What should you ask your wedding photographer?
Questions to ask before you book your wedding photographer?
As South Wales Wedding photographers we have been fortunate enough to meet lots of clients and answer many photography questions.
When we meet a couple we typically ask:
- How long have you guys been together?
- When did you get engaged?
- Where did you get engaged?
- What venue have you chosen?
- Any particular colour schemes in mind?
- Whats our favourite song (You’ll need to have a look more closely in our website pages to know the answer…)
- What wedding cake flavours are you going for? we are quite partial to lemon drizzle
- Have you considered dietary requirements of your guests? e.g. vegan, vegetarian, diabetics, intolerances etc.
- Have you checked that no guests are epileptic? e.g. a very important acknowledgement for photographers and DJ’s with flashes and strobes respectively.
- Have you arranged a wedding planner?
- Do you have a rough timeline of the day? see the importance of this below
- Have you accounted for any delays in the day?
There are so many other questions we could ask so we highly suggest you take a look at our Ultimate Wedding Checklist blog to have a think about any additional features you haven’t considered for the big day.
This is definitely a feature we suggest you look out for when meeting up with wedding photographers and other suppliers for that matter, as having questions for the client shows experience in the industry and immediately demonstrate professionalism to you. We want to ensure our clients are relaxed on the big day and that means we ensure they are prepared for everything! We are more than just your wedding photographers, we become your friends and fairy godmother. Just look how happy Maria and Marek are! Feel free to take a closer look at their wedding day at Cardiff City Hall (Click Here).
But the important subject about this blog is for you to have a list of questions that we believe will confirm a good wedding photographer to you during a meeting, as they are going to be photographing one of the biggest moments of your lives and also be with you for the best part of 12-months so its best to choose the right one for you. I mean I think we are pretty good, just saying…. (Get in touch!)
” Are you available on my wedding date? “
Although a very simple question, it can sometimes be overlooked when looking for the right photographer, with so many commenting on your social media posts and the endless pages on google. We are typically booked 12 months in advance of our clients wedding day, so it is crucial you plan early and ensure your suppliers are available on your wedding date. We personally use a specialist software to ensure all of our clients are kept up to date and that any date changes (especially important with the COVID-19 pandemic!) are amended and confirmed.
” How long have you been photographing weddings? “
Now this is a very subjective question but is something to generate a foundational understanding to that photographers experience level in the industry. This shouldn’t be a sole deciding factor however, as that photographer may have more skills developed with more weddings photographed in a shorter time frame to that of another i.e. the photographer in question may have been in the industry 1 year and photographed 10 weddings where another may have been in the industry 3 years and photographed 3 weddings. Everything is relative and we believe this is just a general ice breaker question to get the conversation flowing, if the photographer doesn’t have many questions to ask (remember what we said above! a lack of questions hints minimal experience). Even take a look at their social media pages (Oliver Rees Photography: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and their websites to see any photos/selfies of the weddings that photographer has been to. Scroll down to the bottom of our About Us page to see all of our selfies with our amazing clients. Heres a few… Wedding days are hectic and fast paced so having a photographer who has experienced the scenario many times will be a good thing to look out for as they are usually better at capturing candid moments and knowing when to plan certain things (Group shots, couple portraits, ring shots, throwing of the bouquet, first dance etc.)
” Our wedding venue is extremely dark, will the photos be ok? ”
The Coal Exchange in Cardiff, is renowned by photographers for being low lit inside. Your photographers should immediately start discussing the capability of their camera systems to cope with low light situation without lowering the quality of the image drastically. Words including RAW files, Off Camera Flash, High Aperture Lenses, Up-to-date camera systems should be listened out for in the answer. This shows the photographers capability to cope with low light situations and demonstrate their experience level to you. We personally have a plethora of lighting systems and high quality camera gear with the associated experience ready for anything thrown at us on the big day.
