The best questions to ask your wedding photographer are ones that lead to a meaningful conversation about your wedding.
Many lists on bridal sites are full of quick yes or no questions for photographers, and price questions. Your goals for talking to a wedding photographer are greater than learning about prices. You need to get to know them. Also, you need to learn how excited they genuinely are about photographing your wedding. Some of your questions need to go deeper than a yes, no or price points.
Should you ask the basic questions? Absolutely. Those are also important. But, your wedding photographer isn’t just another vendor. They’ll be one of the professionals you interact with most. Before, during and after your wedding they’ll be there. Getting to know the person you’re spending that much time with is extremely important.
Better questions to ask your wedding photographer.
Specific questions are best to ask your wedding photographer. Changing a basic question to be more specific gives you the most information possible. It’s an easy way to help you make your decision on which photographer to hire.
Here are common questions to ask your wedding photographer and below them better alternatives that will lead to a deeper conversation that reveals more about the photographer.
How many weddings do you shoot per year?
Instead, ask how many weddings they shoot per weekend.
This will help you learn about their approach to serving you. You’ll learn if they like booking multiple weddings on the weekend and having a wedding marathon, or if they prefer to be more relaxed and focused on just one couple per weekend.
What’s your photography style?
Style is subjective. You looked at the photographer’s website or social media before contacting them. And so you know what their pictures look like.
Instead, have a conversation about your wedding plans with the photographer. Then ask them to walk you through how they would shoot your wedding. Getting a clear idea of what it will be like to have them with you all day is more helpful than discussing a textbook definition of picture style.
Can we see your portfolio?
This question might get you a link to their website, which you already looked at. Ask the photographer to show you a full wedding gallery from a similar wedding.
This way you can see the actual quality of their editing techniques, on the whole wedding, which is a big part of what you’re investing in. You’ll also see how their client galleries look and get a better grasp on what a full wedding day of photography includes.
Have you shot at my venue before?
Swap this question for, “Have you shot at venues similar to mine and how do you handle the lighting situation?”
This will get you more information on how the photographer deals with balancing all the different lighting conditions that can happen during your wedding. You’ll also learn if they’re comfortable in a wedding scenario that might not have natural light, like the reception.
How many pictures will you take?
Your wedding pictures are more than a number. Instead, ask what things they’ll photograph during your wedding day. This way you’ll learn what shots are important to them, and open up a conversation about what’s important to you.
What gear do you use?
Ask what their favorite lens or piece of gear is instead. Brand names and model numbers are easy to list off. It’s important to understand how a photographer uses their gear at your wedding. Also, asking about their favorite gear gives you information on how they approach shooting weddings. Do they like to be close to their subjects, or in the corner with their zoom lens? Do they love using their flashes, or prefer window light?
The very best questions to ask your wedding photographer.
There’s one question that hardly anyone asks me. It’s one I used to get all the time when I was first starting out. I think it’s a good question to ask all wedding photographers. Ask WHY the photographer like shooting weddings.
You’ll learn more about the photographer’s personality if you ask this question. It’s important to know how excited they genuinely are about your wedding, and where their passion for weddings comes from. It’s really easy to ask yes or no questions from a list. Wedding photographers are more than just another vendor to hire. You need deeper answers to your questions.
Being yourself with your photographer is important too.
If you like to make lists of questions to ask potential wedding photographers, make your own list instead of copying something from a website. You’ll find that when you sit down to write you’ll have more personal questions specific to your wedding goals. Making a personal list will let you be yourself with the photographer too.
Challenge a wedding photographer to open up to you about who they are with the questions I’ve given you here, and some of your own. You deserve more than textbook answers when it comes to questions to ask your wedding photographer.
I’m a Minneapolis wedding photographer who believes in open communication with my couples. I’d be delighted to answer these questions and more for you.