23 Questions to ask your Wedding Photographer first.
Capturing the memory of your big day is important. This guide looks at what you need to know to help you get everything done, and completely without hassle and free from worry!
Image provided by Sydney's Inlighten Photography
Believe it or not, one of the hardest decisions that you make in the entire process of planning your wedding is going to be in choosing the right photographer - it could also be the most expensive!
You can visit as many wedding expos as you like, you can Google for as many wedding photographers as you can find and you can ask all of your friends who they had - but - it comes down to choosing the photographer that's right for you.
While some people will talk to you about spending more money on your photographer, others will tell you to get a friend to take the photos and just be happy with it.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at what you need to look for in a wedding photographer and what questions you should be asking so that your big day is not just memorable, but in print, beautifully, forever.
How to find out if they're a good photographer.
If you asked ten of your friends what makes a good photographer, they would all give you different answers.
The best thing that you can do is your own research and come to your own conclusions.
Take the time to look through different photographer's websites and pay attention to branding (how they present themselves), their social media presence and their customer testimonials (negative reviews online can tell you a lot about who you’re going to be dealing with).
Doux Wedding Photography from Melbourne
If everything comes together nicely, you're likely onto a winner.
You want to get a good vibe from your photographer, so they need to be a great communicator who will respond to messages in good time.
Photographers that don't respond to your email or phone call can come across as unprofessional, and it's just not what you want for a day as important as your wedding day!
Things to Look for In A Wedding Photographer
Candice Campbell Photography - Maitland Based
Are your prospective photographers available on your wedding date? This is the first thing you need to ask.
Also, how often can they meet with you to discuss your vision for the day?
These are essential questions you need to ask if you want a photographer who can communicate.
Society Photography based Mosman, Sydney
When should you book?
It's important to know how early you need to confirm your booking.
Don’t just take the first person you meet, but also don’t hold off too long.
Set aside the time to meet at least 3 or 4 photographers via Facetime, Skype, Zoom or in person, and then book the best one in!
What is their primary style of photography?
There are many different photography styles, and you should aim to find a photographer whose style matches what you want.
It would be good to have this in mind before you start meeting with them (see below for more information in ‘different styles of photography’).
Mark Dayman Photography from Melbourne
Testimonials, reviews, recommendations.
As with everything in life, having reviews and recommendations from people that you trust is going to help your decision.
Be sure to research the ratings & reviews of previous customers online, as it will give you a great indication as to real experiences of real wedding couples.
ABIA have over 400,000 Wedding Customer Reviews & Recommendations submitted by Real Wedding Couples.
Are they a good personality fit?
You know what you want best for your wedding, and you need to connect personally with your photographer.
There is a lot to be said to have a photographer who you can laugh with and get along well with, and one who will listen to what you have to say and what you want for your wedding day.
Inlighten Photography Team (Sydney)
Ask to see a full wedding album.
Some photographers put the best snapshots on their website to showcase their work; nothing wrong with that. But a confident photographer should have no issue in showing you a whole wedding album – the finished work for another client - so if it's what you want to see you should ask!
James Field Photography - Adelaide Based
Have they worked in your venue before?
By having a photographer who has been in your venue and has snapped a wedding there before, you have the advantage of someone who already knows all the best angles and lighting for the grounds and wedding event space.
Also, ask to see some examples of previous weddings that they've shot at your venue. It'll give you an idea of their technique and how well the final photographs print.
Jason Wong Photography - Adelaide
Choosing a Wedding Photographer Vs. Standard Photographer?
Your choice of a wedding photographer is going to be a big one, so it's up to you whether you choose a specialist photographer who solely specialises in weddings, or you go for a photographer that takes a range of pictures.
Some people prefer photographers who solely service weddings, as they can get a photographer who can focus on what they do best.
Melbourne's A Touch Flash Photography
Do they bring special lighting with them?
Some photographers come kitted out with lighting and others don't.
It's worth asking what they will be providing on the day and the type of equipment that they use so you can gain an understanding of their style of working. You also need to know what you’re paying for in comparison to others.
James Field Photography (Adelaide)
Check their Experience.
It's well known that the student photographers out there offer discounted prices to be able to gain some experience. The most experienced photographers often have high rates, but it isn't worth compromising on what will be a lifetime of memories.
Going for a photographer with impressive experience can mean that you are set for life with your wedding album.
One of our family friends recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary… it was magical to see pictures of both their wedding and early years of marriage scattered throughout the restaurant where the celebration was held.
A wonderful addition to 50 years of celebration.
Love by Shae Photography - Victoria.
Questions and Answers Related to Price/Costs
The internet is flooded with a vast range of pricing for wedding photography, from the very cheap to the expensive.
The variety in pricing can make it much harder to compare photographers, and it can be difficult to know what price bracket to look at.
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to how much you should be paying.