” So is this your full time job? ”
We believe in being upfront with our clients and we always tell them that we have other jobs alongside this. Oliver works as a biomedical scientist and Lauren is a graphics designer. Is it because we don’t love photography? No! Absolutely not! It’s the reality of running a small business and our own personal circumstances. We give 110% to both and our jobs have never been an issue for our couples. We actually believe it gives us an advantage as we have extra skills that we apply from our jobs to the wedding world.
This question should be combined with the second question “How long have you been photographing weddings?” as it will give you a good idea of the photographers enthusiasm and experience. Neither question should deter you from choosing that photographer as they typically let their work speak for them in regards to their dedication, enthusiasm and experience. We always ensure a 7-8 week turn around time on editing your wedding photographs from the day of the event. We work tirelessly to ensure our standards are maintained and that quality of our photographs and services never slips. I mean, just checkout our stunning portfolio selection!
” Do you have/offer any wedding albums or products? ”
Wedding photographers will only publish highlights from the weddings days they have been fortunate enough to photograph and as a result it can be difficult to gage the style of that photographers work throughout an entire wedding day. This is also true for us, we also mainly publish highlights from our weddings but what we also do is publish other special moments throughout the day which paint a picture, from grandad playing with an iPad to aunt Maureen on the bouncy castle. We love these moments and think they deserve to be shown. But we also invite our clients to take a look through our wedding albums as this allows a tactile look at the style of our work and we advise all couples do the same with their photographers. Feel free to take a closer look at the packages we offer (Investment) or even take a look at our amazing youtube video highlighting our packages (Youtube Link).
” What packages do you offer? “
The average cost of a wedding photographer within the UK was reported in 2019 to be £1500 and an article that we read and agree with (Click here to see the article) suggests that couples budget between 5-10% of their wedding funds for their photographer. We agree with this because your photographer is capturing all those important moments that you have always dreamed of and worked hard to have. So why would you want anything less than perfect imagery to remember and share those memories in years to come. A few side questions to the overall price includes how many hours coverage? How many photos will we receive? How many photographers will be there? etc. Our packages can be found here
“Is there any information you need from us before the big day? “
This is a great question as photographers will require an exact timeline of your wedding day in order to logistically plan certain photographs. The sooner this information is provided to your photographers and other suppliers for that matter, the better as this allows for them to suggest alterations based on their extensive experiences in the industry. Information in this timeline is very important to the photographer including exact post codes/ directions of different venues on a multi-location wedding, important people/objects you’d like captured and other quirky things. We will send you questionnaires to fill out a assigned time frames before the big day which need to be sent back to us to ensure we have a confirmed plan of the big day.
” What do you wear whilst photographing weddings? ”
This is a question that we believe should not matter in your decision making about who to choose as your wedding photographer. Would you prefer a photographer that is comfortable and free to move to take fantastic images? Or would you prefer a photographer in a complete tailored suit who cannot bend and move about as easily potentially compromising your wedding photographs? Now we are not saying jogging bottoms are acceptable but a nice pair of black jeans and a loose shirt we feel is highly acceptable. Oliver personally wears loose black jeans, a loose shirt and black hiking shoes. Yes thats right, hiking shoes. Photographers walk miles on a wedding day and are constantly on the go with little time to sit down and have a rest, so we need to take care of our bodies to prevent joint injury. We would however wear a suit to specific events or upon request by the couple to match the theme of the big day and believe this should be something all photographers agree to prior to the big day with their couples. Heres a picture of Oliver at a real wedding.
” What time will you stay until? “
If you love to party and want to show off your best dancing moves in your wedding galleries and albums then this is a great question to ask your wedding photographer. We have to remember that photographers are only human and it is not right that we should be expecting them to be photographing from bridal prep at 7am until the end of the disco at 12am (i.e. a 17 hour day), with some photographers having a wedding to attend the following day. However, it is good to know how long they work for so you can make a good judgement if they are the right photographers for you. We love a dance at the end of the wedding day, as we say, we are more than just your wedding photographers. We personally find a natural close to the end of photographing the wedding day and will always ask you if there is anything else we can do before we leave. But we always ensure everything is captured and that our clients are happy. That is our number one priority, well apart from eating the buffet that is. Typically, we leave around 45 minutes to an hour after first dance.
