Questions You Should Ask Your Wedding Photographer

February 27, 2019

We love meeting couple during consultations – this is a really important part of our process! During our meeting or call, we’ll open it up for you two to ask us questions. Sometimes couples go down a pre-scripted list of questions that they probably found on The Knot or Wedding Wire. Occasionally, they don’t have any questions. Sometimes they say, “What questions should we be asking?” Today’s blog post is all about that – the questions you should ask your wedding photographer!

How would you describe your style?

This gives the photographer the opportunity to describe the style of their work. Do they edit the photos with a dark and moody style? Or do they prefer bright and airy? Do they provide guidance during the day? Or are they more photojournalistic? You may have an idea of these answers – but they also could surprise you!

White wedding inspiration for luxury bride at Chateau Lill || The Ganeys

Does our wedding day/venue fit with your style?

I think this is a very important question to ask because you’re ensuring that the photographer thinks they are a good fit and qualified to photograph your wedding day. As film wedding photographers, a lot of times we need ample light to capture photos that fit our aesthetic. Of course, we can use artificial light or bust out our digital cameras, but it may not match what you see regularly on our instagram account. If you’re getting married after sunset in December, and you’re not interested in doing a first look, we probably wouldn’t be a good fit, stylistically, for your day.  We’ve had to tell couples that before – because we want what is best for them. Make sure you and your photographer are on the same page with this – you would rather know ahead of time than be disappointed later.

Harvest Inn Wedding

What’s your favorite part of the wedding day?

This is just a personal question to see your photographer’s excitement! Do you appreciate their response? It may give you some insight into their personality! And their forte…

Dusty Blue Bridesmaids dresses at The Orlo

How much direction will you give us during portraits?

The root of this question is all about posing. Some couple want very candid, natural photos. Some couples want to be coached. Either way is fine – but make sure that you’re working with a photographer that fits your needs in this department!

Cassique Wedding on Kiawah Island

Can we see a full wedding gallery?

This is so important! We can all have beautiful instagram feeds – but taking a look at a full wedding gallery will allow you to truly envision what to expect from your potential photographer. Styled shoots are great for creativity – but they aren’t real wedding days. Make sure your expectations are managed by hiring a photographer after you’ve seen a full wedding gallery you’ve been moved by. That being said, allow for some grace as well. Very few wedding days are “picture perfect” in every sense – throughout every party of the day. I love the lighting from a ceremony at one wedding, but the reception decor was lacking – or vice versa. The getting ready room may have had no windows, but the rest of the wedding was stunning. We did the best we could in the situation we were given. 🙂

San Francisco City Hall wedding photos

Do you have back up equipment and dual memory card slots?

At least part of this question is probably on those standard checklists from The Knot. I have been surprised to hear that some photographer’s “backup equipment” was a really basic kit camera you could pick up at Costco. I would want to know that the backup equipment is just as good as the workhorse. Similarly, dual memory card slots are a thing (recording every imagine on two separate memory cards – backup!!) – and I think every photographer should use a camera that has them. We’ve had issues twice where having the “back up memory card” has saved us. This is so important!

Stanford's Arizona Cactus Garden Wedding Photos

How do you back up the photos before you’ve delivered our gallery?

I’m part of enough facebook groups for photographers – and I’ve read about a lot of horror stories. Make sure that your photographer has a system in place – if their computer crashes or hard drive fails – that your photos will be safe while he/she is working on editing them.

Vow renewal at Smith Rock State Park

How can we work together to ensure that we get the best photos on the wedding day?

I wish more couple asked this! There are so many ways that couples can help us as photographers to ensure we capture the best photos! I have a guide that I send to our couples providing input on this – but little things like sending us the initiation suite ahead of time (so we can practice styling it or get a better idea of the color scheme), doing a first look, and finding a bridal suite with lots of windows will help! If you’re looking for more advice in this area, check out my blog series “Tips for Brides” here.

Miss Stella York wedding gown || The Ganeys

What questions did you ask your photographer that were helpful when making your decision? Should I add them to my list? Send me an email! emily[at]theganeys[dot]com.