It's going to depend on what's the most important thing to you for the day, and for the memory. If you only want a few shots, you can pay for a basic package or an hourly rate.
If you want something to capture the spirit of your wedding day, then it's worth looking into the high price brackets with all-inclusive packages.
There are a lot of things to ask when it comes to the price; most of the time, the price on the website is a flat rate.
Sometimes, the rate is an hourly one, but mostly the package rates include a block of time in a day that the photographer would stay and take photographs.
Everlast Photography - Queensland
Four areas are to help you determine what a wedding photographer will charge you:
- Their training, skills and experience.
- Total business costs and equipment investments.
- The total time spent on a wedding - including post-production.
- Their style and their reputation.
- Their industry Awards & customer reviews.
Here are some of the questions that you should consider asking.
- What is the deposit amount?
- What is their minimum & maximu hours per event?
- Do they offer packages?
- Does the number of guests affect prices?
- Do they offer a breakdown of prices?
- Travel costs.
- If the event lasts longer than planned, will they stick around?
- Are there likely to be any additional costs?
Millgrove Photography - Victoria
How Many Photographer Should You Talk/Meet With?
When it comes to your wedding, every decision you've made has come with a variety of choices, and your photographer should be no different. Choosing two to three photographers to meet with at a minimum is important because you want to have more of a choice before you cement your decision.
You should never arrange to meet with a photographer unless you know what you want first, so make sure that you do your research about styles before you set a meeting.
Luke Middlemiss Photography - Sunshine Coast
Who Owns the Photos?
When you book your wedding photographer, you'll usually be asked to sign a contract which will include the specifics of your wedding day.
This'll mean listing who they deal with, where the photographs will be shot, when it will all happen and how much it all costs. There should also be some information about where you can use your pictures and the ownership of them. Each wedding photographer has their own specific rules and contracts, so here are some prompts to ask your potential photographer:
- How can you use the photos yourself?
- How can the photographer use your photos?
- If you want other copies, will it cost?
- Can you share them on social media?
- Do they have to be watermarked before sharing?
- Does the photographer retain rights to the images etc.
Always read the fine print of your contract before you sign and before you pay a deposit. You don't want to sign on the dotted line only to learn later that you aren't allowed to post your photographs on social media for the world to see.Your photographer should be on the same page as you when it comes to these questions, and if you are in any doubt about what's allowed and what isn't, don't sign anything. If you get to the bottom of these issues before you sign, you can ensure a relaxed, care-free day!
Luke Middlemiss Photography - Sunshine Coast
Other Questions to Ask
This is your wedding day and everything that you decide for your day should be perfect in your eyes.
Getting into the details with your wedding photographer will make a difference to the whole experience, as you will have ironed out any issues before the day itself. Long after your wedding day has gone, you'll want to pull out your wedding album and smile at all your photos, keeping them safe, to show to your grandchildren one day.
These additional questions will help you to ensure that you've asked the RIGHT things to help set that smooth sail so that everything is complete, as you want it to be.
- When will you receive your photographs after the wedding?
- What is their process for editing? Do they colour correct, Do they light balance etc. These things may require individual photo editing which can heavily affect price.
- How many photos do you get in total?
- Do you get printed copies only or electronic only – or both?
- How many photos do you get to preview prior to editing / final handover?
- Is there a contract for services outlining costs, services, termination, penalties etc.
- What happens of the photographer is ill on the day and cannot shoot?
- Do they have insurance? What kinds?
- How do they feel about guests snapping shots with their phones?
- For weddings with over 50 guests, do they have an assistant?
Knowing these things in advance can help remove any potential headaches.
Sandie Bertrand Photography - Perth
Different Styles of Wedding Photography
Every photographer does things differently, and before you even interview photographers it's important to know what style you want for your wedding. It's essential to get the best photographer to capture the magic, so let's look at the different styles you could have below.
Images by Kevin - Sydney
Vintage Style Photos
Everyone loves a little nostalgia, right? Filters are used to turn the normal images into works of art, creating a rustic, vintage look.
Perfect Moment Photography - Melbourne
Covers the key moments of the day, with emphasis on group and couple shots. Perfect for a formal album with a photographer who will orchestrate the day with a pre-arranged shot list.
Desiren Photography from Melbourne
Can be more expensive than the usual styles. You’ll get soft and quality images when shot in a controlled environment and have a much better range of highlights and shadows in your photographs.
Image Provided by Inlighten Photography
If you want unique wedding photography, this is the style that balances colour, light and emotion to create images that look more like works of fine art than a wedding album.
Passion8 Photography Melbourne
The key here is lighting, with the placement of lighting or the subject in the image near the right lighting capturing beautifully dramatic images.
In the end, your wedding photography is an important component of your wedding day. Think carefully about what you want, and then go and find your photography match!
View a list of Wedding Photographers and their Customer Ratings & Reviews.