” How much is a Second Shooter? “
Second shooters a great compliment to your wedding day and we would personally say they are essential for larger weddings 100+ guests in the day and/or if preps of the couple are taking place at different locations which the primary photographer deems too great of a distance to travel back and forth to on the day of the wedding. Second shooters add a different view to your wedding day, with loads more candid photographs of your family. Costs associated for a second shooter can range from £150-400 upwards depending on location and requirements for accommodation. We personally charge an additional £300 for a second shooter as we have developed a list of photographers who we trust and know they can do a fantastic job, matching our style throughout the day. Take a look at additional add on’s (Investment).
” Can my family and friends take photographs whilst you are there? “
Having a rule in place on your wedding day that all phones should remain off throughout the ceremony is a great relief for photographers as the last thing we want is an iPhone (other brands are available) in the middle of the aisle during the first kiss. Photographers should always have priority on taking photographs throughout the big day, allowing your guests to just relax and have fun with you. We also suggest that no professional grade cameras are brought to the event by family and friends (Uncle Bob’s we like to call them) as this can be highly off putting and essentially turn your wedding day into one big photoshoot which is something we don’t want you feeling either. We personally work by we take one and your guests surround me take some photos on their phones. That way we are happy we have got the shot and your guests are happy they have a photo to add to their instagram stories later, tagging us as the best wedding photographers in the world…. We always tell our couples that we will be photographing the photographers on the day and that they will be going in their online wedding gallery.
” Do you have backup equipment? “
If you have chosen a well experienced photographer they should definitely have backup equipment as unfortunately camera gear does get broken in the fast paced nature of the wedding day, we know we have had lenses roll off tables… But what is most important is that the photographer can carry on and get the same images like nothing has happened. A wedding photographer should have a minimum of two camera bodies (the black square clicky thing), a minimum of 4-5 lenses and flashes. This is enough equipment to photograph a wedding day without a hitch, although we do carry an awful lot more than that in our camera bag. It should also be noted that your wedding photographers cameras should have two memory card slots so that one is constantly backing up the other card on the day, so if one card corrupts you don’t lose all of your wedding images. The photographer should also take every opportunity they have to backup their memory cards to an external hard drive on the wedding day to add a third layer of protection to your wedding photos.
” Do you have insurance? “
A wedding photographer and again any other wedding supplier should have Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance with a compensation cover of £1million+ to cover any accidents that could arise on the wedding day. You should always ask your wedding photographer to see their insurance documents, which they should be more than happy to hand over to you at your meeting.
” How much is the deposit and when would you expect the final payment? “
Going back to our Ultimate Wedding Checklist Blog, it is essential to budget appropriately and financially plan from the moment you get engaged so knowing how your suppliers expect payments to be received is a great place to start. We suggest you make a spreadsheet on Excel (other softwares are available) to record and calculate how much you have remaining. This will be really appreciated by your suppliers as this is a lot of their main incomes so they do need payment and the requested dates unless agreed otherwise in writing. We personally request a deposit of £200 followed by a final payment of the remaining balance a month before the wedding date.
And finally probably the most exciting question of all……
” Will you be our wedding photographer? “
If your wedding photographer is truly passionate about their job you will see their faces light up with joy and enthusiasm when you ask this question because yes this is their income source to fund their lifestyles but to most its their absolute passion and if they have made a true connection with you, they will definitely want to be a part of your big day!
We hope you found this blog useful, please feel free to check out some of our other blogs we have made for you to take useful information from and of course, if you are looking for a wedding photographer still please get in touch we would love to meet you! (Contact)