this doesn’t tell the whole story of your wedding day. Leidy is our master editor and spends hours following your wedding day going through each photograph, editing each one at a time. Leidy is dedicated to making sure that every photo you receive is as flawless as the rest of the work on our website. You will receive the complete set of all your photos from your wedding day editing in our signature light and bright style.
Q10. How many photos will I receive?
What is really important here is to determine if there is a limit or not. Some photographers will cap the number of photos to a few hundred and discard the rest. For us, when we are asked this question our response is, “We aren’t sure, we never count!”
That said we both shoot at least 100 photos per hour. So you can expect roughly 200 photos per hour that we are photographing your wedding. We never cap the number of photos we deliver a bride and groom. We want to tell the full story of your wedding day and that can only be done by delivering all the images that turn out.
Q11. Will I have to buy a print release?
It is important that your wedding photographer is transparent about their pricing. Occasionally, a photographer will charge an additional fee before they allow brides and grooms to print their photos at a lab other than the photographers. Or there might be a fee to purchase more photos beyond a certain limit.
If you don’t know this by now, we have strong feelings for why we never charge for a print release. We want to treat our brides and grooms the same way we would want to be treated. For that reason, we don’t charge for a print release. After your wedding day, we deliver all your photos to you in an online gallery with unlimited printing, unlimited downloads, and unlimited sharing.
Q12. Can I see a sample of your work?
It’s very important to see a sample of the photographer’s recent work. Photography is an art and sometimes photographers change their style. Seeing a gallery of a wedding from last year might differ slightly from the wedding that was shot last month. Ask your photographer if you can see some of their most recent work. You can expect your wedding photos to look similar to this
We always love to share some of our recent Michigan wedding photography with a potential bride and groom so they can become familiar with our work. We love to share everything we do on both our social media channels and our Michigan wedding blog.
Q13. What information do you need from me before the wedding?
This is one of our favorite questions because we have a detailed answer. Your wedding photographer should have your wedding day timeline and know every detail of your wedding day. From the early morning gift exchange to the surprise performance at your reception, the more your photographer knows the better. We send two questionnaires out with every wedding getting some preliminary details of your wedding day so we can best develop a timeline for you. Most importantly, we also like to get to know our couples on a more personal level. How did you guys meet? How did he propose? Do you have honeymoon plans? This allows us to take a personal approach to your wedding and engagement photos. It is our gal to show your love story in a way that is both beautiful and authentic.
Q14. Will you be publishing my wedding photos?
If you have concerns about privacy, this can be one of the most important questions to ask your wedding photographer. In general, you can expect a social media announce when your wedding gallery is completed. For us, we blog all of our work. We find this to be a wonderful way to showcase our brides and groom’s wedding day. Not only that, we submit all our work for publication. We touch on this in our Exclusive Wedding Photographer blog post. Yes, submitting our work does result in praise an accolades such as the 2019 Couple’ Choice Award, but that’s not why we publish our work. To us, submitting to publication forces us to shoot better and become better photographers. This ultimately benefits our brides and keeps us on top of our wedding photography game. That said if there was ever a concern for privacy for our bride and groom, we absolutely would not publish their work at their request.
So there you have it, the Top 14 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer before booking. This list could have been much longer, such as the 36 Important Questions To Ask written by Brides.com. We didn’t answer all 36 questions because we didn’t believe all of them were that important. To save you time and focus on what’s important, we broke it down into just 14 questions!
If you would like us to answer any additional questions, please submit your question to the comment section below so that everyone could benefit from it.
Now you know what to ask your wedding photographer, check out the Six Things to do After the Wedding Day!